Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus)
Vitex is a shrub that rarely reaches more than 2 feet high, but unfortunately is highly coveted because it burns fuel very well. The leaves are born in conflict and are supported by a long tail. The flowers are rather small, bluish purple color (white in exceptional cases) and are grouped in rodajuelas. The fruit is slightly fleshy, black, and with four chambers inside. Gives off a faint scent of pepper, to what should be one of the many common names it receives. Usually reared on the banks of rivers and streams, places with high humidity. In our Peninsula often coexists with oleander.
FLOWERINGIt blooms in early summer and usually lasts throughout the summer. For medicinal purposes exploit the flowering tops and fruits. Profit is used around the bush because it burns fine. If not for the destructive zeal of the man, now could have very good specimens of this shrub, but unfortunately only are healthy and grown in protected areas.
APPLICATIONSFlavonoids found in leaves as casticina, glycosides, tannins and a bitter principle. In the fruit appears an essential oil rich in cineol and pinene. It speaks of the presence of other substances, although there are no serious studies about it. For over a century has recommended an exhaustive study of this plant, since they ensure that it has great virtues. Of the hundreds of properties attributed to it, which enjoys more popular esteem is the regard to its use as an antispasmodic, especially when these troubles ensue as a result of various digestive disorders. It is also thought that acts as an anti-estrogen by inhibiting the action of certain hormones and stimulating the release of others. Also acts as a sedative and vulnerary. For all these pharmacological actions, is especially useful in: lack of menstruation, premenstrual syndrome, nervous system disorders such as anxiety, palpitations, tachycardia, or dizziness and also recommended in gastrointestinal spasms. The fruits are considered suitable as appetizers, carminative and diuretic.
ADMINISTRATIONInfusion. From the leaves infusion is prepared by adding 30 gr. in a cup of boiling water. You should take this dose divided into 3 doses, after meals better.
Fluid extract. This extract is available in stores. The recommended dose is 1 to 2 gr. day. Also you can purchase the dry extract of the plant, which will take between 0.5 and 3 grams. day.
HABITAT: Banks of rivers and streams
PART USED: Fruit, flowering tops
CASTILIAN: Saucegatillo, gatillo casto
CATALAN: Flor d'aloc
USESStrong Anxiety, Insomnia Strong, Menstrual disorders Moderate.