Vitex agnus-castus,Chaste Berry,Phytoestrogens as Viable Option,Amphoteric remedy,famous Anaphrodisiac and PMS treatment,Fertility Supplements new choice for Women.

Contents

Research Update:Vitex agnus-castus,Chasteberry and Vitexin.:

Vitex Chaste Berry Vitex Agnus Castus Vitex Berry   Differential larvicidal efficacy of four species of Vitex against Culex quinquefasciatus larvae.:Parasitol Res. 2007 Aug 15;Kannathasan K, Senthilkumar A, Chandrasekaran M, Venkatesalu V.Department of Botany, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar, 608 002, Tamil Nadu, India, venkatesalu@yahoo.com.

 The early fourth instar larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus, reared in the laboratory were used for larvicidal assay with leaf extracts of Vitex negundo, Vitex trifolia, Vitex peduncularis and Vitex altissima. The methanol extracts of the four species possessed varying levels of larvicidal nature. The highest larvicidal activity was found with the extract of V. trifolia (LC(50) = 41.41 ppm) followed by V. peduncularis (LC(50) = 76.28 ppm), V. altissima (LC(50) = 128.04 ppm) and V. negundo (LC(50) = 212.57 ppm).

  Antioxidant activity of Vitex agnus-castus L. extracts.:Phytother Res. 2007 Jun 29; Sa?lam H, Pabu?cuo?lu A, K?v?ak B.Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ege University, Bornova 35100, &?zmir,Turkey.

 The ethanol, n-hexane and water extracts of Vitex agnus-castus L. leaves and fruits were screened for antioxidant activity. The antioxidant activity of plant extracts was determined by an improved assay based on the decolorization of the radical monocation of 2,2'-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS(.+)). The water and ethanol extracts showed stronger antioxidant activity than the n-hexane extracts.

  Phyto-Female Complex for the relief of hot flushes, night sweats and quality of sleep: randomized, controlled, double-blind pilot study.:Gynecol Endocrinol. 2007 Feb;23(2):117-22.Rotem C, Kaplan B.Felsenstein Medical Research Center, Beilinson Campus, Petah Tiqva, Israel.

 OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy and safety of the herbal formula Phyto-Female Complex (SupHerb, Netanya, Israel; ingredients: standardized extracts of black cohosh, dong quai, milk thistle, red clover, American ginseng, chaste-tree berry) for the relief of menopausal symptoms. METHODS: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 50 healthy pre and postmenopausal women, aged 44-65 years, to whom oral Phyto-Female Complex or matched placebo was prescribed twice daily for 3 months. A structured questionnaire on the frequency and intensity of menopausal symptoms was administered weekly from one week before throughout the 3-month treatment period, followed by biochemical tests, breast check, and transvaginal ultrasonography. RESULTS: The women receiving Phyto-Female Complex reported a significantly superior mean reduction in menopausal symptoms than the placebo group. The effect of treatment improvements in menopausal symptoms increased over time; by 3 months there was a 73% decrease in hot flushes and a 69% reduction of night sweats, accompanied by a decrease in their intensity and a significant benefit in terms of sleep quality. Hot flushes ceased completely in 47% of women in the study group compared with only 19% in the placebo group. There were no changes in findings on vaginal ultrasonography or levels of relevant hormones (estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone), liver enzymes or thyroid-stimulating hormone in either group. CONCLUSION: Phyto-Female Complex is safe and effective for the relief of hot flushes and sleep disturbances in pre- and postmenopausal women, at least for 3 months' use.

  Anti-nociceptive and anti-hyperprolactinemia activities of Fructus Viticis and its effective fractions and chemical constituents.:Phytomedicine. 2007 Mar 8;Hu Y, Xin HL, Zhang QY, Zheng HC, Rahman K, Qin LP.Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, 325 Guohe Road, Shanghai 200433, PR China.

 Vitex rotundifolia L. is widely distributed along the sea coast of China. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-nociceptive and anti-hyperprolactinemia activities of substances isolated from Fructus Viticis (the fruit of Vitex rotundifolia), which may be effective in the treatment of pre-menstrual symptoms, using acetic-acid-induced writhing and metoclopramide-dihydrochloride-induced hyperprolactinemia in mice. The fractions effective in terms of anti-nociceptive and anti-hyperprolactinemia activities were obtained from Fructus Viticis by elution through macro-porous resin, and polyamide and silica gel column chromatography. The standardization of the fractions obtained from the separation procedures was carried out by means of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-fingerprint. In this study, the flavone-enriched fraction (Fraction 6) showed a higher inhibitory rate than indomethacin (69.4% vs. 56.4%) at a dose of 50mg/kg body wt., and significantly reduced the prolactin level as compared to HPRL-treated mice (8.2ng/ml vs. 25.5ng/ml). Furthermore, this fraction showed anti-nociceptive activity in a dose-dependent manner (10-50mg/kg body wt., i.g.). On further purification with silica gel, Casticin was isolated from this fraction and it decreased abnormal serum levels of prolactin by approximately 50% (p<0.01). Using bioassay-screening methods, our results indicate that the presence of flavonoids such as Casticin in this plant may be responsible for the activity effects. Casticin has potent analgesic and anti-hyperprolactinaemia properties, is likely to be one of the active components of Fructus Viticis, and may have a role in treating PMS (premenstrual syndrom).

  Diterpenoids and flavonoids from the fruits of Vitex agnus-castus and antioxidant activity of the fruit extracts and their constituents.:Phytother Res. 2007 Apr;21(4):391-4. Hajdú Z, Hohmann J, Forgo P, Martinek T, Dervarics M, Zupkó I, Falkay G, Cossuta D, Máthé I.Department of Pharmacognosy, University of Szeged, H-6720 Szeged, Hungary.

 From the n-hexane fraction of the fruits of Vitex agnus-castus, two labdane-type diterpenes, vitetrifolin B and C, were isolated by means of multiple chromatographic separations, together with the previously identified rotundifuran, vitexilactone and the sesquiterpene spathulenol. From the EtOAc fraction, eupatorin was identified for the first time, besides the known casticin, penduletin, vitexin and orientin. The n-hexane, EtOAc and MeOH-H(2)O fractions of the MeOH extract of Agni-casti fructus were subjected to in vitro antioxidant assays. The EtOAc extract displayed a significant concentration-dependent effect when tested by 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrasyl (DPPH) free radical assay (IC(50) = 68 microg/mL) and against the autooxidation of a standard rat brain homogenate (IC(50) = 14 microg/mL). The MeOH-H(2)O fraction was less active with 3643 microg/mL (DPPH test) and IC(50) = 125 microg/mL (rat brain homogenate), while the n-hexane phase proved to be inactive. The main flavonoid constituents of the EtOAc extract, casticin, vitexin and orientin were assayed for antioxidant activity and found that only casticin possesses a marked lipid peroxidation inhibitory effect (IC(50) = 0.049 mm) compared with that of the positive control ascorbic acid (IC(50) = 0.703 mm).
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  Comparative evaluation of wound healing potency of Vitex trifolia L. and Vitex altissima L.:Phytother Res. 2007 May;21(5):457-61.Manjunatha BK, Vidya SM, Krishna V, Mankani KL, Singh SD, Manohara YN.Department of Botany, S.R.N.M.N. College of Applied Sciences, Shimoga, Karnataka, India. doctor_bkm@yahoo.com

 The wound healing potency of ethanol leaf extracts of V. trifolia L. and V. altissima L. was evaluated in excision, incision and dead space wound models. Both plants were found to possess significant wound healing activity which was evidenced by a decrease in the period of epithelialization, an increase in the rate of wound contraction, skin breaking strength, granulation tissue dry weight, hydroxyproline content and breaking strength of granulation tissue. Histopathological study of the granulation tissue also showed an increased collagenation when compared with the control group of animals. Of the two extracts, the ethanol leaf extract of V. trifolia showed maximum wound healing activity compared with the leaf extract of V. altissima. However, on comparison with the control group, both leaf extracts were found to possess significant wound healing potency.

  Double-blind, placebo-controlled study of Fertilityblend: a nutritional supplement for improving fertility in women.:Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 2006;33(4):205-8.Westphal LM, Polan ML, Trant AS.Department of Gynecology/Obstetrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

 PURPOSE: To determine the impact of nutritional supplementation on female fertility. METHODS: A double blind, placebo-controlled study of the effects of FertilityBlend for Women, a proprietary nutritional supplement containing chasteberry, green tea, L-arginine, vitamins (including folate) and minerals, on progesterone level, basal body temperature, menstrual cycle length, pregnancy rate and side-effects. RESULTS: Ninety-three (93) women, aged 24-42 years, who had tried unsuccessfully to conceive for six to 36 months, completed the study. After three months, the FertilityBlend (FB) group (N = 53) demonstrated a trend toward increased mean mid-luteal progesterone (P(ml)), but among women with basal pretreatment P(ml) < 9 ng/ml, the increase in progesterone was highly significant. The average number of days with luteal-phase basal temperatures over 98 degrees F increased significantly in the FB group. Both short and long cycles (< 27 days or > 32 days pretreatment) were normalized in the FB group. The placebo group (N = 40) did not show any significant changes in these parameters. After three months, 14 of the 53 women in the FB group were pregnant (26%) compared to four of the 40 women in the placebo group (10%; p = 0.01). Three additional women conceived after six months on FB (32%). No significant side-effects were noted. CONCLUSION: Nutritional supplements could provide an alternative or adjunct to conventional fertility therapies.

  Activation of the mu-opiate receptor by Vitex agnus-castus methanol extracts: implication for its use in PMS.:J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Jun 30;106(2):216-21. Epub 2006 Jan 24.Webster DE, Lu J, Chen SN, Farnsworth NR, Wang ZJ.Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, 833 South Woods Street, Room 335, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.

 The dried ripe fruit of Vitex agnus-castus L. (VAC) is widely used for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). A previous study reported that extracts of VAC showed affinity to opiate receptors; however, functional activity was not determined. We tested two different VAC extracts in receptor binding and functional assays. Our objectives were: (1) to confirm the opiate affinity; (2) to rule out interference by free fatty acids (FFA); (3) to determine the mode of action of VAC at the mu-opiate receptor. Methanol extracts of VAC were prepared either before (VAC-M1) or after (VAC-M2) extraction with petroleum ether to remove fatty acids. Both extracts showed significant affinities to the mu-opiate receptor, as indicated by the concentration-dependent displacement of [3H]DAMGO binding in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO)-human mu-opiate receptor (hMOR) cells. The IC50 values were estimated to be 159.8 microg/ml (VAC-M1) and 69.5 microg/ml (VAC-M2). Since the defatted extract not only retained, but exhibited a higher affinity (p<0.001), it argued against significant interference by fatty acids. In an assay to determine receptor activation, VAC-M1 and VAC-M2 stimulated [35S]GTPgammaS binding by 41 and 61% (p<0.001), respectively. These results suggested for the first time that VAC acted as an agonist at the mu-opiate receptor, supporting its beneficial action in PMS.

  A Vitex agnus-castus extract inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis in prostate epithelial cell lines.:Planta Med. 2005 Oct;71(10):910-6.Weisskopf M, Schaffner W, Jundt G, Sulser T, Wyler S, Tullberg-Reinert H. Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology, University of Basel, Sch?nbeinstrasse 40, 4003 Basel, Switzerland.

 Extracts of Vitex agnus-castus fruits (VACF) are described to have beneficial effects on disorders related to hyperprolactinemia (cycle disorders, premenstrual syndrome). A VACF extract has recently been shown to exhibit antitumor activities in different human cancer cell lines. In the present study, we explored the antiproliferative effects of a VACF extract with a particular focus on apoptosis-inducing and potential cytotoxic effects. Three different human prostate epithelial cell lines (BPH-1, LNCaP, PC-3) representing different disease stages and androgen responsiveness were chosen. The action of VACF on cell viability was assessed using the WST-8-tetrazolium assay. Cell proliferation in cells receiving VACF alone or in combination with a pan-caspase inhibitor (Z-VAD-fmk) was quantified using a Crystal Violet assay. Flow cytometric cell cycle analysis and measurement of DNA fragmentation using an ELISA method were used for studying the induction of apoptosis. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity was determined as a marker of cytotoxicity. The extract inhibited proliferation of all three cell lines in a concentration-dependent manner with IC (50) values below 10 microg/mL after treatment for 48 h. Cell cycle analysis and DNA fragmentation assays suggest that part of the cells were undergoing apoptosis. The VACF-induced decrease in cell number was partially inhibited by Z-VAD-fmk, indicating a caspase-dependent apoptotic cell death. However, the concentration-dependent LDH activity of VACF treated cells indicated cytotoxic effects as well. These data suggest that VACF contains components that inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis in human prostate epithelial cell lines. The extract may be useful for the prevention and/or treatment not only of benign prostatic hyperplasia but also of human prostate cancer.

  Chasteberry.:Am Fam Physician. 2005 Sep 1;72(5):821-4. Review.Roemheld-Hamm B.Department of Family Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, USA. hammbr@umdnj.edu

 For centuries, chasteberry has been used to treat many hormone-related gynecologic conditions. The current literature supports the use of chasteberry for cyclical breast discomfort and premenstrual syndrome; data on its use for menstrual irregularities and fertility disorders are weak. Its traditional use as a galactagogue (i.e., a substance that enhances breast milk production) is not well supported in the literature and should be discouraged. There are no clinical data to support the use of chasteberry for reducing sexual desire, which has been a traditional application. Chasteberry is well tolerated; reported adverse effects are minor and may include gastrointestinal complaints, dizziness, and dry mouth. No herb-drug interactions have been reported, but caution is advised for its concomitant use with dopamine agonists or antagonists. Optimal standardization and dosing recommendations await clarification in clinical studies.
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  Vitex agnus-castus is a preferred host plant for Hyalesthes obsoletus.:J Chem Ecol. 2005 May;31(5):1051-63.Sharon R, Soroker V, Wesley SD, Zahavi T, Harari A, Weintraub PG.Northern Research and Development, Kiryat Sh 'mona, Israel.

 Hyalesthes obsoletus Signoret (Homoptera: Cixiidae) is a polyphagous planthopper that transmits stolbur phytoplasma (a causative agent of "yellows" disease) to various weeds, members of the Solanaceae, and wine grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) in Europe and the Middle East. Planthoppers were collected by hand vacuuming eight native plant species. Vitex agnus-castus L., a shrub in the Verbenaceae, hosted the largest number of H. obsoletus, although Olea europaea L. also served as a host for adults. Using a Y-olfactometer, we compared the planthoppers relative preference for V. agnus-castus, Convolvulus arvensis, and V. vinifera. V. agnus-castus was more attractive to both male and female H. obsoletus than the other plants. H. obsoletus antennal response was stronger to volatiles collected from V. agnuscastus than from Cabernet Sauvignon variety of V. vinifera. To determine if V. agnus-castus would serve as a reservoir for the pathogen, H. obsoletus were collected from leaf and stem samples of native V. agnus-castus, and were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of phytoplasma DNA. While 14% and 25% (2003 and 2004, respectively) of the insects tested positive for phytoplasma DNA, none of the plant samples tested positive. To determine if V. agnus-castus could serve as a host plant for the development of the planthopper, we placed emergence cages beneath field shrubs and enclosed wild-caught H. obsoletus in a cage with a potted young shrub. We found adult H. obsoletus in the emergence cases and planthopper nymphs in the soil of the potted plant. We concluded that V. agnus-castus is attractive to H. obsoletus, which seems to be refractory to phytoplasma infections and warrants further testing as a trap plant near vineyards.

  Flavonoids from Vitex trifolia L. inhibit cell cycle progression at G2/M phase and induce apoptosis in mammalian cancer cells.:J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2005 Aug;7(4):615-26.Li WX, Cui CB, Cai B, Wang HY, Yao XS. Tianjin Institute for Biomedicinal Research, Tianjin 300384, China.

 Six flavonoids, persicogenin (1), artemetin (2), luteolin (3), penduletin (4), vitexicarpin (5) and chrysosplenol-D (6), have been isolated for the first time as new cell cycle inhibitors from Vitex trifolia L., a Chinese folk medicine used to treat cancers, through a bioassay-guided separation procedure. They were identified by spectroscopic methods. The inhibitory effects of 1-6 on the proliferation of mammalian cancer cells have been evaluated by the SRB (sulforhodamine B) method and their effects on cell cycle and apoptosis investigated by flow cytometry with the morphological observation under light microscope and by agarose-gel electrophoresis to detect internucleosomal DNA fragmentation. Compounds 1-6 inhibited the proliferation of mouse tsFT210 cancer cells with the IC50s (microg ml(-1)) > 100 (inhibition rate at 100 microg ml(-1), 47.9%) for 1, >100 (inhibition rate at 100 microg ml(-1), 49.6 %) for 2, 10.7 for 3, 19.8 for 4, 0.3 for 5, and 3.5 for 6. Flow cytometric investigations for 1-6 demonstrated that 1-5 mainly inhibited cell cycle at the G2/M phase in a dose-dependent manner with a weak induction of apoptosis on the tsFT210 cells, while 6 induced mainly apoptosis of the same tsFT210 cells also in a dose-dependent manner together with a weak inhibition of the cell cycle at the G0/G1 and G2/M phases, demonstrating that 1-6 exert their anti-proliferative effect on tsFT210 cells through inhibiting cell cycle and inducing apoptosis. In contrast to the cell cycle G2/M phase inhibitory main effect on tsFT210 cells, 5 induced mainly apoptosis on human myeloid leukemia K562 cells with a weak inhibition of the cell cycle at the G2/M phase. The present result provides flavonoids 1-6 as new cell cycle inhibitors and 1 and 4 as new anticancer flavonoids, which not only provide the first example of cell cycle G2/M phase inhibitory and apoptosis-inducing constituents of V. trifolia L. but also explain the use of Vitex trifolia L. by Chinese people to treat cancers.

  Vitexicarpin, a flavonoid from Vitex trifolia L., induces apoptosis in K562 cells via mitochondria-controlled apoptotic pathway.:Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2005 Jan;40(1):27-31. Chinese.Wang HY, Cai B, Cui CB, Zhang DY, Yang BF.Tianjin Institute for Biomedicinal Research, Tianjin 300384, China.

 AIM: To investigate the inhibitory effect of vitexicarpin on the proliferation of human cancer cells and its mechanism of action. METHODS: The inhibitory effect of vitexicarpin on the proliferation of human cancer cells was evaluated by the SRB method and its apoptosis-inducing effect was demonstrated by morphological observation under light microscope, flow cytometric analysis and agarose gel electrophoresis. The proteins related to apoptosis were examined by Western blotting analysis. RESULTS: Vitexicarpin significantly inhibited the proliferation of human cancer cells, A2780, HCT-15, HT-1080 and K562, with the IC50 values of (19.1 +/- 2.4) micromol x L(-1) for A2780(48 h), (0.66 +/- 0.10) micromol x L(-1) for HCT-15(48 h), (0.44 +/- 0.06) micromol x L(-1) for HT-1080 (48 h) and (0.28 +/- 0.14) micromol x L(-1) for K562 (24 h). The cells treated with vitexicarpin showed characteristic morphology typical for apoptosis and gave dose-dependent sub-G0/G1 peak in the flow cytometric analysis and DNA ladder on agarose gel electrophoresis. In Western blotting analysis, the cleavage of PARP and caspase-3, the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria into the cytosol, the decrease of Bcl-2 expression level, and the down-regulation of the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax expression level were examined in the K562 cells treated with vitexicarpin. CONCLUSION: Vitexicarpin induces apoptosis in K562 cells via mitochondria-controlled apoptotic pathway.

  Human gastric signet ring carcinoma (KATO-III) cell apoptosis induced by Vitex agnus-castus fruit extract through intracellular oxidative stress.:Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2005 Jul;37(7):1496-510.

 We have previously reported that an ethanol extract of the dried ripe fruit of Vitex agnus-castus (Vitex) displays cytotoxic activity against certain kinds of human cancer cell line resulting in the induction of apoptosis. In this paper, we investigate the molecular mechanism of apoptosis induced by Vitex using a human gastric signet ring carcinoma cell line, KATO-III. DNA fragmentation was observed in Vitex-treated KATO-III cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. DNA fragmentation was accompanied by the following phenomena: elevation in the level of hemeoxygenase-1 protein and thioredoxin reductase mRNA; repression of Mn-superoxide dismutase and catalase mRNAs; release of cytochrome c from mitochondria into the cytosol; activation of caspases-8, -9 and -3; decrease in the level of Bcl-2, Bcl-XL and Bid protein; increase in the level of Bad protein. The intracellular oxidized state, measured using 2',7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate, increased after Vitex treatment. While the amount of intracellular GSH decreased significantly after treatment with Vitex, the level of GSSG was unaffected. Furthermore, no significant perturbation in the amount of proteins/mRNAs related to glutathione metabolism could be detected. These apoptotic alterations induced by exposure to Vitex were blocked by the presence of an anti-oxidative reagent, N-acetyl-l-cysteine, or the addition of exogenous GSH. Our results demonstrate that intracellular oxidative stress and mitochondrial membrane damage is responsible for Vitex-induced apoptosis, which may be mediated by a diminution of reduced type glutathione within the cell.

  Phenolic compounds and flavonoids as plant growth regulators from fruit and leaf of Vitex rotundifolia.:Z Naturforsch [C]. 2004 Jul-Aug;59(7-8):509-14.

 Five phenolic compounds, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid methyl ester (1), vanillic acid methyl ester (2), 4-hydroxy benzaldehyde (3), 4-hydroxybenzoic acid (4) and ferulic acid (5), and four flavonoids, 5,5'-dihydroxy-4',6,7-trimethoxyflavanone (6), luteolin (7), vitexicarpin (8) and artemetin (9), were isolated from fruits and leaves of Vitex rotundifolia L. The biological activities of these nine compounds have been examined using a bioassay with lettuce seedlings.
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  Vitex agnus castus: a systematic review of adverse events.:Drug Saf. 2005;28(4):319-32. Review.Daniele C, Thompson Coon J, Pittler MH, Ernst E.Department of Pharmacology of Natural Substances and General Physiology, University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.

 Vitex agnus castus L. (VAC) [Verbenaceae] is a deciduous shrub that is native to Mediterranean Europe and Central Asia. Traditionally, VAC fruit extract has been used in the treatment of many female conditions, including menstrual disorders (amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), corpus luteum insufficiency, hyperprolactinaemia, infertility, acne, menopause and disrupted lactation. The German Commission E has approved the use of VAC for irregularities of the menstrual cycle, premenstrual disturbances and mastodynia. Clinical reviews are available for the efficacy of VAC in PMS, cycle disorders, hyperprolactinaemia and mastalgia, but so far no systematic review has been published on adverse events or drug interactions associated with VAC. Therefore, this review was conducted to evaluate all the available human safety data of VAC monopreparations. Literature searches were conducted in six electronic databases, in references lists of all identified papers and in departmental files. Data from spontaneous reporting schemes of the WHO and national drug safety bodies were also included. Twelve manufacturers of VAC-containing preparations and five herbalist organisations were contacted for additional information. No language restrictions were imposed. Combination preparations including VAC or homeopathic preparations of VAC were excluded. Data extraction of key data from all articles reporting adverse events or interactions was performed independently by at least two reviewers, regardless of study design. Data from clinical trials, postmarketing surveillance studies, surveys, spontaneous reporting schemes, manufacturers and herbalist organisations indicate that the adverse events following VAC treatment are mild and reversible. The most frequent adverse events are nausea, headache, gastrointestinal disturbances, menstrual disorders, acne, pruritus and erythematous rash. No drug interactions were reported. Use of VAC should be avoided during pregnancy or lactation. Theoretically, VAC might also interfere with dopaminergic antagonists. Although further rigorous studies are needed to assess the safety of VAC, the data available seem to indicate that VAC is a safe herbal medicine.

  Antitoxin activity of plants used in Mexican traditional medicine against scorpion poisoning.:Phytomedicine. 2005 Jan;12(1-2):116-22.Jiménez-Ferrer JE, Pérez-Terán YY, Román-Ramos R, Tortoriello J.Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), Centro de Investigación Biomèdica del Sur, Argentina 1, 62790 Xochitepec, Morelos, México.

 Scorpions, especially in urban areas of tropical and subtropical regions, present a common risk of poisoning. In Mexico, scorpion envenomation is considered a public health problem. Despite the frequency of scorpion sting cases, there are to date no uniform criteria for their treatment. In Mexican traditional medicine, different plant species have been widely used as a remedy for treating scorpion poisoning. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of Bouvardia ternifolia, Aristolochia elegans and Vitex mollis extracts on Centruroides limpidus limpidus venom lethality in mice, and to determine their antagonist activity on guinea pig ileum. The hexane and methanol extract from B. ternifolia modified the LD50 of C. limpidus limpidus venom from 0.750 +/- 0.08 to 1.64 +/- 0.19 and 1.16 +/- 0.14 mg/kg, respectively. The extracts of A. elegans produced lower antitoxic activity, while extracts of V. mollis did not show any protection. On in vitro test, addition of B. ternifolia and A. elegans extracts strongly inhibited, in a concentration-dependent manner, the ileum contractions induced by venom. In general, the results demonstrated the effectiveness of these two plant species in modifying the lethality of C. limpidus limpidus venom in mice.

  Extract of the seeds of the plant Vitex agnus castus proven to be highly efficacious as a repellent against ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and biting flies.:Parasitol Res. 2005 Mar;95(5):363-5. Epub 2005 Jan 29. Mehlhorn H, Schmahl G, Schmidt J.Department of Cytology, Zoomorphology and Parasitology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany. mehlhorn@uni-duesseldorf.de

 About 70 plant extracts were tested for their ability to repel the attacks of blood-sucking arthropods. It was found that a CO2 extract of the seeds of the Mediterranean plant Vitex agnus castus (monk's pepper) can be used as a spray to keep away especially Ixodes ricinus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks from animals and humans for at least 6 h. In addition mosquitoes, biting flies and fleas are also repelled for about 6 h.

  Labdane-type diterpenes as new cell cycle inhibitors and apoptosis inducers from Vitex trifolia L.:J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2005 Apr;7(2):95-105.Li WX, Cui CB, Cai B, Yao XS.Tianjin Institute for Biomedical Research (TIBiR), Tianjin 300384, China.

 Five labdane-type diterpenes, vitexilactone (1), (rel 5S,6R,8R,9R,10S)-6-acetoxy-9-hydroxy-13(14)-labden-16,15-olide (2), rotundifuran (3), vitetrifolin D (4), and vitetrifolin E (5), have been isolated from Vitex trifolia L., a Chinese folk medicine used to treat cancers, as new cell cycle inhibitors and apoptosis inducers through a bioassay-guided separation procedure and were identified by spectroscopic methods. Compounds 1-5 dramatically induced apoptosis both on tsFT210 and K562 cells at higher concentrations while at lower concentrations they inhibited the cell cycle progression of both tsFT210 and K562 cells at the G0/G1 phase. MIC values for 1-5 for inducing apoptosis and concentration regions for 1-5 for inhibiting cell cycle both on tsFT210 and K562 cells have also been determined. Furthermore, the inhibitory effects of 1-5 on the proliferation of tsFT210 and K562 cells have been evaluated by MTT assay to obtain IC50 values to confirm that 1-5 are anticancer components of Vitex trifolia L., which exert their anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells through inducing apoptosis and inhibiting the cell cycle. The present results provide labdane-type diterpenes, 1-5, as a new class of cell cycle inhibitors and compounds 1, 2, 4, and 5 as new apoptosis inducers, which also explains, for the first time, the usage of Vitex trifolia L. by Chinese people to treat cancers.

  New norditerpenoids with trypanocidal activity from Vitex trifolia.:Chem Pharm Bull. 2004 Dec;52(12):1492-4.

 Trypanocidal constituents of the fruits of Vitex trifolia were investigated. Activity-guided isolation of the acetone extract resulted in the isolation of two new norditerpene aldehydes, 1 and 2, together with five known diterpenes: vitexifolin E (3), vitexifolin F (4), vitexilactone (5), 6-acetoxy-9-hydroxy-13(14)-labden-16,15-olide (6), and previtexilactone (7). In vitro minimum lethal concentrations of the isolated compounds against epimastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi were 11 microM (1), 36 microM (2), 34 microM (3), 34 microM (4), 66 microM (5), 66 microM (6), and >265 microM (7).
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  G2-M arrest and antimitotic activity mediated by casticin, a flavonoid isolated from Viticis Fructus (Vitex rotundifolia Linne fil.).:Cancer Lett. 2004 May 10;208(1):59-64.

 Flavonoids are distributed in many plants. We studied the antitumor effects of flavonoids isolated from Viticis Fructus, casticin, artemetin, quercetagetin and 5,3'-dihydroxy-6,7,4' -trimethoxyflavanone. Casticin inhibited the growth of KB cells markedly (IC(50)=0.23 microM), compared with the other flavonoids tested (IC(50)=15.3-18.6 microM). In contrast, casticin did not inhibit the proliferation of A431 cells similar to normal cell lines, 3T3 Swiss Albino and TIG-103. Flow cytometric analyses revealed that the exposure of KB cells to casticin led to significant arrest at G2-M. In immunostaining of KB cells, casticin disrupted mitotic spindles. These results suggest that G2-M arrest by casticin may be relevant to its antimitotic activity, although the mechanism of selective growth inhibition has been unknown. Further examinations are required to confirm that casticin is an antitumor drug for specific cancers with low toxicity.

  Isolation of linoleic acid as an estrogenic compound from the fruits of Vitex agnus-castus L. (chaste-berry).:Phytomedicine. 2004 Jan;11(1):18-23.Liu J, Burdette JE, Sun Y, Deng S, Schlecht SM, Zheng W, Nikolic D, Mahady G, van Breemen RB, Fong HH, Pezzuto JM, Bolton JL, Farnsworth NR.Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.

 A methanol extract of chaste-tree berry (Vitex agnus-castus L.) was tested for its ability to displace radiolabeled estradiol from the binding site of estrogen receptors alpha (ERalpha) and beta (ERbeta). The extract at 46 +/- 3 microg/ml displaced 50% of estradiol from ERalpha and 64 +/- 4 microg/ml from ERbeta. Treatment of the ER+ hormone-dependent T47D:A18 breast cancer cell line with the extract induced up-regulation of ERbeta mRNA. Progesterone receptor (PR) mRNA was upregulated in the Ishikawa endometrial cancer cell line. However, chaste-tree berry extract did not induce estrogen-dependent alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity in Ishikawa cells. Bioassay-guided isolation, utilizing ER binding as a monitor, resulted in the isolation of linoleic acid as one possible estrogenic component of the extract. The use of pulsed ultrafiltration liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, which is an affinity-based screening technique, also identified linoleic acid as an ER ligand based on its selective affinity, molecular weight, and retention time. Linoleic acid also stimulated mRNA ERbeta expression in T47D:A18 cells, PR expression in Ishikawa cells, but not AP activity in Ishikawa cells. These data suggest that linoleic acid from the fruits of Vitex agnus-castus can bind to estrogen receptors and induce certain estrogen inducible genes.

  Reproduction in male rats is vulnerable to treatment with the flavonoid-rich seed extracts of Vitex negundo.:Phytother Res. 2004 Jan;18(1):8-13.Das S, Parveen S, Kundra CP, Pereira BM.Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee - 247 667, Uttaranchal, India.

 A partially purified flavonoid-rich extract was prepared from the seed of Vitex negundo. The effect of this extract on the reproductive system of male rats was investigated at four different concentrations. All the major accessory sex organs shed weight when the preparation was administered at doses of >or=15 mg/rat/day after 15 days of treatment. The drop in weight was also reflected in disturbed tissue biochemistry. Secretory products such as citric acid in the prostate, fructose in seminal vesicles and epididymal alpha-glucosidase activity, indices of accessory sex organ function in males, diminished. Microscopic examination of the sperm derived from the cauda epididymides of treated animals showed only a marginal change in vitality. However, sperm numbers dwindled and slackness in their motility was observed, factors that may impede fertility. Toxicity testing in blood did not point to distress in any of the vital organs. Taken together, it is inferred that the seed extracts of V. negundo interfere with male reproductive function without producing adverse toxicity in other vital organs.

  Treatment of cyclical mastalgia with a solution containing a Vitex agnus castus extract: results of a placebo-controlled double-blind study.:Breast. 1999 Aug;8(4):175-81.Halaska M, Beles P, Gorkow C, Sieder C.Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Charles University of Prague, U Nemocnice 2, 128 00 Praha 2, Czech Republic.

 In a placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind study the efficacy of a Vitex agnus castus extract-containing solution (VACS) was investigated in patients suffering from cyclical mastalgia. Patients had mastalgia on at least 5 days in the pre-treatment cycle. During this cycle and during treatment (3 cycles; 2 x 30 drops/day), the intensity of mastalgia was recorded once per cycle using a visual analogue scale (VAS). After one/two treatment cycles, the mean decrease in pain intensity (mm, VAS) was 21.4 mm /33.7 mm in women taking VACS (n=48) and 10.6 mm/20.3 mm with placebo (n=49). The differences of the VAS-values for VACS were significantly greater than those with placebo (p=0.018; p=0.006). After three cycles, the mean VAS-score reduction for women taking VACS was 34.3 mm, a reduction of 'borderline significance' (p=0.064) on statistical testing compared with placebo (25.7 mm). There was no difference in the frequency of adverse events between both groups (VACS: n=5; placebo : n=4). VACS appears effective and was well tolerated and further evaluation of this agent in the treatment of cyclical mastalgia is warranted.

  Evidence for estrogen receptor beta-selective activity of Vitex agnus-castus and isolated flavones.:Planta Med. 2003 Oct;69(10):945-7.Jarry H, Spengler B, Porzel A, Schmidt J, Wuttke W, Christoffel V.Klinische und Experimentelle Endokrinologie, Universit?tsfrauenklinik G?ttingen, G?ttingen, Germany. hubjarry@med.uni-goettingen.de

 Recent cell culture experiments indicated that extracts of Vitex agnus-castus (VAC) may contain yet unidentified phytoestrogens. Estrogenic actions are mediated via estrogen receptors (ER). To investigate whether VAC compounds bind to the currently known isoforms ERalpha or ERss, ligand binding assays (LBA) were performed. Subtype specific ER-LBA revealed a binding of VAC to ERss only. To isolate the ERss-selective compounds, the extract was fractionated by bio-guidance. The flavonoid apigenin was isolated and identified as the most active ERss-selective phytoestrogen in VAC. Other isolated compounds were vitexin and penduletin. These data demonstrate that the phytoestrogens in VAC are ERss-selective.
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  Glucosides from Vitex agnus-castus.:Phytochemistry. 2003 Aug;63(8):959-64.Kuruüzüm-Uz A, Str?ch K, Demirezer LO, Zeeck A.Hacettepe University, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacognosy, TR-06100 Ankara, Turkey. ayseuz@hacettepe.edu.tr

 The methanolic extract of the flowering stems of Vitex agnus-castus yielded three new iridoids: 6'-O-foliamenthoylmussaenosidic acid (agnucastoside A), 6'-O-(6,7-dihydrofoliamenthoyl)mussaenosidic acid (agnucastoside B) and 7-O-trans-p-coumaroyl-6'-O-trans-caffeoyl-8-epiloganic acid (agnucastoside C) in addition to four known iridoids (aucubin, agnuside, mussaenosidic acid and 6'-O-p-hydroxybenzoylmussaenosidic acid) and one known phenylbutanone glucoside (myzodendrone). The structure elucidations were mainly done by spectroscopic methods (1D and 2D NMR spectra) and MS data interpretation. The purified compounds were tested for biological activities against various microorganisms and cancer cell lines.

  Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of mature fresh leaves of Vitex negundo.:J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Aug;87(2-3):199-206.Dharmasiri MG, Jayakody JR, Galhena G, Liyanage SS, Ratnasooriya WD.Department of Zoology, University of Colombo, 3, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

 This study confirmed the oral anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antihistamine properties of mature fresh leaves (MFL) of Vitex negundo L. (Verbenaceae) claimed in the Ayurveda medicine by orally treating a water extract of the leaves to rats. The early phase (2h) of carrageenan-induced rat paw oedema was significantly (P<0.01) suppressed in an inversely does-dependent (r(2)=1, P<0.01) manner by MFL. The EC(50) was 2g/kg of MFL. In the formaldehyde-induced rat paw oedema test, the 2.5 and 5g/kg leaves significantly (P<0.05) suppressed the inflammation on days 4-6 of the test. In the hot plate test, 2.5 and 5g/kg of MFL showed a significant (P<0.05) and directly dose-dependent analgesic activity at 1h of treatment while the activity was absent in the tail flick test in rats. The EC(50) for the analgesic activity was 4.1g/kg. In the formalin test, 1.25, 2.5 and 5g/kg of MFL significantly (P<0.05) suppressed the pain in both the phases of the test like aspirin. The leaves showed an inversely dose-dependent in vivo antihistamine and in vitro prostaglandin (PG) synthesis inhibition, membrane stabilising and antioxidant activities. Naloxone did not abolish the analgesic activity in the hot plate test. A 5g/kg of MFL did not impair muscle strength and co-ordination and did not induce sedation. The treatment of 5g/kg of MFL did not show signs of acute toxicity or stress. Fourteen-day oral treatment of 5g/kg of MFL significantly increased the serum activity of AST. Flowering of the tree did not abolish the analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of the leaves. These observations revealed that the fresh leaves of Vitex negundo have anti-inflammatory and pain suppressing activities possibly mediated via PG synthesis inhibition, antihistamine, membrane stabilising and antioxidant activities. The antihistamine activity can produce the anti-itching effect claimed in Ayurveda medicine.

  Vitex agnus castus essential oil and menopausal balance: a research update [Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery 8 (2003) 148-154].:Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 2003 Aug;9(3):157-60.Chopin Lucks B.almasol@sopris.net

 The first trial of two essential oils (derived separately from leaf and fruit) of Vitex agnus castus for menopausal balance was conducted in the summer of 2000 by the author. Surveys completed by the 23 participants in that trial indicated strong symptomatic relief of common menopausal symptoms.(2) This research update details the result of the second round of trials, which were conducted in the summer of 2002 with 52 additional subjects under the supervision of 12 diverse health practitioners. The second trial appears to support the finding of the first trial, as well as identifying some important contraindications to use of the essential oil.

  Cytotoxic flavone analogues of vitexicarpin, a constituent of the leaves of Vitex negundo.:J Nat Prod. 2003 Jun;66(6):865-7.Díaz F, Chávez D, Lee D, Mi Q, Chai HB, Tan GT, Kardono LB, Riswan S, Fairchild CR, Wild R, Farnsworth NR, Cordell GA, Pezzuto JM, Kinghorn AD.Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences and Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.

 Bioassay-guided fractionation of the chloroform-soluble extract of the leaves of Vitex negundo led to the isolation of the known flavone vitexicarpin (1), which exhibited broad cytotoxicity in a human cancer cell line panel. In an attempt to increase the cytotoxic potency of 1, a series of acylation reactions was performed on this compound to obtain its methylated (2), acetylated (3), and six new acylated (4-9) derivatives. Compound 9, the previously unreported 5,3'-dihexanoyloxy-3,6,7,4'-tetramethoxyflavone, showed comparative cytotoxic potency to compound 1 and was selected for further evaluation. However, this compound was found to be inactive when evaluated in the in vivo hollow fiber assay with Lu1, KB, and LNCaP cells at the highest dose (40 mg/kg/body weight) tested, and in the in vivo P-388 leukemia model (135 mg/kg), using the ip administration route.

  Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)--pharmacology and clinical indications.:Phytomedicine. 2003 May;10(4):348-57. Review.Wuttke W, Jarry H, Christoffel V, Spengler B, Seidlová-Wuttke D.Department of Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology, University of G?ttingen, Germany. ufkendo@med.uni-goettingen.de

 Extracts of the fruits of chaste tree (Vitex agnus castus = AC) are widely used to treat premenstrual symptoms. Double-blind placebo-controlled studies indicate that one of the most common premenstrual symptoms, i.e. premenstrual mastodynia (mastalgia) is beneficially influenced by an AC extract. In addition, numerous less rigidly controlled studies indicate that AC extracts have also beneficial effects on other psychic and somatic symptoms of the PMS. Premenstrual mastodynia is most likely due to a latent hyperprolactinemia, i.e. patients release more than physiologic amounts of prolactin in response to stressful situations and during deep sleep phases which appear to stimulate the mammary gland. Premenstrually this unphysiological prolactin release is so high that the serum prolactin levels often approach heights which are misinterpreted as prolactinomas. Since AC extracts were shown to have beneficial effects on premenstrual mastodynia serum prolactin levels in such patients were also studied in one double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. Serum prolactin levels were indeed reduced in the patients treated with the extract. The search for the prolactin-suppressive principle(s) yielded a number of compounds with dopaminergic properties: they bound to recombinant DA2-receptor protein and suppressed prolactin release from cultivated lactotrophs as well as in animal experiments. The search for the chemical identity of the dopaminergic compounds resulted in isolation of a number of diterpenes of which some clerodadienols were most important for the prolactin-suppressive effects. They were almost identical in their prolactin-suppressive properties than dopamine itself. Hence, it is concluded that dopaminergic compounds present in Vitex agnus castus are clinically the important compounds which improve premenstrual mastodynia and possibly also other symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome.
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  An integrative medicine approach to premenstrual syndrome.:Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003 May;188(5 Suppl):S56-65. Review.Girman A, Lee R, Kligler B.Continuum Center for Health and Healing, New York, NY 10016, USA.

 Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches are widely used by women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). This article provides a comprehensive review of the medical literature on clinical applications of CAM for these conditions. The information was collected via a Medline review dating back to 1966 and subsequent selected review of bibliographies from these articles for non-Medline referenced but relevant clinical studies. For many of the therapies discussed, there is a lack of conclusive evidence either confirming or refuting efficacy. For other therapies, including certain herbal and nutritional approaches, the use of exercise, and the use of mind-body approaches, there is substantial evidence of efficacy. This review will be relevant to the practicing clinician seeking to become aware of and to understand the relevance of the complementary/alternative therapies being used by his/her patients for PMS and PMDD.

  Herbs commonly used by women: an evidence-based review.:Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003 May;188(5 Suppl):S44-55. Review.Tesch BJ.Division of General Internal Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 53226, USA.

 OBJECTIVE: To review the evidence of herbs commonly used by women. DATA SOURCES: Articles were located by searching Medline, Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, and the Combined Health Information Database and by hand searching the reference lists of recent systematic reviews. The databases were searched in January 2000 and October 2000 by using the Latin and common name of each herb. METHODS OF STUDY SELECTION: Preference was given to randomized, placebo-controlled trials. When available, English language studies were reviewed. If not, data are presented from review articles that summarize the foreign study. RESULTS: Many women use herbal therapies. In the United States, herbs are considered dietary supplements. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cannot remove them from the market unless they are proven unsafe. The herb industry plans to improve monitoring. Many prospective randomized controlled trials are being funded. Gingko biloba seems to slow the progression of dementia but increases the risk of bleeding. St John's Wort is efficacious for treating mild to moderate depression but has many drug interactions. Ginseng seems to improve well being in perimenopausal women, but it is often impure and has side effects and drug interactions. Garlic slightly lowers blood pressure and lipids. Echinacea slightly decreases the duration of colds but does not prevent them. Valerian is beneficial for insomnia, but there is no long-term safety data. Black cohosh may help the symptoms of perimenopause, and chasteberry may improve premenstrual syndrome. More study is needed on both herbs. CONCLUSION: Some herbs are medically useful, but the American public would benefit from increased regulation. Manufacturers should be able to ensure that herbs contain pure ingredients. Side effects and drug interactions should be listed. Well-designed studies are being conducted. The results will be helpful to physicians and patients when the clinical evidence becomes available.

  Fluoxetine versus Vitex agnus castus extract in the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder.:Hum Psychopharmacol. 2003 Apr;18(3):191-5.Atmaca M, Kumru S, Tezcan E.Firat University, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Elazig, Turkey. matmaca_p@yahoo.com

 Clinical trials have demonstrated that serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) and the extract of Vitex agnus castus are effective for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). However, to the best of our knowledge, there has been no study comparing the efficacy of the SRIs with Vitex agnus castus (AC) extract. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to compare the efficacy of fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), with that of the AC extract, a natural choice. After a period of 2 screening months to screen the patients for suitability, 41 patients with PMDD according to DSM-IV were recruited into the study. The patients were randomized to fluoxetine or AC for 2 months of single-blind, rater- blinded and prospective treatment period. The outcome measures included the Penn daily symptom report (DSR), the Hamilton depression rating scale (HAM-D), and the clinical global impression-severity of illness (CGI-SI) and -improvement (CGI-I) scales. At endpoint, using the clinical criterion for improvement, a similar percentage of patients responded to fluoxetine (68.4%, n = 13) and AC (57.9%, n = 11). There was no statistically significant difference between the groups with respect to the rate of responders. This preliminary study suggests that patients with PMDD respond well to treatment with both fluoxetine and AC. However, fluoxetine was more effective for psychological symptoms while the extract diminished the physical symptoms.

  A preliminary RAPD-PCR analysis of Cimicifuga species and other botanicals used for women's health.:Phytomedicine. 2002 Dec;9(8):757-62.Xu H, Fabricant DS, Piersen CE, Bolton JL, Pezzuto JM, Fong H, Totura S, Farnsworth NR, Constantinou AI.UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

 Traditional taxonomic methods of botanical identification that rely primarily on morphological observations cannot be used efficiently when only powdered plant materials are available. Thus, our objectives were to determine if we could apply a molecular approach to: a) produce unique DNA profiles that are characteristic of the species, and b) determine if the geographical area or time of collection influences these DNA profiles. Towards this end, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analyses were performed on a number of botanicals currently used for women's health. The test materials included samples from three species each of the genera Cimicifuga (Actaea) and Trifolium, as well as samples of Vitex agnus-castus L., Glycyrrhiza glabra L., Gingko biloba L., Valeriana officinalis L., Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels, Viburnum prunifolium L., Humulus lupulus L., Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait., Panax ginseng C.A. Mey. Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt. and Trifolium pratense L. are currently under clinical investigation in our basic research laboratories and medical clinic for the relief of post-menopausal symptoms. Characteristic profiles produced with the OPC-15 primer could distinguish the three Cimicifuga species: C. racemosa, C. americana and C. rubifolia. Similar results were obtained with the three Trifolium species: Trifolium pratense L., Trifolium incarnatum L., and Trifolium repens L. Accessions of cultivated T. pratense collected from the same field at different times, produced identical profiles. Accessions of Cimicifuga species collected from different geographical areas produced similar but not identical DNA profiles; however, species-specific DNA fragments were identified. These results demonstrate that RAPD analysis can be applied to distinguish species when only powdered material is available for testing. This methodology can be applied to identify species of commercial value regardless of collection time or geographic area.

  Herbs commonly used by women: an evidence-based review.:Dis Mon. 2002 Oct;48(10):671-96. Review.Tesch BJ.

 OBJECTIVE: To review the evidence of herbs commonly used by women. DATA SOURCES: Articles were located by searching Medline, Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, and the Combined Health Information Database and by hand searching the reference lists of recent systematic reviews. The databases were searched in January 2000 and October 2000 by using the Latin and common name of each herb. METHODS OF STUDY SELECTION: Preference was given to randomized, placebo-controlled trials. When available, English language studies were reviewed. If not, data are presented from review articles that summarize the foreign study. RESULTS: Many women use herbal therapies. In the United States, herbs are considered dietary supplements. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cannot remove them from the market unless they are proven unsafe. The herb industry plans to improve monitoring. Many prospective randomized controlled trials are being funded. Gingko biloba seems to slow the progression of dementia but increases the risk of bleeding. St John's Wort is efficacious for treating mild to moderate depression but has many drug interactions. Ginseng seems to improve well being in perimenopausal women, but it is often impure and has side effects and drug interactions. Garlic slightly lowers blood pressure and lipids. Echinacea slightly decreases the duration of colds but does not prevent them. Valerian is beneficial for insomnia, but there is no long-term safety data. Black cohosh may help the symptoms of perimenopause, and chasteberry may improve premenstrual syndrome. More study is needed on both herbs. CONCLUSION: Some herbs are medically useful, but the American public would benefit from increased regulation. Manufacturers should be able to ensure that herbs contain pure ingredients. Side effects and drug interactions should be listed. Well-designed studies are being conducted. The results will be helpful to physicians and patients when the clinical evidence becomes available.
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  Cytotoxicity and apoptotic inducibility of Vitex agnus-castus fruit extract in cultured human normal and cancer cells and effect on growth.:Biol Pharm Bull. 2003 Jan;26(1):10-8.

 A crude extract was prepared with ethanol from dried ripened Vitex agnus-castus fruits growing in Israel (Vitex extract). Cytotoxicity of the extract against 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 was examined. After culture for 24 h (logarithmic growth phase) or 72 h (stationary growth phase), the cells were treated with various concentrations of Vitex extract. In both growth phases, higher growth activity of cells and more cytotoxic activity of Vitex extract were seen. The cytotoxic activity against stationary growth-phase cells was less than that against logarithmic growth-phase cells. DNA fragmentation of Vitex extract-treated cells was seen in SKOV-3, KATO-III, COLO 201, and Lu-134-A-H cells. The DNA fragmentation in Vitex extract-treated KATO-III cells was inhibited by the presence of the antioxidative reagent pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate or N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC). Western blotting analysis showed that in Vitex extract-treated KATO-III cells, the presence of NAC also inhibited the expression of heme oxygenase-1 and the active forms of caspases-3, -8 and -9. It is concluded that the cytotoxic activity of Vitex extract may be attributed to the effect on cell growth, that cell death occurs through apoptosis, and that this apoptotic cell death may be attributed to increased intracellular oxidation by Vitex extract treatment.

  Tracheospasmolytic activity of viteosin-A and vitexicarpin isolated from vitex trifolia.:Planta Med. 2002 Nov;68(11):1047-9.Alam G, Wahyuono S, Ganjar IG, Hakim L, Timmerman H, Verpoorte R.

 The n-hexane extract that has shown activity in the tracheospasmolytic bioassay was fractionated by solvent extraction and from the major active fraction two compounds were isolated and identified as viteosin-A and vitexicarpin. These compounds blocked spontaneous contraction of isolated male guinea pig trachea induced by histamine; however only vitexicarpin was active in a model using sensitized guinea pig trachea stimulated by ovalbumin up to minimum dose of 1.3 x 10(-5) M. The result suggests that vitexicarpin is able to block effects of histamine released from sensitized mast cells possibly by stabilizing the mast cells membrane function.

  Phytoestrogens: a viable option?:Am J Med Sci. 2002 Oct;324(4):185-8. Review.Russell L, Hicks GS, Low AK, Shepherd JM, Brown CA.Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson 39216-4505, USA. lrussell@medicine.umsmed.edu

 Estrogen replacement therapy is one of the most commonly prescribed medicines in the United States by traditional medical professionals. Over the past decade, the market for complementary/ alternative therapies for hormone replacement has dramatically increased. Women are seeking more "natural" alternatives to treat menopausal symptoms. Well-designed randomized clinical trials are often lacking, as is the information on efficacy and safety. This article will review several popular herbal therapies for menopausal symptoms including phytoestrogens, black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), dong quai (Angelica sinensis), chast tree (Vitex agnus-castus), and wild Mexican yam. Their use, mechanism of action, and adverse effects are outlined.

  Vitexagnus-castus essential oil and menopausal balance: a self-care survey.:Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 2002 Aug;8(3):148-54.Lucks BC, S?rensen J, Veal L.

 A considerable body of research has been documented on the use of the herb Vitex agnus-castus to treat menstrual problems. However, less information is available on the medicinal action of essential oils from the plant. This paper seeks to address the action of the essential oil on menopausal symptoms, using essential oils from both the berry and the leaf in a questionnaire-based survey. Both oils were found to be effective, although the leaf essential oil appears to have a broader range of actions as it also addresses psychological aspects. As the berry is currently thought to be the active part of the plant, this begs the question of whether the leaf of the plant should also be researched in more detail.

  Effectiveness of Vitex agnus-castus preparations.:Wien Med Wochenschr. 2002;152(15-16):364-72. German.Gorkow C, Wuttke W, M?rz RW.Medizinischen Forschung von Bionorica AG, Kerschensteinerstrasse 11-15, D-92318 Neumarkt/Opf., Deutschland. rabea.bachmann@bionorica.de

 The prolactin-inhibiting effect of ACF-preparations, which is due to dopaminergic activities, has been shown in humans too and gives a pharmacological rationale for the clinical effects observed in the different indications (2, 11, 25, 26, 35, 41). Confirmation of efficacy in the treatment of mastalgia has been best endorsed by two recently published double-blind studies conducted according to the principles of GCP (14, 41). One double-blind study, several open and postmarketing surveillance studies have shown that the premenstrual syndrome, or individual symptoms, can be influenced positively (3, 6, 7, 9, 19, 21, 37). Design shortcomings in a second double-blind study should be eliminated in future studies in this indication to improve the body of evidence (18). Hither to there has been one controlled double-blind study of cycle disorders in the case of corpus luteum insufficiency with significant results and a number of non-controlled open studies (1, 4, 15, 16, 20, 24, 26, 27, 32, 35, 36). The high success rates in the open studies indicate therapeutic effects, and it should be possible to reproduce these results under double-blind conditions. The success rates on fertility disorders should be confirmed in controlled double-blind studies (10, 33, 34).
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  Effects of luteolin on the inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis in human myeloid leukaemia cells.:Phytother Res. 2002 May;16(3):295-8.Ko WG, Kang TH, Lee SJ, Kim YC, Lee BH.College of Pharmacy and Medicinal Resources Research Center, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Jeonbuk, Korea.

 Luteolin, a flavonoid isolated from the fruit of Vitex rotundifolia, has been examined with regard to the inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis in human myeloid leukaemia HL-60 cells. The concentration required for 50% inhibition of the growth after 96 h was 15 +/- 1.1 microM. The mode of cell death induced by luteolin was found to be apoptosis, as judged by the morphologic alteration of the cells and by the detection of DNA fragmentation using agarose gel electrophoresis. The degree of apoptosis was quantified by a sandwich enzyme immunoassay and flow cytometric analysis. These results suggest that luteolin may be used as potential chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agents.

  Iridoids with anti-inflammatory activity from Vitex peduncularis.:Planta Med. 2002 Jan;68(1):72-3.Suksamrarn A, Kumpun S, Kirtikara K, Yingyongnarongkul B, Suksamrarn S.Department of Chemistry, Ramkhamhaeng University, Bangkok, Thailand. apichart@ram1.ru.ac.th

 A new iridoid, pedunculariside, together with the known iridoid agnuside were isolated from the butanol extract of Vitex peduncularis stem bark. Both pedunculariside and agnuside showed preferential inhibition of COX-2, with IC50 values of 0.15 +/- 0.21 mg/ml and 0.026 +/- 0.015 mg/ml respectively, while having only small inhibitory effects on COX-1. Both compounds did not exhibit cytotoxicity against vero cells.

  Current management of premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.:Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2001 Dec;3(6):463-9. Review.Born L, Steiner M.Women's Health Concerns Clinic, St. Joseph's Healthcare, Fontbonnne 639, 50 Charlton Avenue East, Hamilton, Ontario L8N 4A6, Canada. mst@mcmaster.ca

 About 5% of women of reproductive age experience affective or physical premenstrual symptoms that markedly influence work, social activities, or relationships. Prospective charting of symptoms for at least two menstrual cycles is required to facilitate an accurate diagnosis of premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. The optimal treatment plan begins with lifestyle modifications, followed by pharmacotherapy. Evidence from numerous controlled trials has clearly demonstrated that low-dose serotonin reuptake inhibitors, using intermittent or continuous administration, have excellent efficacy with minimal side effects. Modification of the menstrual cycle should be considered only after all other treatment options have failed.

  Antibacterial activity of Vitex trifolia.:Fitoterapia. 2001 Aug;72(6):695-7.Hossain MM, Paul N, Sohrab MH, Rahman E, Rashid MA.Department of Pharmacy, University of Science and Technology, Chittagong, Bangladesh.

 The petroleum ether and ethanol extracts of Vitex trifolia leaves exhibited moderate inhibiting activity against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

  Evaluation of estrogenic activity of plant extracts for the potential treatment of menopausal symptoms.:J Agric Food Chem. 2001 May;49(5):2472-9.Liu J, Burdette JE, Xu H, Gu C, van Breemen RB, Bhat KP, Booth N, Constantinou AI, Pezzuto JM, Fong HH, Farnsworth NR, Bolton JL.Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research, College of Pharmacy, M/C 781, University of Illinois at Chicago, 833 South Wood Street, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.

 Eight botanical preparations that are commonly used for the treatment of menopausal symptoms were tested for estrogenic activity. Methanol extracts of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus L.), and hops (Humulus lupulus L.) showed significant competitive binding to estrogen receptors alpha (ER alpha) and beta (ER beta). With cultured Ishikawa (endometrial) cells, red clover and hops exhibited estrogenic activity as indicated by induction of alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity and up-regulation of progesterone receptor (PR) mRNA. Chasteberry also stimulated PR expression, but no induction of AP activity was observed. In S30 breast cancer cells, pS2 (presenelin-2), another estrogen-inducible gene, was up-regulated in the presence of red clover, hops, and chasteberry. Interestingly, extracts of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) and North American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) induced pS2 mRNA expression in S30 cells, but no significant ER binding affinity, AP induction, or PR expression was noted in Ishikawa cells. Dong quai [Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels] and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra L.) showed only weak ER binding and PR and pS2 mRNA induction. Black cohosh [Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt.] showed no activity in any of the above in vitro assays. Bioassay-guided isolation utilizing ER competitive binding as a monitor and screening using ultrafiltration LC-MS revealed that genistein was the most active component of red clover. Consistent with this observation, genistein was found to be the most effective of four red clover isoflavones tested in the above in vitro assays. Therefore, estrogenic components of plant extracts can be identified using assays for estrogenic activity along with screening and identification of the active components using ultrafiltration LC-MS. These data suggest a potential use for some dietary supplements, ingested by human beings, in the treatment of menopausal symptoms.
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  Influence of fry-processing on outward character and inner quality of volatile oil containing drugs such as fructus Viticis, etc.:Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1998 Jan;23(1):22-4, 62. Chinese.Zhang T, Li T, Jiang W, Ma Y, Li C, Zhou J.Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100700.

 According to the requirement of outward character in processing traditional Chinese drugs, five volatile oil containing drugs Fructus Viticis, Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae, Rhizoma Cyperi, Fructus Foeniculi and Fructus Aurantii were fry-processed. The conditions of frying technology were measured; the amounts of volatile oil before and after processing were determined with accurate volatile oil extractor; and the volatile oil in Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae and Fructus Aurantii was analyzed by means of GC.

  Treatment for the premenstrual syndrome with agnus castus fruit extract: prospective, randomised, placebo controlled study.:BMJ. 2001 Jan 20;322(7279):134-7.Schellenberg R.Institute for Health Care and Science, 35625 Hüttenberg, Germany. med@t-online.de

 OBJECTIVES: To compare the efficacy and tolerability of agnus castus fruit (Vitex agnus castus L extract Ze 440) with placebo for women with the premenstrual syndrome. DESIGN: Randomised, double blind, placebo controlled, parallel group comparison over three menstrual cycles. SETTING: General medicine community clinics. Participants: 178 women were screened and 170 were evaluated (active 86; placebo 84). Mean age was 36 years, mean cycle length was 28 days, mean duration of menses was 4.5 days. INTERVENTIONS: Agnus castus (dry extract tablets) one tablet daily or matching placebo, given for three consecutive cycles. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Main efficacy variable: change from baseline to end point (end of third cycle) in women's self assessment of irritability, mood alteration, anger, headache, breast fullness, and other menstrual symptoms including bloating. Secondary efficacy variables: changes in clinical global impression (severity of condition, global improvement, and risk or benefit) and responder rate (50% reduction in symptoms). RESULTS: Improvement in the main variable was greater in the active group compared with placebo group (P<0.001). Analysis of the secondary variables showed significant (P<0.001) superiority of active treatment in each of the three global impression items. Responder rates were 52% and 24% for active and placebo, respectively. Seven women reported mild adverse events (four active; three placebo), none of which caused discontinuation of treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Dry extract of agnus castus fruit is an effective and well tolerated treatment for the relief of symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome.

  Diterpenoids from the fruits of Vitex trifolia.:Phytochemistry. 2000 Dec;55(8):873-7.

 An abietane-type diterpene, named vitetrifolin A, and two labdane-type diterpenes, named vitetrifolins B and C, were isolated from the acetone extract of the fruits of Vitex trifolia L. (Viticis Fructus; Verbenaceae) along with three known diterpenes, rotundifuran, dihydrosolidagenone and abietatriene 3beta-ol. The structures of these compounds were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic analysis, X-ray crystallographic analysis and chemical evidence.

  Efficacy of Vitex agnus castus L. extract Ze 440 in patients with pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS).:Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2000 Nov;264(3):150-3.Berger D, Schaffner W, Schrader E, Meier B, Brattstr?m A.Institut Pharmazeutische Biologie, Universit?t Basel, Witterswil, Schweiz.

 In a prospective, multicentre trial the efficacy of an Vitex agnus castus L extract Ze 440 was investigated in 50 patients with pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). The patients were treated daily with one tablet (20 mg native extract) during three menstrual cycles. 43 patients completed the study protocol which encompassed 8 menstrual cycles (2 baseline, 3 treatment and 3 post-treatment). 13/43 patients were receiving concomitant oral contraceptives. 6 patients did not complete the study for reasons not related to study medication, and one patient complained of fatigue possibly related to study medication. All evaluated patients took at least 85% of the prescribed medication. The main effect parameter was the validated Moos' menstrual distress questionnaire (MMDQ), and secondary parameters were a visual analogue scale (VAS; self-assessment) and a global impression scale (GI, self-assessment). The study population was homogenous in age (31.3+/-7.7 years) weight (58.9+/-6.9 kg) and cycle length (28.4+/-0.3 d). The diagnosis was according to DMS-III. At the end of the study, PMS-related symptoms were reduced by treatment. There was a significant score reduction (42.5%) of the MMDQ as the main effect parameter (p<0.001). Symptoms gradually returned after treatment cessation. However, a difference from baseline remained (20%; p<0.001) up to 3 cycles thereafter. 20/43 patients were considered "responders", with a reduction in MMDQ score by at least 50% relative to baseline. At baseline, the VAS score was elevated in the late luteal phase and low at the follicular phase, as expected. During treatment, VAS score decreased in the late luteal phase (47.2%; p<0.01) and remained 21.7% (p<0.001) below baseline after 3 cycles post-cessation of treatment. The low VAS score within the follicular phase remained unchanged over the whole observation period. 38 patients judged the global efficacy moderate to excellent, 5 patients indicated no global efficacy. The number of days patients sustained PMS symptoms was reduced slightly from 7.5 to 6. Resting levels of blood prolactin remained within the physiological range throughout. No differences were seen between patients on or off oral contraceptives. 20 patients reported 37 adverse events (AE). No serious AE were reported. One patint withdrew after four days of treatment due to fatigue and headache. Laboratory safety control parameters were not affected. In conclusion, patients with PMS can be treated successfully with Vitex agnus-castus extract Ze 440, as indicated by clear improvement in the main effect parameter during treatment and the gradual return after cessation of treatment. The main response to treatment seems related to symptomatic relief rather than to the duration of the syndrome.

  Pharmacological activities of Vitex agnus-castus extracts in vitro.:Phytomedicine. 2000 Oct;7(5):373-81.Meier B, Berger D, Hoberg E, Sticher O, Schaffner W.Zeller AG, Herbal Medicinal Products, Romanshorn, Switzerland. beat.meier@zellerag.ch

 The pharmacological effects of ethanolic Vitex agnus-castus fruit-extracts (especially Ze 440) and various extract fractions of different polarities were evaluated both by radioligand binding studies and by superfusion experiments. A relative potent binding inhibition was observed for dopamine D2 and opioid (micro and kappa subtype) receptors with IC50 values of the native extract between 20 and 70 mg/mL. Binding, neither to the histamine H1, benzodiazepine and OFQ receptor, nor to the binding-site of the serotonin (5-HT) transporter, was significantly inhibited. The lipophilic fractions contained the diterpenes rotun-difuran and 6beta,7beta-diacetoxy-13-hydroxy-labda-8,14-dien . They exhibited inhibitory actions on dopamine D2 receptor binding. While binding inhibition to mu and kappa opioid receptors was most pronounced in lipophilic fractions, binding to delta opioid receptors was inhibited mainly by a aqueous fraction. Standardised Ze 440 extracts of different batches were of constant pharmacological quality according to their potential to inhibit the binding to D2 receptors. In superfusion experiments, the aqueous fraction of a methanolic extract inhibited the release of acetylcholine in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, the potent D2 receptor antagonist spiperone antagonised the effect of the extract suggesting a dopaminergic action mediated by D2 receptor activation. Our results indicate a dopaminergic effect of Vitex agnus-castus extracts and suggest additional pharmacological actions via opioid receptors.
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  The efficacy of the complex medication Phyto-Hypophyson L in female, hormone-related sterility. A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical double-blind study.:Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2000 Aug;7(4):190-9. German. Bergmann J, Luft B, Boehmann S, Runnebaum B, Gerhard I.Abteilung für Gyn?kologische Endokrinologie und Fertilit?tsst?rungen, Universit?ts-Frauenklinik, Heidelberg.

 OBJECTIVE AND DESIGN: In a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, the effects of Phyto Hypophyson L (Steierl-Pharma GmbH, Herrsching, Germany), an Agnus castus-containing homeopathic preparation, were investigated in 67 women with fertility disorders. PATIENTS AND METHODS: 37 women with oligomenorrhea and 30 women with amenorrhea received 50 drops of Phyto Hypophyson L or placebo 3 times a day over 3 months or 3 cycles. OUTCOME MEASURE AND RESULTS: The outcome measure being spontaneous menstruation, improved concentration of progesterone in the luteal phase, shortening of the cycle, earlier ovulation, and pregnancy was achieved in 38 out of 67 women. It was achieved more often from women with oligomenorrhea in the Phyto Hypophyson L group compared to the placebo group (82 versus 45%, p = 0.021). However, there was no significant effect when viewing the whole group. The baby take-home rate during the therapy and 6 months after the end of the therapy showed a ratio of 6 : 2 (18.7 : 6.4%). This result was not significant. Furthermore, in the oligomenorrhea verum group we observed a significant increase of progesterone during the luteal phase compared to the oligomenorrhea placebo group. Only very few undesirable drug effects were observed. CONCLUSION: In women with sterility and oligomenorrhea, a treatment with Phyto Hypophyson L can be recommended over a period of 3-6 months.

  Quantitative high performance liquid chromatographic analysis of diterpenoids in agni-casti fructus.:Planta Med. 2000 May;66(4):352-5.Hoberg E, Meier B, Sticher O.Department of Applied BioSciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland.

 Pharmacological data have indicated that part of the dopaminergic activity of Vitex agnus-castus is attributed to the labdan diterpenoids found in the fruits. Therefore an analytical method for the standardization of rotundifuran (1), vitexilactone (2) and 6 beta,7 beta-diacetoxy-13-hydroxy-labda-8,14-diene (3) was developed. Because of the time-consuming and expensive isolation of the diterpenoids, p-cymene was chosen as an internal standard. The concentration of rotundifuran in different extracts and trade samples of the drug varies between 0.04 and 0.30% in the drug and between 1.04 and 2.23% in the extract. The concentration of vitexilactone was generally lower between 0.016 and 0.167% for the drug and between 0.34 and 1.01% for the extract. The determined concentration of 6 beta,7 beta-diacetoxy-13-hydroxy-labda-8,14-diene in the drug was in the range of 0.02 and 0.10% and in the extract in the range of 0.18 and 0.80%. Determination of the factors of correction of p-cymene gave 5.63 for rotundifuran, 2.73 for vitexilactone and 3.74 for 6 beta,7 beta-diacetoxy-13-hydroxy-labda-8,14-diene.

  Parameters influencing the yield and composition of the essential oil from Cretan Vitex agnus-castus fruits.:Planta Med. 2000 Apr;66(3):245-50.S?rensen JM, Katsiotis ST.Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Crete, Greece.

 Mature and immature fruits of a Cretan Vitex agnus-castus L. population were chosen to investigate different parameters such as comminution, maturity, distillation period and extraction method influencing the essential oil yield and composition. The effect of the comminution and the maturity of the plant material showed highly significant differences in yield and composition of the essential oils obtained, as well as the distillation duration from one to five hours and the method applied (hydrodistillation and simultaneous distillation extraction). The variation of 36 essential oil components due to the parameters applied was studied. The results showed that many different essential oil qualities can be obtained from the same plant material according to the parameters employed in its extraction. Entire fruits hydrodistilled for one hour yielded an oil much richer in monoterpene hydrocarbons and oxygenated compounds whereas the best combination to obtain an oil rich in less volatile compounds is by SDE of comminuted fruits for five hours. For mature fruits the main components varied as follows due to the parameters studied: sabinene 16.4-44.1%, 1,8-cineole 8.4-15.2%, beta-caryophyllene 2.1-5.0%, and trans-beta-farnesene 5.0-11.7%.

  Treatment of premenstrual syndrome with a phytopharmaceutical formulation containing Vitex agnus castus.:J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 2000 Apr;9(3):315-20.Loch EG, Selle H, Boblitz N.Deutsche Klinik für Diagnostik, Wiesbaden, Germany.

 A multicentric noninterventional trial (open study without control) to investigate the efficacy and tolerance of a drug in a large number of patients under routine medical conditions was performed for a new solid preparation from an extract of the fruit of Vitex agnus castus (VAC, Vitex, chaste tree, Chasteberry) in 1634 patients suffering from premenstrual syndrome (PMS). A specific questionnaire was developed for determining the effect of Vitex on psychic and somatic complaints, on the four characteristic PMS symptom complexes depression, anxiety, craving, and hyperhydration (DACH), and on single groups of symptoms. After a treatment period of three menstrual cycles 93% of patients reported a decrease in the number of symptoms or even cessation of PMS complaints. To a certain extent, this effect was observed within all symptom complexes and correlated with the global assessment of therapeutic efficacy. Whereas 85% of physicians rated it as good or very good, 81% of patients assessed their status after treatment as very much or much better. Analysis of frequency and severity of mastodynia as the predominant symptom revealed that complaints still present after 3 months of therapy were mostly less severe. Ninety-four percent of patients assessed the tolerance of Vitex treatment as good or very good. Adverse drug reactions were suspected by physicians in 1.2% of patients, but there were no serious adverse drug reactions. Hence, the risk/benefit ratio of the new Vitex preparation can be rated as very good, with significant efficacy for all aspects of the multifaceted and inhomogeneous clinical picture of PMS, with a safety profile comparable to other Vitex preparations.

  Biological activities of crude plant extracts from Vitex trifolia L. (Verbenaceae).:J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Oct;67(1):37-44.Hernández MM, Heraso C, Villarreal ML, Vargas-Arispuro I, Aranda E.Centro de Investigación en Biotecnologia, UAEM, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.

 Biological assays of Vitex trifolia L. organic extracts have shown relevant activities. Hexanic and dichloromethanic (DCM) extracts, when prepared from stems and foliage, have proved to be very toxic against several cancer cell lines in culture (SQC-1 UISO, OVCAR-5, HCT-15 COLADCAR, and KB). Also, an important antifeeding activity against the insect pest Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) was recorded. The hexanic extract from leaves completely inhibited the growth of the fungal plant pathogen Fusarium sp. within the first 2 days of the experiment, but dropped significantly at day 6 (15% inhibition). The potential of V. trifolia for several uses is discussed.
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  Treatment of cyclical mastodynia using an extract of Vitex agnus castus: results of a double-blind comparison with a placebo.:Ceska Gynekol. 1998 Oct;63(5):388-92. Czech.Halaska M, Raus K, B?les P, Martan A, Paithner KG.I. gynek.-porod. klinika 1., Praha.

 The aim of study presented here was to gather the data about the tolerability and efficacy of Vitex agnus castus (VACS) extract. The study was designed as double-blind, placebo controlled in two parallel groups (each 50 patients). Treatment phase lasted 3 consequent menstrual cycles (2 x 30 drops/day = 1.8 ml of VASC) or placebo. Mastalgia during at least 5 days of the cycle before the treatment was the strict inclusion condition. For assessment of the efficacy visual analogue scale was used. Altogether 97 patients were included into the statistical analysis (VACS: n = 48, placebo: n = 49). Intensity of breast pain diminished quicker with VACS group. The tolerability was satisfactory. We found VACS to be useful in the treatment of cyclical breast pain in women.

  Complementary therapy and infertility: an Icelandic perspective.:Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 1998 Feb;4(1):3-6. Review.Veal L.

 Complementary therapists take a more holistic view of inferitility treatment than do allopathic health professionals. Lifestyle and nutritional factors may be considered and possibly changed, and psychological and emotional problems such as stress will be treated. Hormonal imbalance in both sexes may be treated with Chinese herbal mixtures such as Hachimijiogan, herbs such as Vitex agnus-castus, or a blend of essential oils designed to treat amenorrhoea or scanty/irregular periods. Herbalists, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, aromatherpists, homeopaths and Ayurvedic practitioners all have a range of treatments for infertile people.

  Cytotoxic flavonoids from Vitex agnus-castus.:Phytochemistry. 1997 Oct;46(3):521-4.

 Four new flavonoids, luteolin 6-C-(4"-methyl-6"-O-trans-caffeoylglucoside), luteolin 6-C-(6"-O-trans-caffeoylglucoside), luteolin 6-C-(2"-O-trans-caffeoylglucoside), and luteolin 7-O-(6"-p-benzoylglucoside), together with four known ones 5, 4'-dihydroxy-3,6,7,3'-tetramethoxyflavone, luteolin, artemetin and isorhamnetin, were isolated from the root bark of Vitex agnus-castus. The structures were elucidated by spectroscopic means.

  Composition of the essential fruit oil of Vitex agnus-castus.:Planta Med. 1996 Feb;62(1):83-4.Zwaving JH, Bos R.Department of Pharmacognosy, University Centre for Pharmacy, University of Groningen, Ant. Deusinglaan 2, NL-9713 AW Groningen, The Netherlands.

 Vitex agnus-castus, the chaste tree, is used against disorders of the female sexual organs and as an anaphrodisiac. Active constituents are not known. In this study the essential oil of the fruits was investigated by GC and GC-MS.

  Multiple follicular development associated with herbal medicine.:Hum Reprod. 1994 Aug;9(8):1469-70.Cahill DJ, Fox R, Wardle PG, Harlow CR.University of Bristol Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, St Michael's Hospital, UK.

 After three endocrinologically normal cycles while undergoing unstimulated in-vitro fertilization treatment, a woman took a herbal medicine (Vitex agnus castus) at the beginning of a fourth unstimulated IVF treatment cycle. In this fourth cycle, her serum gonadotrophin and ovarian hormone measurements were disordered. One embryo resulted from the three eggs collected but a pregnancy did not ensue. She had symptoms suggestive of mild ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in the luteal phase. Two subsequent cycles were endocrinologically normal. We do not advocate the use of this herbal medicine to promote normal ovarian function.
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  Vitex agnus castus extract in the treatment of luteal phase defects due to latent hyperprolactinemia. Results of a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study.:Arzneimittelforschung. 1993 Jul;43(7):752-6. German.Milewicz A, Gejdel E, Sworen H, Sienkiewicz K, Jedrzejak J, Teucher T, Schmitz H.Abteilung für Endokrinologie, Medizinische Hochschule, Hamburg.

 The efficacy of a Vitex agnus castus preparation (Strotan capsules) was investigated in a randomized double blind study vs. placebo. This clinical study involved 52 women with luteal phase defects due to latent hyperprolactinaemia. The daily dose was one capsule (20 mg) Vitex agnus castus preparation and placebo, respectively. Aim of the study was to prove whether the elevated pituitary prolactin reserve can be reduced and deficits in luteal phase length and luteal phase progesterone synthesis be normalized. Blood for hormonal analysis was taken at days 5-8 and day 20 of the menstrual cycle before and after three month of therapy. Latent hyperprolactinaemia was analysed by 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 were statistically evaluated. The prolactin release was reduced after 3 months, shortened luteal phases were normalised and deficits in the luteal progesterone synthesis were eliminated. These changes were significant and occurred only in the verum group. All other hormonal parameters did not change with the exception of 17 beta-estradiol which rouse up in the luteal phase in patients receiving verum. Side effects were not seen, two women treated with the Vitex agnus castus preparation got pregnant. The tested preparation is thought to be an efficient medication in the treatment of luteal phase defects due to latent hyperprolactinaemia.

  Agnus castus extracts inhibit prolactin secretion of rat pituitary cells.:Horm Metab Res. 1993 May;25(5):253-5.Sliutz G, Speiser P, Schultz AM, Spona J, Zeillinger R.Second Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Vienna, Austria.

 In our studies on prolactin inhibition by plant extracts we focused on the effects of extracts of Vitex agnus castus and its preparations on rat pituitary cells under basal and stimulated conditions in primary cell culture. Both extracts from Vitex agnus castus as well as synthetic dopamine agonists (Lisuride) significantly inhibit basal as well as TRH-stimulated prolactin secretion of rat pituitary cells in vitro and as a consequence inhibition of prolactin secretion could be blocked by adding a dopamine receptor blocker. Therefore because of its dopaminergic effect Agnus castus could be considered as an efficient alternative phytotherapeutic drug in the treatment of slight hyperprolactinaemia.
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  • 1.Vitex agnus-castus,Chaste Berry,Phytoestrogens as Viable Option,Amphoteric remedy,famous Anaphrodisiac and PMS treatment,Fertility Supplements new choice for Women.

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  • Name:Vitex.Chaste Berry Extract
  • Serie No:R097.
  • Specifications:10:1TLC.
  • INCI Name:Vitex Agnus Castus Extract
  • Other Names:Vitex Trifolia Extract,Cloister Pepper Extract,Fructus Viticis Extract.
  • EINECS/ELINCS No.:N/A
  • CAS:Vitexin,525-82-6
  • Chem/IUPAC Name:N/A
  • Other Names:Chaste Berry,Vitex trifolia L.var.simplicifolia Cham,Vitex trifolia L.,Vitex agnus-castus,Vitex rotundifolia,Vitex trifolia,Fructus viticis Verbenaceae,Chasteberry,Monk's pepper,Cloister pepper,Agnus Castus,Man jing zi,Agnus Castus,Cloister Pepper,Monk's Berry,Monk's Pepper,Vitex.

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Vitex.Chaste Berry Extract INCI Name Vitex Agnus Castus Extract Vitex Berry Extract Chaste Tree Berry Extract VITEX-CHASTE BERRY

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