Vitex agnus-castus Common name: Chaste berry, Monk’s pepper, Vitex
Parts used: Fruit
Constituents: Flavonoids (castican, orientin, isovitexin); Iridoid glycosides (agnuside [the reference constituent for standardization], aucubin, eurostoside; Terpenoids (cineole, sabinene, limonene, camphene and others).
Medicinal actions: Pituitary adjuvant
Medicinal use: Vitex is most often used in the treatment of menstrual disorders. PMS, secondary amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, menorrhagia, metorrhagia, insufficient lactation, infertility, polycystic ovaries and acne are among some of the conditions that can be helped with vitex. The basic overall indication for vitex is a relative progesterone deficiency, or, a relative estrogen excess.
Pharmacy: Tincture: (1:5), 3-10 ml QD.
Toxicity: In high doses (20 times therapeutic), Vitex inhibits all aspects of anterior pituitary function resulting in decreased pituitary, adrenal and uterine function.