Agni castus fructus

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

All authors of this article

Last updated on: 02.03.2023

Dieser Artikel auf Deutsch


Agni casti fructus; fructus agni casti; Keuschlamfruits; Monk's pepper fruits

This section has been translated automatically.

Agnus castus belongs to the labiates family, the 3-5 m high tree-like shrub grows in the Mediterranean region and southwest Asia.

Agnus-castus literally means agnus = lamb and castus = chaste).

Formerly also used as an anti-aphrodisiac by monks in monasteries to control carnal desire.

Commission E: for menstrual tempo abnormalities (irregular menstruation), premenstrual discomfort and mastodynia (aching breasts).

HMPC- Monograph: Well-established use as dry extracts (DEV 6-12:1, extractant ethanol 60%): premenstrual syndrome.

Traditional-use as powdered drug, tincture or other dry extracts: mild premenstrual symptoms.

ESCOP monograph: premenstrual syndrome, tightness and pain in breasts; menstrual disorders, too frequent/too few or absent periods.

Commission E-monograph: menstrual disorders, premenstrual discomfort and mastodynia.

Empirical medicine: menstrual disorders in primary and secondary luteal insufficiency in pathologically elevated prolactin levels, menopausal complaints, weaning

Spectrum of action
This section has been translated automatically.

Ingredients of Frcutus agni casti: bicyclic diterpenes (e.g. rotundifuran), iridoid glycosides (agnuside, aucubin), lipophilic flavonols, hydrophilic flavones e.g. casticin (see below flavonoids), triglycerides, essential oils (with cineol and pinenes), sesquiterpenes.

Effects: Reduction of basal and stimulated prolactin secretion in cell cultures, dose-dependent antagonisation of haloperidol, binding to the D2-dopamine receptors of lactotropic cells, inhibition of prolactin secretion

This section has been translated automatically.

hyperprolactinaemia (E22.1.), premenstrual syndrome (N94.3), mastodynia (N64.5)

Undesirable effects
This section has been translated automatically.

allergic reactions with angioedema and urtiacardial exanthema, headache, dizziness, psychosomatic agitation (rare), hallucinations (rare), confusion (rare)

This section has been translated automatically.

Pregnancy, lactation, pituitary tumours, mammary carcinoma, allergy to Agnus castus

Children and adolescents under 18 years

This section has been translated automatically.

Agnolyt® solution or capsules, Agno-Sabona® capsules, Agnucaston® film tablets or solution, Biofem® film tablets, Castufemin® solution, Cefanorm® capsules or solution, Femicur N® capsules, Feminon A® capsules, Sarai® capsules.

Dosage: 2 to 4 mg dry extract (see leaflet)

This section has been translated automatically.

If a feeling of tension or swelling in the breasts or disturbances of menstrual bleeding occur, an exact diagnostic clarification is recommended.
Initially it is recommended to take the preparation over the entire cycle, in case of therapy response only in the 2nd half of the cycle, in case of improvement after 3 months discontinue if necessary.

This section has been translated automatically.

  1. Carmichael AR (2008) Can Vitex Agnus Castus be Used for the Treatment of Mastalgia? What is the Current Evidence? Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 5:247-250.
  2. Halaska M et al.(1998) Treatment of cyclical mastodynia using an extract of Vitex agnus castus: results of a double-blind comparison with a placebo. Ceska Gynekol 63:388-392.
  3. Loew D (2012) in Beer A M et al [eds] Leitfaden Naturheilverfahren für die ärztliche Praxis, Urban und Fischer Verlag p 185.
  4. Šošić-Jurjević B et al. (2016) Functional morphology of pituitary -thyroid and -adrenocortical axes in middle-aged male rats treated with Vitex agnus castus essential oil. Acta Histochem doi: 10.1016/j.acthis.2016.07.007.
  5. Tamagno G (2009) Are changes of prolactin levels the effectors of vitex agnus castus beneficial effects on the pre-menstrual syndrome? Maturitas 63:369.
  6. Tamagno G et al. (2007) Vitex agnus castus might enrich the pharmacological armamentarium for medical treatment of prolactinoma. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 135:139-140.
  7. YE Q et al. (2010) Casticin, a flavonoid isolated from Vitex rotundifolia, inhibits prolactin release in vivo and in vitro. Acta Pharmacol Sin 31:1564-1568.
  10. Wenigmann M. (2017) Phytotherapy medicinal drugs, phytopharmaceuticals, application. Urban & Fischer, pp. 162-163