Categories
Herbs & Plants

Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus)

[amazon_link asins=’B001E101L2,B000IRIDQS,B000F76ISG,B003VT3YP0,B000I48PJ6,B01EY6OQ4G,B00014F9YC,B0014ATAI8,B01J8OQAG6′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’aec33218-0f8e-11e7-8d88-bf0bc63e2c5a’]

Botanical Name :Vitex agnus-castus
Kingdom: Plantae
Family: Lamiaceae
Common Name : Vitex, Chaste Tree, Chasteberry, or Monk’s Pepper.
Genus: Vitex
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Vitex
Species: V. agnus-castus

Habitat :This plant is native of the Mediterranean region.Southern Europe, in woodlands and dry areas

Description:
Deciduous shrub, up to 20 feet tall (6 m), 20 feet wide (6 m); palmately compound leaves, 3 to 4 inches wide (7.5-10 cm) with 5 to 7 fingerlike leaflets, reminding of Marijuana (Cannabis spp.)

Vitex leaves are hand-sized and consist of five to seven fingers that are dark green above and silvery underneath. While fairly drought resistant, Vitex grows faster and looks lovelier when watered regularly. Grape-colored flowers cover long panicles that can elongate up to 12 inches. Starting in early summer, flowers begin opening from the bottom of the flower stem and continue up the stem over the course of four or five weeks until the bush is completely blanketed in eye-popping bloom. Harvesting these flowers early in the bloom cycle is the best way to preserve them for craft use. They may be used fresh or hung upside down in small bunches for drying.
click to see the picturesa..……(01)…..(1).…….(2)……....(3)..………(4)....……………
As the flowers of summer fade, small dark purple berries follow. In the past these berries have been dried and used as a rather weak substitute for pepper and as an ingredient in Mediterranean spice mixtures. In the 6th century, the ground dried berries were touted as a must for monks trying to maintain their vows of chastity (thus, the common name Monk’s Pepper). Vitex is now considered a vital herb for regulating and relieving menstrual problems and infertility. For a good discussion of the medicinal properties of Vitex,  check in Andrew Chevalier’s book The Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. This book will guide you through the steps of  harvesting and preparing remedies from your garden.

Lavender or white flowers in the spring. They are followed by dry capsules with a peppery smell.

Dark green foliage, moderate littering. The name of Chaste Tree comes from the fact that when used as tea it was supposed to reduce sexual desire. Actually, modern studies show that some of the compounds in the leaves inhibit the action of males hormons. The species name “agnus-castus” comes from the Greek and Latine for “chast”.

Vitex, also a traditional plant in Africa, is a little-known fruit plant that has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare.

Cultivation: Vitex agnus-castus is widely cultivated in warm temperate and subtropical regions for its aromatic foliage and flowers. It grows to a height of 1-5 meters. It requires full sun or partial shade along with well-drained soil.

Propagation: Seeds or cuttings, cuttings have the advantage of a known flower color.

Constituents: acubin, agnuside, casticin, chrysophanol d, alpha- and beta-pinene, isovitexin and vitexin.


Medicinal   Actions  & use

Herbal medicine
The leaves and tender stem growth of the upper 10 cm (4 inches), along with the flowers and ripening seeds, are harvested for medicinal purposes. The berries are harvested by gently rubbing the berries loose from the stem. The leaves, flowers, and/or berries may be consumed as a decoction, traditional tincture, cider vinegar tincture, syrup, elixir, or simply eaten straight off the plant as a medicinal food.A popular way of taking Vitex is on awakening as a simple 1:1 fluid extract, which is said to interact with hormonal circadian rhythms most effectively.

The berries are considered a tonic herb for both the male and female reproductive systems. The leaves are believed to have the same effect but to a lesser degree.

This plant is commonly called monk’s pepper because it was originally used as anti-libido medicine by monks to aid their attempts to remain chaste. It is believed to be a male anaphrodisiac, hence the name chaste tree. There are disputed accounts regarding its action on female libido, with some claims that it is anaphrodisiac and others that it is aphrodisiac.

It has also been used as a carminative and an anxiolytic.

Back in the 17th century, herbalist Gerard wrote that the seeds and leaves helped with pain and inflammation of the uterus.  The hormonelike substances found in the seeds help to correct female hormonal imbalances, such as those that can occur during menopause, premenstrual syndrome, or menstruation, and also help dissolve fibroids and cysts.  German researchers suggest the berries increase production of luteinizing hormone and prolactin. Another study adds the increase of the hormone progesterone to the list.  The seeds do stimulate mother’s milk flow as shown in a clinical study when 100 nursing mothers taking chaste seeds were compared to those who were not.  Christopher Hobbs suggests its use during the first 3 months only of pregnancy to help prevent miscarriage and, with ginger, to allay morning sickness.  Chaste berries can help regulate periods when there is excessive or too frequent bleeding.  It also reestablishes normal ovulation after contraceptive pills have been used.  In women without ovaries, chasteberry appears to lessen extremes of hormonal imbalance, perhaps through indirect effects on the endocrine system, liver and circulation. Women with PMS with significant depression should probably steer clear of chasteberry.  Some research suggests that PMS with depression is caused by excess progesterone, and chasteberry is said to raise progesterone levels.  Chasteberry may help some women trying to conceive if infertility is due to low progesterone levels.  Most of the research has been done on a chaste berry extract called Agnolyt.  When 53 women with excessive bleeding and short menstrual cycles were given this product, 65% showed improvement and about 47% were cured.  Those over age 20 experienced the most improvements.  Other studies with Agnolyt found the chaste berry helps control acne in both young women and young men

CLICK TO LEARN MORE
:


Clinical evidence

Clinical studies have shown its beneficial effects in the management of premenstrual stress syndrome (PMS). and infertility. The use of extracts of the plant is recommended in Germany.

Its mechanism of action is not well known. A study has found that treatment of 20 healthy men with higher doses of Vitex Agnus-castus was associated with a slight reduction of prolactin levels, whereas lower doses caused a slight increase as compared to doses of placebo. A decrease of prolactin will influence levels of Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen in women; and testosterone in men.

Chemical analysis
Flavonoids, alkaloids, diterpenoids, Vitexin, Casticin and steroidal hormone precursors have been isolated from the chemical analysis of Vitex agnus-castus. It is believed that some of these compounds work on the pituitary gland which would explain its effects on hormonal levels. A study has shown that extracts of the fruit of VAC can bind to opiate receptors; this could explain why intake of VAC reduces PMS discomforts.

Current uses
Vitex Agnus-Castus is used as an Alternative medicine to alleviate symptoms of various gynecological problems:-

*PMS
*Galactagogue. This use is disputed.
*Potential as an Insect repellent.
*No clinical studies
*Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
*Uterine fibroids
*Menopause
*Infertility
*Luteal phase defect

It is used in some supplements for male bodybuilders as a secondary component because of its effects on testosterone levels.

Contraindications:  It is recommended that Vitex agnus-castus be avoided during pregnancy due to the possibility of complications.

Other types uses:
*Historical uses, uses outside the scope of medicine.

*Galactagogue, historical usage in very low concentrations and not advisable today. However one recent study did find “Oral administration of 70 mg/kg/day of Vitex agnus-castus extract in lactation stages, significantly increased serum prolactin, compared with the control group of rats.”

*Potential use as an insect repellent
Used in supplements for male bodybuilders as a secondary component because of its effects on testosterone levels

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/Verbenaceae/Vitex_agnus-castus.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitex_agnus-castus
http://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/vitagnus.htm
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail213.php

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements
Categories
Herbs & Plants

Nishinda (Vitex Negundo)

[amazon_link asins=’B003QF1P8W,B00M03UJRE,B01M58V3TC,B00J0T60QA,B01KI23BUK,B06XBKJF11,B016ID6DA8,B01EY6OQ4G,B01NBDTGRN’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’23893583-352b-11e7-a854-e373b9492fe1′]

Botanical Name : Vitex negundo
Family Name :Verbenacae/Lamiaceae
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Lamiales
Genus:    Vitex
Species:V. negundo

Common Name : CHASTE TREE, HUANG PING, GATTILIER INCISE, HUANG CHING, LENGGUNDI, MAN CHING, NEGUNDO CHASTETREE

Vernacular Names:
Bengali Name : Nishinda, Nirgundi, Samalu
Chinese Name : Huang ping
English Name : Five-Leaved Chaste Tree
French Name : Gattilier incise
German Name : Mönchspfeffer
Gujarati Name : Nagod, Nagad
Hindi Name : Sambhalu, Sawbhalu, Samhalu, Nirgandi, Nisinda, Mewri
Kannada Name : Belenekki
Latin name : Vitex negundo Linn.
Marathi Name : Lingad, Nigad, Nirgundi
Persian Name : Banjangasht, Sisban
Punjabi Name : Bharwan, Maura, Banni, Swanjan
Sanskrit Name : Nirgundi, Nirgumdo
Urdu Name : Tukhme Sambhalu

Habitat: Vitex negundo is native to tropical Eastern and Southern Africa and Asia. It is widely cultivated and naturalized elsewhere.
Countries it is indigenous to include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, and Vietnam.This plant is commonly found near bodies of water, recently disturbed land, grasslands, and mixed open forests

Part Used : Whole plant (Parts Offered : Fruits, Seeds, Leaves, Roots)

Description:
Vitex negundo is an erect shrub or small deciduous tree growing from 2 to 8 m (6.6 to 26.2 ft) in height. The bark is reddish-brown. Its leaves are digitate, with five lanceolate leaflets, sometimes three. Each leaflet is around 4 to 10 cm (1.6 to 3.9 in) in length, with the central leaflet being the largest and possessing a stalk. The leaf edges are toothed or serrated and the bottom surface is covered in hair. The numerous flowers are borne in panicles 10 to 20 cm (3.9 to 7.9 in) in length. Each is around 6 to 7 cm (2.4 to 2.8 in) long and are white to blue in color. The petals are of different lengths, with the middle lower lobe being the longest. Both the corolla and calyx are covered in dense hairs.

click to see the pictures..>…...(01)......(1)……..(2).……..(3).……...(4).……...(5)…..

The fruit is a succulent drupe, 4 mm (0.16 in) in diameter, rounded to egg-shaped. It is black or purple when ripe.

Cultivation method: It is raised through seeds and cutting. After harvesting of mature seeds sown in nursery beds. Normally germination commences within 2-3 weeks. Four to six months old seedlings are used to transplant in the field.

Uses : The leaves are astringent, febrifuge, sedative, tonic and vermifuge. They are useful in dispersing swellings of the joints from acute rheumatism and of the testes from suppressed gonorrhoea. The juice of the leaves is used for removing foetid discharges and worms from ulcers, whilst an oil prepared with the leaf juice is applied to sinuses and scrofulous sores. A decoction of the stems is used in the treatment of burns and scalds.

The dried fruit is vermifuge and is also used in the treatment of angina, colds, coughs, rheumatic difficulties etc. The fresh berries are pounded to a pulp and used in the form of a tincture for the relief of paralysis, pains in the limbs, weakness etc. The root is expectorant, febrifuge and tonic. It is used in the treatment of colds and rheumatic ailments. The plant is said to be a malarial preventative and is also used in the treatment of bacterial dysentery – extracts of the leaves have shown bactericidal and antitumor activity. The leaves are used to repel insects in grain stores. Extracts of the leaves have insecticidal activity. The fresh leaves are burnt with grass as a fumigant against mosquitoes.
It is one of the ten herbal medicines endorsed by the Philippine Department of Health as an effective herbal medicine with proven therapeutic value. Lagundi has been clinically tested to be effective in the treatment of colds, flu, bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis and pharyngitis. Studies have shown that Lagundi can prevent the body’s production of leukotrienes which are released during an asthma attack. Lagundi contains Chrysoplenol D. A substance with anti-histamine properties and muscle relaxant.

The leaves, flowers, seeds and root of Lagundi can all be used as herbal medicine. A decoction is made by boiling the parts of the plant and taken orally. Today, Lagundi is available in capsule form and syrup for cough.

Nirgundi is an important herb in Ayurveda. This herb pacifies the kapha and vata doshas of the body. The roots, seeds and leaves part of this herb are used to prepare medicines.

Nirgundi herb has various properties such as bitter, acrid, astringent, heating, anthelmintic and cephalic. It is used to cure various diseases such as leucoderma, inflammations, spleen enlargement, eye diseases, bronchitis and various other diseases. Some Ayurvedic properties and other benefits of nirgundi herb are discussed in this article.

Medicinal uses: As medicine its leaf, root, flower and fruits are used. Boiled water from its leaves is used to cure chronic pain. Its is a also used for swelling, rheumatism, sores, fever and headache. Leaves and branches are insect repellent so village people are used for preserving stored grains (especially in rice) against insect attacks.
Benefits:
1.  Relief of asthma & pharyngitis

2.  Recommended relief of rheumatism, dyspepsia, boils, diarrhea

3.  Treatment of cough, colds, fever and flu and other bronchopulmonary disorders

4.   Alleviate symptoms of Chicken Pox

5.   Removal of worms, and boils

Preparation:
For 1. For boil half cup of chopped fresh or dried leaves in 1 cup of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink half cup three times a day.

For2.
The lagundi flowers are also good for diarrhea and fever. Boil as with the leaves.

For 3
. The root is specially good for treating dyspepsia, worms, boils, colic and rheumatism.

Other Uses:
It is mainly used as a natural insect repellent. Click for more knowledge…..(1)……..(1a) ……(1b)

Lagundi tablets (300 mg) are available from the Department of Health’s Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC) Telephone # (632) 727-6199.
Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitex_negundo
http://www.mapbd.com/Mpdes.htm#nishinda
http://www.motherherbs.com/vitex-negundo.html
http://herbal-medicine.philsite.net/lagundi.htm

Vitex negundo Linn.