Written by: Charoula Dontopoulos

The Women’s No. 1 Herbal Friend!

           I am way past the time I used to not be able to live without a Vitex Tincture, or tea—or a tincture that did contain Vitex along with some other great Herbs for women and our specific needs! But I love to still talk about it, and pass the info on!

This is primarily a wonderful botanical for all women during the years of menstruation. Older women friends, and clients of mine, will certainly remember me talking about this herb.  And a number of younger women acquaintances might be helped by reading this and by what I learned about Vitex long long ago!

In some future blogs, I will add some of the other herbs, such as Dong Quai, Black Cohosh, Crampbark etc., which, taken together with Vitex, can not only alleviate monthly issues but also add pleasure to our lives. After all, why suffer, (and quite a few of us do) when Nature can provide us with such wonderful helpers!

SO:  Human use of Vitex goes way back.

This beautiful Herb has been in use for 2500 years.

Though you will not find this in many encyclopedias or the Internet, Vitex –the name—actually evolved out of the word Vita (Latin)=Life– i.e. the Life Force that is female and creates Life. So it is a botanical that is of great assistance to all women.

But!  It was also mentioned by the ancient Greek Physician Dioscorides as lowering Soldiers libidos! (as to “why”should that be important, well, think about conquering armies and what chaos invading soldiers, back then,  could cause among the female population!!)

Also: Vitex’s Greek and Latin Botanical name is Agnus Casti, meaning Pure and Chaste!

OK, on to the herb’s Early American history: Early doctors such as the Eclectics used it as a galactagogue: bringing on milk to young mothers—as well as for menstruation irregularities.

Vitex’s ancient historian herbalists describe it as most important for relieving symptoms of female hormonal imbalances, such as depression, cramps, water retention, irregular cycles, breast pain, weight gain.

Vitex was frequently prescribed for uterine growths and Fibroid cysts.

It also was said to promote menstruation –AND—“Check violent sexual desire”(WOW!)

Back to the present and Vitex’s well studied uses today (though all of the above have equally been verified by modern science.) :


Actions:  Vitex has been proven to act as an:

Emmenagogue== brings on, i.e. facilitating menstrual cycles.

Vulnerary== heals wounds

Phytohormone, i.e. a plant originated hormone –  primarily Progesterone in this case, mostly for menopausal women

Galactagogue, i.e., bringing on milk to new mothers.


Vitex also helps with:

  • Menstrual cramps
  • Irregular cycles
  • Breast pain
  • Assists in stopping Acne in teens
  • Reduces Ovarian and Uterine cysts—and just for this last reason, I would give it a try, as this is quite a big issue.


I must also add that, as a woman who, early on, went through Ovarian Cancer, this scary adventure guided me to start looking at Herbs as my alternative solution to chemo and radiation, which, after exposing myself to them for 3-4 times, I decided where unhealthy and would not stop the cancer returning—I firmly believed this!

I also began studying herbs in general and viewing them as a means of potential early on Cancer suppression—not just for me, but also for my female relatives (as I was told that “it runs in the family”…)

Vitex came up right away as a very positive and possible solution for cancers of the Reproductive System—and more!.

Whether or not my turning to Vitex early on is the reason I have had no more issues, the fact remains I have been well since then.

Of course, I must add, that ANY Herbal Protocol would be highly backed up with the right diet, the right exercise—and, primarily, the right attitude towards Life, which for me at the time was: Get Rid of Stress!!!


Read us again next week, when we will be talking about some of the other women’s herbs briefly mentioned above!


CAUTION:  Do NOT use while on birth control pills, or during Pregnancy, but could prevent miscarriages during the first trimester!



If you have questions on any of the above herbs and their use, please contact me:

Ask Charoula about Herbs

All answers are posted on our website E-Wellness.com, on the following Friday.

Thanks for reading!

Charoula Dontopoulos
Certified Herbalist
Holistic Health Advisor
BC Polarity Therapy Practitioner


Questions and Answers

Q: I can’t wait to hear more on the other Herbs you take along with Vitex!  I have not heard of mixing herbs together, and I would find it very helpful if you could let us know whether this mixture would be taken as a tea, and how is the taste of all these herbs going to affect our ease of drinking it!

A: Well, I must say that some herbs are tasty and some are not so tasty—in fact are hard to take as teas!

What I mostly do with my mixtures –unless it is an easy and tasty one like Chamomile and Peppermint together etc—is to take them as Tinctures.   A tincture is something like a tea, but the fluid we use is 50%alcohol. So I made a tincture of Vitex, later mixed with the other herbs mentioned above, and the taste is just fine!

Making a tincture is a step above making tea, however, so before you try making one, wait for some further info down the line!

Q: I do have a rather painful period cycle, and would love to turn to herbs for  help!  Should I take Vitex every day, or only before my period begins?

A: I would suggest you do take Vitex on a consistent schedule for a while.  I would also start adding some of the other herbs mentioned in the Article along with Vitex—maybe beginning with DongQuai. Or Black Cohosh. Or Crampbark, if the problem is cramps! Herbs do work together brilliantly, and I rarely take them singly.  But try using them singly for a while in order to see what specific effects you get from specific herbs.

If possible, take them as tinctures—they will be much more effective.


Please do consult your Holistic Health Practitioner, and most importantly your Herbalist before you use any herb, whether as a tincture, a tea, or a standardized extract.  Herbs are powerful!!!

I would love to hear more of your questions on any of our blogs, and specifically on any Issues you are wondering about!  Thanks for sending in your questions!

Ask Charoula about Herbs



photo credit: amadej2008 Vitex-agnus-castus_3 via photopin (license)