The name 'Agnus Castus' derives from the Greek for 'chaste'. According to Pliny, writing in the first century, Greek women wishing to preserve their chastity placed leaves of this plant on their beds and slept on them. Pliny's contemporary, Dioscorides, claimed that Agnus Castus preserved chastity because it smells so bad that, when strewn on the bed, it was enough to deter amorous advances from men!
Agnus Castus was certainly used widely by the ancient herbalists. Dioscorides even concurrs with its current uses; "it both brings down the milk and expels the menstrua".
not a native plant of the UK, records indicate that it was in use here
by 1500. It is then mentioned in Gerard's herbal in the seventeenth century.
Until recent years, though, you would have difficulty finding much written
in UK herb books about Agnus Castus. It is in the rest of Europe that
the herb has had the most use over the past century.
Do not take
Agnus Castus if pregnant. If taking hormone medication, please consult
your doctor before using Agnus Castus.
|Agnus Castus Vitex|