Chaste Tree - Vitex Agnus Castus


Family: Verbenaceae



Part Used:

Young Shoots

NOTE: These indications are only for use with embryonic plant stem cell tissues. Adult plants do not have the same constituents, actions or applications in most cases.

Note: It is strongly recommended in men and woman the synergistic use of Rosemary for the liver health in processing hormones of all sorts also the use Raspberry in female only to further help the hormonal balance. Although here we are using the embryonic plant tissue from young shoots which contains all of the phytochemicals of all the different parts of the adult plant and therefore will render more consistent results at a lesser dosage also the incredible adaptive qualities of the PSC and PGH only present in the embryonic stage.

A deciduous shrub which can grow about 15 to 20 feet. Native to the eastern Mediterranean and as far as western Asia, and now found in southeastern parts of North America, of free spreading habit, its young shoots covered with a fine grey down; with aromatic palmate leaves, composed of five to six radiating leaflets borne on a main stalk 1 to 2 1/2 inches long, leaflets linear, lance-shaped, toothed, dark green above, grey beneath with a very close felt; stalks of leaflets 1/4 inch or less long- flowers. Small lilac-scented flowers are borne in summer, followed by red-black fruits having medicinal and culinary uses. Its tart and peppery fruit has been used for over two thousand years, at least since the time of the Greek physician, Dioscorides, who recommended it in beverages intended to help the wives of soldiers remain chaste while their husbands were in battle.
Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus) (A.D. 23-79), Roman officer and encyclopedist, author of the Natural history wrote that those who keep a twig in their hand or in their girdle do not suffer from chafing between the thighs. One such plant was called agnos by the ancient Greeks, over 2,000 years ago; then agnus castus throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance. It was reported 400 B.C. that Hippocrates recommended it for injuries, inflammations and enlargement of the spleen. In 50 A.D., Dioscorides wrote that it was good for inflammations of the womb (uterus) and for stimulating mother's milk. In 1200 in the Persian school, Al-Kindi recommended Vitex for epilepsy. In 1633, Gerard and other Renaissance herbalists recommended Vitex for inflammation of the uterus and as an emmenagogue.

Vitex, also known as Chaste Tree or Monk's Pepper, was said to be used as herbal remedy by monks in the Middle Ages to diminish their sex drive, and its common names stem from its use by monks to maintain celibacy. Although it does seem to occasionally reduce sex drive in women, the effects are less pronounced than the name of this plant suggests.


Oligo-elements:

(not investigated)


Phytochemical Constituents:

Total polyphenol content for the leaves (7.36% to 20%), flowers (9% to 10.64%), and fruits (6.92% to 24%) has been determined. (E)-Beta-Farnesene,1,8-Cineole,3-4'-6-7-Tetramethylether,6 Hydroxykaempferol, 17-Hydroxyprogesterone, 6-Hydroxykaempferol-3,4',6,7- Tetramethylether, 6, Agnuside, Allo-Aromadendrene, Alpha-Gurjunene, Alpha-Pinene, Alpha-Terpineol, Alpha-Terpinyl-Acetate, Alpha-Thujene, Androstenedione, Ascaridole, Aucubin, Aucuboside, Beta-Bourbonene, Beta-Caryophyllene, Beta Phellandrene, Beta Pinene, Bornyl-Acetate, Camphene, Caryophyllene-Oxide, Casticin, Casticine, Castine, Chrysosplenol, Cineole, Citronellol, Cuminic-Aldehyde, Delta-3-Ketosteroids, Diterpenoids, Epitestosterone, Eurostoside, Fatty Acids, Flavonoids, Gamma-Cadinene, Gamma-Elemene, Germacrene-D, Homooreintin, Hydroxyprogesterone, Iridoids, Isoorientin, Isovitexin, Isovitexin-xylose, Ketosteroids Ledol, Limonene, Lilanol, Linoleic acid, Luteolin-7Glucoside, Mussaenosidic acid and 6'-O-p-hydroxybenzoylmussaenosidic acid, Myrcene, Orientin, Orthocynol, P-Cymene-8-Ol, P-Cymene, Phenylbutanone Glucoside (myzodendrone), Pinene, Progesterone, Quinone, Sabinene, Saponaretin, Spathulenol, T-Cadinol, Terpinen-4-Ol, Testosterone, Tetrahydorxymonomethoxyflavone-Beta-D-Glucoside. 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).

The alkaloid vitricine is present in the plant. Vitexlactam A, a labdane diterpene, has been isolated from the fruit of V. agnus-castus. Evidence has shown that labdane diterpenes have dopamine receptor affinity. Clerodadienols are potent inhibitors of prolactin release.

New class of cell cycle inhibitors and new apoptosis inducers namely Vitex lactone.

The methanolic extract of the flowering stems of Vitex agnus-castus yielded three new iridoids agnucastoside A, B, C in addition to four known iridoids and one known phenylbutanone glucoside (myzodendrone). Kuruuzum-Uz 2003.
The labdan diterpenoids of Vitex agnus-castus responsible for dopaminergic activity. Hoberg 2000

NOTE : It is strongly recommended that in men and woman the synergistic use of Rosemary for the liver health in processing hormones of all sorts also the use Raspberry in female only to further help the hormonal balance. Although here we are using the embryonic plant tissue from young shoots which contains all of the phytochemicals of all the different parts of the adult plant and therefore will render more consistent results at a lesser dosage also the incredible adaptive qualities of the PSC and PGH only present in the embryonic stage.


Contraindications:

Pregnant and nursing women should not use Chasteberry, nor should it be given to children. The herb should not be taken in excess amounts. Chasteberry should not be used concurrently with HRT (hormone replacement therapy). Women with estrogen-sensitive cancers originating in the breast, cervix or uterus should avoid this herb because it will promote normal ovarian function. Although chaste tree berries do not contain any plant estrogens is not accurate; Treatment of the ER+ hormone-dependent T47D:A18 breast cancer cell line with the extract from the berries induced up-regulation of ERβ mRNA. These data suggest that linoleic acid from the fruits of Vitex agnus-castus can bind to estrogen receptors and induce certain estrogen inducible genes. Isolation of linoleic acid as an estrogenic compound from the fruits of L. (chaste-berry). Although chaste tree flowers and leaves does not contain plant estrogens; instead, it has been found to contain progesterone, testosterone, epitestosterone, hydroxyprogesterone and androstenedione. Chaste tree has dopamine agonist activity and, thus, may increase activity of other dopamine agonists (eg, bromocriptine, levodopa), antagonize the effect of dopamine receptor antagonists, and interact with fertility drugs. Intended to affect prolactin levels (it tends to suppress prolactin, which is the hormone needed for breast milk) and should not be taken by mothers who are breast feeding. It also may reduce the efficacy of birth control. Minor side effects include GI reactions, allergic reactions (eg, itching, rash), headaches, fatigue, alopecia, acne, and increase in menstrual flow. Do not use in women with already increased menstrual flow. Instead use Oriental Plane Tree.


Plant Stem Cell Therapy Indications:

Polycrest all


Ob Gyn/Reproductive - Endocrinal System:

'P' contains substances that competitively bind receptors, making the plant useful in disorders in which progesterone deficiency is suspected (eg, female infertility, menopause, PMS). Even though chaste tree berries and leaves help to stimulate progesterone (the female hormone dominant two weeks before menstruation), it also has a normalizing effect for both estrogen and progesterone. Acts on the pituitary gland in the brain, normalizing the release of both follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Chaste tree has been observed to balance levels of LH and follicle-stimulating hormones. PMS symptoms such as Mastodynia (breast tenderness), Adenomyosis, Endometriosis, Fibroids, polycystic ovarian syndrome PCOS, Secondary Amenorrhea, Cystic Hyperplasia of the endometrium, deficient corpus luteum function, Infertility, Dysmenorrhea, Metrorrhagia, Menopause hot flashes and insomnia related to low progesterone, Oligomenorrhea, Polymenorrhea. Weight gain, water retention, PMS, associated Mood Swings., Edema, Tension, Headache, Constipation and Depression. Increased lactation has been attributed to an increase in prolactin secretion, increased progesterone synthesis, reducing estrogen secretions (which tend to inhibit milk production). Hyperprolactinemia and Anterior Pituitary Adenoma. Thyrotoxicosis and Graves disease. Vitex is able to shift the ratio of estrogen to progesterone slightly in favor of progesterone. Antiandrogenic. Stimulation of endogenous Melatonin secretion. Vitex is often used to help infertility caused by a luteal phase defect (a shortening of the post-ovulatory part of the menstrual cycle): women taking vitex for three months appear to have more success at becoming pregnant. Complex endocrine disorder.



Neurology:

'P' Dopamine agonist; Effective in Parkinson's disease, a degenerative disorder marked by the death of the neurons of an area of the brain called the substantia nigra, is primarily treated by drugs that restore or improve brain chemical signaling system dependent on dopamine, according to background information in some studies. Brain dopamine, a chemical that helps regulate movement, balance and walking, also plays a central role in the behavioral reward system, reinforcing a myriad of behaviors. It has been implicated in the reward of gambling behavior.

Pathological gambling developed in seven of 11 patients within one to three months of either reaching the maintenance dose, or increasing their dose of a dopamine agonist, the researchers report. "The relationship of pathological gambling to dopamine agonist therapy in these cases is striking," dopamine agonist drugs appear to be uniquely implicated as a cause of pathological gambling," the authors conclude. "Both our series and prior reports have especially linked this to administration of the selective dopamine D3 agonist pramipexole. Disproportionate stimulation of dopamine D3 receptors might be responsible for pathological gambling in these Parkinson's disease cases." Other side effect of dopamine antagonist included compulsive eating, increased alcohol consumption, increased spending and hyper sexuality. Hormonal induced insomnia.
References:Roberto Cilia, MD; Chiara Siri, PsyD; Giorgio Marotta, MD; Ioannis U. Isaias, MD; Danilo De Gaspari, PsyD; Margherita Canesi, MD; Gianni Pezzoli, MD; Angelo Antonini, MD
Arch Neurol. 2008; 65(12):1604-1611.

Chaste tree does significantly improve nocturnal melatonin release; it could also be particularly valuable in the treatment of the type of insomnia linked to fibromyalgia, which shows a pattern suggestive of disturbed circadian rhythm.


Digestive System:

'A' Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and as an epurgative (to cause evacuation of the intestinal contents by increasing peristalsis and producing watery stool). Constipation.


Dermatology:

'A' Hormonal acne that flare up during menstruation.


Hematology Oncology:

'A' treatment not only of benign prostatic hyperplasia but also of human prostate cancer. Apoptosis-inducing and potential cytotoxic effects.


Musculoskeletal System:

'A' Progesterone is a bone-building hormone in osteoporosis.


Psychiatry:

'A' Depression due to Peri Menopause or Menopause, Mood Swing hormonally related.