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Monday, 23 June 2014

Herbal therapy - Chaste tree berry (Vitex agnus-castus) Anti Cancer Effects

Chaste tree berry is a species of Vitex agnus-castus, genus Vitex, belonging to the family Lamiaceae, native to the Mediterranean region, used in herbal medicine for thousands of year as anaphrodisiac herb. It is considered as a Queen herb in treating menstrual problems and discomforts by taking it in a prolonged period of time. There was report that 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

Cancer is a class of diseases in which a group of cells growing and multiplying disordered and uncontrollable way in our body, have become progressively worse and damaged other healthy tissues, sometimes spreads to other organs in the body via lymph or blood and results may be in death.

In human uterine cervical canal fibroblast (HCF), human embryo fibroblast (HE-21), ovarian cancer (MCF-7), cervical carcinoma (SKG-3a), breast carcinoma (SKOV-3), gastric signet ring carcinoma (KATO-III), colon carcinoma (COLO 201), and small cell lung carcinoma (Lu-134-A-H) cells, crude extract prepared with ethanol from dried ripened Vitex agnus-castus fruits, inhibited SKOV-3, KATO-III, COLO 201, and Lu-134-A-H cell lines through  its cytotoxic activity and apoptosis(1).
In a human gastric signet ring carcinoma cell line, KATO-III, according to Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Science, ethanol extract of the dried ripe fruit of Vitex agnus-castus (Vitex) also displayed cytotoxic activity through intracellular oxidative stress and mitochondrial membrane damage(2).  In prostate epithelial cell lines (BPH-1, LNCaP, PC-3), the Extracts of Vitex agnus-castus fruits (VACF), inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner(3).


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References
(1) Cytotoxicity and apoptotic inducibility of Vitex agnus-castus fruit extract in cultured human normal and cancer cells and effect on growth by Ohyama K1, Akaike T, Hirobe C, Yamakawa T.(PubMed)
(2) Human gastric signet ring carcinoma (KATO-III) cell apoptosis induced by Vitex agnus-castus fruit extract through intracellular oxidative stress by Ohyama K1, Akaike T, Imai M, Toyoda H, Hirobe C, Bessho T.(PubMed)
(3) A Vitex agnus-castus extract inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis in prostate epithelial cell lines by Weisskopf M1, Schaffner W, Jundt G, Sulser T, Wyler S, Tullberg-Reinert H.(PubMed)