Thursday, 3 July 2014

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

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

Mastalgia is a condition of breast tenderness and pain come and gone with monthly periods.
Vitex agnus castus (VACS) extract in treatment phase lasted 3 consequent menstrual cycles (2 x 30 drops/day = 1.8 ml of VASC) or placebo in a double-blind, placebo controlled in two parallel groups (each 50 patients), showed to inbibit cyclical breast pain in women(1).  In support to the view, the study of Gynecology: select topics, indicated that chaste tree may attenuate the symptoms of mastalgia(2) such as premenstrual mastodynia(Breast pain)(3).

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(1) [Treatment of cyclical mastodynia using an extract of Vitex agnus castus: results of a double-blind comparison with a placebo].[Article in Czech by Halaska M1, Raus K, Bĕles P, Martan A, Paithner KG.(PubMed)
(2) Gynecology: select topics by Sidani M1, Campbell J.(PubMed)
(3) Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)--pharmacology and clinical indications by Wuttke W1, Jarry H, Christoffel V, Spengler B, Seidlová-Wuttke D.(PubMed)