Vitex agnus castus (Chaste tree)

What is Vitex agnus castus?

Vitex agnus castus, also known as Chaste tree, is a small shrub with purple flowers that is native to Greece and Italy. Extracts of Vitex agnus castus are made from the plant’s fruit and are used for the relief of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS).

The history of Vitex agnus castus use

The peppery fruit of Vitex agnus castus has been used as far back as ancient Greece and Rome, as well as the middle ages by monks. In western herbal medicine it is used as a female reproductive tonic.1 Today, Vitex agnus castus is used primarily to help relieve pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms and - menstrual cycle irregularities.

The specific extract used by Flordis

The specific Vitex agnus castus extract used by Flordis is known as Ze 440. Ze 440 is manufactured in Switzerland under specific production methods. This individual and highly technical process helps ensure a consistent form and amount of Ze 440 is used in every formulation, resulting in a consistently identical high-quality active.

The Ze 440 extract used by Flordis has been rigorously tested through a number of clinical trials, so you can be assured that the final product offers complete quality and reliability.

Chaste Tree: from seed to patient

The extract Ze 440 is naturally sourced in Mediterranean regions as well as being cultivated in India, Turkey & Spain. The plant extract is harvested, dried and stored in accordance with guidelines on Good Agricultural and Collection Practice (GACP) for starting materials of herbal origin. These defined specifications are fulfilled for Ze 440 regardless of whether the extract is of wild or cultivated origin.

How it works

PMS appears to be an altered response to the normal hormonal fluctuations of the menstrual cycle, with factors such as lifestyle, hormone, dietary, and emotional factors playing a part in PMS. Some research shows that there may be links to PMS and how women respond to the hormonal changes at ovulation and changes in brain chemicals (neurotransmitters).

Ze 440 is believed to work by influencing the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, which in turn can help reduce prolactin release and hence lessen the symptoms of PMS.4

Key studies on Ze440

Clinical trials have demonstrated that Ze 440 is able to significantly improve PMS symptoms. Some of the key studies include:

  • A double-blind placebo controlled trial, published in the British Medical Journal, which showed that more than half of the women who took Ze 440 during the trial experienced more than a 50% improvement in their PMS symptoms5
  • A multicentre randomised control trial, which showed that PMS symptoms were reduced for up to three cycles after treatment stopped6

Ze 440 has also been assigned a ‘well established medicinal use’ status by the EMEA based on its history, evidence and excellent tolerability.7

More from Flordis

Premular

For the symptomatic relief of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
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Ellura

Helps promote and maintain urinary tract health
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References

1.http://cms.herbalgram.org/expandedE/ChasteTreefruit.html 2.http://www.examiner.com/article/vitex-agnus-castus-the-herb-and-its-history 3.Data on file –Internal correspondence with manufacturer – Zeller. 4.Meier B, et al. Phytomedicine. 2000;7(5):379-381. 5.Schellenberg R et al. BMJ 2001;322:134-137. 6.Berger D et al Arch Gynecol Obstet 2000;264:150-153,EMA/HMPC/144006/2009 Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) Community herbal monograph on Vitex agnus-castus L., fructus (Nov 2010) 7. Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC). EMEA/HMPC/144003/2009