Historically, vitex is said to have been chewed by monks to help preserve their celibacy. There are also reports mentioning its use in Greek rituals, as well as the practice of carrying twigs for protection against dangers and to signify chastity.
Vitex essential oil is a pale to dark-yellow color and has a strong aroma, but is not traditionally used in perfumery. The fruit, or berries, are used to produce the oil, which includes the active constituents limonene, 1,8-cineol, pinene, carophyllene, and sabinene.
To learn more about vitex, read the full-text article "Essential Oil of Vitex May Ease Symptoms of PMS and Menopause," which originally appeared in the March 2010 issue of the ACHS Reporter HERE.
2. (2009). The premenstrual syndrome: effectiveness of Vitex agnus castus. Med Monatsschr Pharm. May; 32(5): 186-91.