Friday, 20 June 2014

Herbal therapy - Chaste tree berry (Vitex agnus-castus) and leukaemia

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,

Chemical constituents
1.  β-citronellol
2. Labdane-type diterpenoids,
3. Halimane-type diterpenoid,
4. Oleanane-type triterpenoids,
5. Ursane-type triterpenoids,
6. Sesquiterpenoid,
7.  Flavonoid
8. Viteagnusins C, D, E, F, G, and H
9. Abietane-type diterpenoids

Leukemia is defined as condition of abnormal increase of white blood cells produced by the bone marrow and/or the lymphatic system. Depending to the malignant granulocytes or lymphocytes, leukemia is classified into myelogenous or lymphoblastic leukemia.
Bone marrow is soft tissue inside the hollow center of major bone. including spine, pelvis, under arm, leg. etc.
Chaste tree berry may process an anti leukaemia effect. According to the Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Chaste tree berry extract inhibited HL60 liver cancer cell line through induced a dose- and time-dependent decrease in cell viability associated with induction of apoptosis and G2/M cell cycle arrest in a a dose- and time-dependent manner(1). Also on leukemia cell lines, HL-60 and U-937, extract from the ripe fruit of Vitex agnus-castus (Vitex), inhibited both cell lines through its cytotoxicity activity in dose depend manner(2).

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(1) Involvement of histone H3 phosphorylation via the activation of p38 MAPK pathway and intracellular redox status in cytotoxicity of HL-60 cells induced by Vitex agnus-castus fruit extract by chi H1, Yuan B1, Yuhara E1, Imai M1, Furutani R1, Fukushima S1, Hazama S1, Hirobe C2, Ohyama K1, Takagi N3, Toyoda H1.(PubMed)
(2) Cytotoxicity of Vitex agnus-castus fruit extract and its major component, casticin, correlates with differentiation status in leukemia cell lines by chi H1, Yuan B, Nishimura Y, Imai M, Furutani R, Kamoi S, Seno M, Fukushima S, Hazama S, Hirobe C, Ohyama K, Hu XM, Takagi N, Hirano T, Toyoda H.(PubMed)

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