Agnus Castus, Vitex, Pharm. Paris. Agnus folio non serrato J. B. Vitex Agnus Castus Linn. Agnus-castus, or chaste-tree: a small tree or shrub, with tough branches, digitated narrow leaves, and monopetalous purplish flowers standing in spikes on the tops of the branches, followed by oblong whitish seeds. It is a native of the warmer climates, and cultivated in some of our gardens.

The seeds of agnus were formerly celebrated as antaphrodisiacs; but experience does not discover in them any degree of such virtue, and some have ascribed to them an opposite one. From their sensible qualities, their virtues, of whatever kind, do not appear to be very considerable. The seeds in substance, as met with in the shops, have little taste, and scarcely any smell, though described by authors as very hot and biting: extracts made from them, by water or spirit, are weakly bitterish and somewhat pungent. They seem to abound chiefly with a gross insipid oil, of the expressible kind; which is in part taken up by rectified spirit, and separates and falls to the bottom during the infpiffation of the tincture: the oily matter is of a deep saffron colour, the infpiffated extract somewhat paler.