Monday, 28 October 2013

Popular Herbs - @Chaste tree berry (Vitex agnus-castus)

Chaste tree berry is a species of Vitex agnus-castus, genus Vitex, belonging to the family Lamiaceae, native to the Mediterranean region. It has been used in herbal medicine for thousands of year as anaphrodisiac herb and is considered as Queen herb in treating menstrual problems and discomforts by taking it in a prolonged period of time. There was report that reports chaste tree berry stems and leaves used by women as bedding "to cool the heat of lust" during the time of the Thesmophoria,

Health Benefits of Chaste tree berry
1. Premenstrual syndrome
In the investigation of an extract of Vitex agnus castus and it effects in premenstrual syndrome found that 64 patients completed the study (31 vs. 33). All the 17 symptoms showed a significantly greater improvement with VAC than placebo (P < 0.05) except lower abdominal cramping (P > 0.05), according to the study of "Evaluating therapeutic effect in symptoms of moderate-to-severe premenstrual syndrome with Vitex agnus castus (BNO 1095) in Chinese women" by Ma L, Lin S, Chen R, Zhang Y, Chen F, Wang X.(1)

2. Hepatoprotective effects
In the evaluation of the antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects of the ethanol extract of Vitex glabrata (EEVG) found that EEVG possesses significant hepatoprotective activity, which may be mediated by the antioxidant mechanisms of its components, predominantly artemetin in in a CCl(4)-induced liver damage model in rats, according to the study of "Antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects of ethanol extract of Vitex glabrata on carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage in rats" by Sridevi VK, Chouhan HS, Singh NK, Singh SK.(2)

3. Late-perimenopausal women
In the observation of combination of Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort) and Vitex agnus-castus (chaste tree/berry) in the management of PMS-like symptoms typically attributed to menopause may be more related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) found that the combination showed significant reductions in the anxiety (p = 0.003) and hydration (p = 0.002) clusters, using paired-samples t tests. Results of trend analyses showed significant treatment group effects across the five phases for total PMS and all subscales, all in the clinically expected direction, according to the study of "Effects of a combination of Hypericum perforatum and Vitex agnus-castus on PMS-like symptoms in late-perimenopausal women: findings from a subpopulation analysis" by van Die MD, Bone KM, Burger HG, Reece JE, Teede HJ.(3)

4. Menopause-related complaints
In the administration of Vitex agnus-castus (Chaste-Tree/Berry) and it effects on menopause-related complaints found that evidence from rigorous randomized controlled trials is lacking for the individual herb in this context, emerging pharmacological evidence supports a role for V. agnus-castus in the alleviation of menopausal symptoms, according to the study of "Vitex agnus-castus (Chaste-Tree/Berry) in the treatment of menopause-related complaints" by van Die MD, Burger HG, Teede HJ, Bone KM.(4)

5. Womens' life cycle
In the investigation the efficacy of Chaste tree fruit (Vitex agnus) in the treatment of PMS, Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in the treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum and (Cimicifuga racemosa) in the treatment of menopausal hot flushes found that additional and more rigorous studies are warranted in order to support the efficacy and safety of these herbal remedies, according to "[Herbal medicine in womens' life cycle].[Article in Hebrew]" by Ben-Arye E, Oren A, Ben-Arie A.(5)

6. Extrogenic Effects
In the evaluation of a methanol extract of chaste-tree berry (Vitex agnus-castus L.) and it entrogenic effects found that Linoleic acid also stimulated mRNA ERbeta expression in T47D:A18 cells, PR expression in Ishikawa cells, but not AP activity in Ishikawa cells and suggested that linoleic acid from the fruits of Vitex agnus-castus can bind to estrogen receptors and induce certain estrogen inducible genes, according to the study of "Isolation of linoleic acid as an estrogenic compound from the fruits of Vitex agnus-castus L. (chaste-berry)" by Liu J, Burdette JE, Sun Y, Deng S, Schlecht SM, Zheng W, Nikolic D, Mahady G, van Breemen RB, Fong HH, Pezzuto JM, Bolton JL, Farnsworth NR.(6)

7. Prolactin levels
In the observetion of Agnus castus extract (BP1095E1) and it effects on prolactin secretion found that BP1095E1 significant increase with the lowest dose and a significant reduction with the highest dose. The results suggest effects of the special Agnus castus extract which are dependent on the dose administered and the initial level of prolactin concentration, according to "The effects of a special Agnus castus extract (BP1095E1) on prolactin secretion in healthy male subjects" by P.-G. Merz, C. Gorkow, A. Schrödter, S. Rietbrock, C. Sieder, D. Loew, J. S. E. Dericks-Tan*, H. D. Taubert(7)

8. Mastalgia
In the admintration of the fruit extract of Vitex Agnus castus L. and its effect in the management of mastalgia found that A. castus can be considered as an efficient alternative phytotherapeutic agent in the treatment of mastalgia, according to the study of "
Can Vitex Agnus Castus be Used for the Treatment of Mastalgia? What is the Current Evidence?" by A.R. Carmichael(8)

9. Etc.

Side Effects
1. It may cause allergic effect to certain people
2. Do not use the herb if you are pregnant or breast feeding without permission with related field specialist.
3. It may interact with other dopamine agonists or antagonists, according to the study of "Herbs commonly used by women: an evidence-based review" by Tesch BJ.(a)
4. Etc.

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