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Monday, 30 June 2014

The effects of Chaste tree berry (Vitex agnus-castus) on Hyperprolactinaemia

 Kyle J. Norton

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

Hyperproclinaemia is a condition with levels of prolactin in the blood that may disrupt the normal menstrual period in women.
Vitex agnus-castus L. (chaste tree; chasteberry) has long been sued in herbal medicine for treatment, predominantly in wide range of female reproductive conditions. According to the 1Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology-University, Bundoora, there are some reports of the herb in reducing TRH-stimulated prolactin secretion, normalising a shortened luteal phase, increasing mid-luteal progesterone and 17β-oestradiol levels of which comparable to bromocriptine for reducing serum prolactin levels and ameliorating cyclic mastalgia(1). The study in monitoring the prolactin release 15 and 30 min after i.v. injection of 200 micrograms TRH. 37 complete case reports (placebo: n = 20, verum: n = 17) after 3 month of therapy, indicated that the herb did not change with the exception of 17 beta-estradiol which rouse up in the luteal phase in patients receiving verum with no adverse effect(2).

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References
(1) Vitex agnus-castus extracts for female reproductive disorders: a systematic review of clinical trials by van Die MD1, Burger HG, Teede HJ, Bone KM.(PubMed)
(2) [Vitex agnus castus extract in the treatment of luteal phase defects due to latent hyperprolactinemia. Results of a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study].[Article in German] by Milewicz A1, Gejdel E, Sworen H, Sienkiewicz K, Jedrzejak J, Teucher T, Schmitz H.(PubMed)