Health Notes

Agnus castus

Also indexed as:Vitex agnus castus, Sauzgatillo
Agnus castus: Main Image © Steven Foster
Botanical names:
Vitex agnus castus


Agnus Castus (Agnus castus) grows in Mediterranean countries and central Asia. The dried fruit, which has a pepper-like aroma and flavour, is used in herbal medicine preparations.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

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This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Clinically relevant conditions Dosage Indications
Premenstrual Syndrome
20 mg a day of a concentrated herbal extract 3 stars [3 stars]
Agnus Castus has been shown to help balance of oestrogen and progesterone during the menstrual cycle and may alleviate PMS symptoms.
Female Infertility
40 drops of a liquid extract with water or 35 to 40 mg of encapsulated powder each morning 2 stars [2 stars]
Agnus Castus has been shown to improve fertility, particularly for women with luteal phase defect, it should be discontinued once a woman becomes pregnant.
Fibrocystic Breast Disease
40 drops of a concentrated liquid herbal extract or 35 to 40 mg of the equivalent dried, powdered extract taken once daily in the morning with liquid 2 stars [2 stars]
Agnus castus has been shown in some studies to reduce breast tenderness.
Acne Vulgaris and Premenstruation
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Some older, preliminary research suggests that agnus castus might help clear premenstrual acne, possibly by regulating hormonal influences.
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
In herbal medicine, agnus castus, also known as chaste tree, is sometimes used to treat amenorrhoea. Research suggests it may regulate hormones related to menstruation and fertility.
Breast-Feeding Support
Refer to label instructions as Vitex Topical 1 star [1 star]
Agnus Castus agnus castus is one of the best-recognised herbs in Europe for promoting lactation. It should not be used during pregnancy.
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Clinical reports from Germany have suggested that agnus castus may help relieve different menstrual abnormalities associated with premenstrual syndrome, including dysmenorrhoea.
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Agnus Castus is recommended either alone or in combination with other herbs, such as dandelion root, prickly ash, and motherwort, by some doctors to treat endometriosis symptoms.
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Among women taking agnus castus, menorrhagia has reportedly improved after taking the herb for a few months.
Pregnancy and Postpartum Support
Refer to label instructions 1 star [1 star]
Agnus Castus is one of the best recognised herbs in Europe for promoting lactation. One trial found that agnus castus tincture could increase the amount of milk produced by mothers with or without pregnancy complications.

Historical or Traditional Use

Hippocrates, Dioscorides, and Theophrastus mention the use of agnus castus for a wide variety of conditions, including haemorrhage following childbirth and assisting with the “passing of afterbirth.” Decoctions of the fruit and plant were also used in sitz baths for diseases of the uterus. In addition, agnus castus was believed to suppress libido and inspire chastity, which explains one of its common names, chaste tree.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2024.