Agnus Castus
Title: Agnus Castus
Additional Names: Chaste tree; monk's pepper
Literature References: Deciduous shrub, Vitex agnus-castus L., Verbenaceae. Used medicinally since ancient times for treatment of female conditions and for suppression of sexual desire. Medicinal parts include the dried leaves and the dried ripe fruit, known as chasteberry. The dried fruits are similar in appearance and odor to black pepper. Habit. Indigenous to the Mediterranean region; widely distributed in central Asia, the tropics and southern Europe. Constit. Iridoid glycosides, agnoside and aucubin; flavonoids including casticin and vitexin; labdan diterpenoids, rotundifuran, vitexilactone, and 6b,7b-diacetoxy-13-hydroxy-labda-8,14-diene; and volatile oil containing a complex mixture of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. Brief description: P. Houghton, Pharm. J. 253, 720 (1994). Yield and composition of essential oil: J. M. Sorensen, S. T. Katsiotis, Planta Med. 66, 245 (2000). HPLC analysis of diterpenoids: E. Hoberg et al., ibid. 352. Inhibition of prolactin secretion: G. Sliutz et al., Horm. Metab. Res. 25, 253 (1993). Dopaminergic activity: H. Jarry et al., Exp. Clin. Endocrinol. 102, 448 (1994). Series of articles on phytochemistry, pharmacology and biological activity: Z. Phytother. 20, 140-158 (1998). Historical overview: J. G. Mayer, F.-C. Czygan, ibid. 177. Clinical trial in treatment of hyperprolactinemia: A. Milewicz et al., Arzneim.-Forsch. 43, 752 (1993); in treatment of premenstrual syndrome: R. Schellenberg et al., Br. Med. J. 322, 134 (2001).
 
Derivative Type: Dry extract
Trademarks: Agnolyt (Madaus); Strotan (Strathmann); Valverde (Novartis)
 
Therap-Cat: In treatment of premenstrual syndrome.

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