Sunday, 6 July 2014

Chaste tree berry (Vitex agnus-castus) and Propionibacterium acne

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

Propionibacterium acne is a type of acne due to infection of  aerotolerant anaerobic, Gram-positive bacterium (rod) or as a result of chronic blepharitis and endophthalmitis.
Vitex agnus-castus has long been used for treatment of hormonally induced acne in herbal medicine(1) with mild or no adverse side effect(2). Vitex negundo, a five-leaved chaste tree extract, according to the study by the The Institute of Science, India,  showed a significant inhibition of lipase activity and number of P. acne(3).

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(1) The genus Vitex: A review by Rani A1, Sharma A2.(PubMed)
(2) Vitex agnus castus: a systematic review of adverse events by Daniele C1, Thompson Coon J, Pittler MH, Ernst E.(PubMed)
(3) Inhibition of Propionibacterium acnes lipase by extracts of Indian medicinal plants by Patil V1, Bandivadekar A, Debjani D.(PubMed)

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