The chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) is a species of the genus Vitex in the mint family (Lamiaceae). He is called in the vernacular also Keuschbaum, chaste or Tanis for allegedly weakens the sexual desire. This is reflected also in the scientific name agnus (Latin), or ἁγνός (Old Greek) = lamb, and castus (Latin) = chaste. The Chaste Tree is now used in natural medicine, especially when premenstrual syndrome, menstrual disorders and infertility. The original area of distribution extends from the Mediterranean monk's pepper area of Southwest Asia to Crimea.
The shrub can reach heights of up to four meters and has light brown twigs. The leaves are opposite and cross are palmately five-to siebenzählig. The flowers are small, consisting of dense, terminal buds and have a purple, blue, pink or white color. Visually, it is very similar to the hemp, so it can easily lead to confusion. The fruit is a berry viersamigen appearance. Flowering time is July to August. Driving time varies depending on Ortsbedingungen, usually from April to June. The preferred locations are damp places and riverbanks.
The fleshy, red and black fruits were used as a spice and Anaphrodisiac. In the medieval monastery gardens next to spices and medicinal plants also grew plants that the "departure served by worldly love." Convent residents, nuns and monks had access to the writings of the ancient Mediterranean cultures of medicinal plants. They learned about some plant that already had the priestesses of the Greeks served as chastity plant. Among other things, it was Dioscorides, species, and described their applications.
"Agnos, Keuschlammstrauch ... known to the Romans as a wild pepper, is a tree-shrub that grows in rivers and cliffs ... It is called Agnos, because it in the Thesmophoria the women who keep their chastity, used as storage or because ... he drank, the urge to moderate sexual intercourse. "
The monks were able to take the pungent seeds as a spice for their food and had a welcome side effect. In Greek mythology chaste tree was a symbol of chaste marriage, as the goddess Hera, under such a shrub (bush Lygos) should be born on the island of Samos. In the Middle Ages was as a symbol of the chaste tree chaste monk's life.
In medieval herbalist Matthiolus writes in 1626 in his "Kreuter book:" He takes the desire to Venus trade and do these things not only the seeds but also the leaves and flowers, but not the only way they eat, but also when they are in bed scattered."
See also: International Flower Delivery, Florist