Latin name: Vitex Nigundo
Common name: Nirgundi
English name: five leaved chaste tree
Habitat: common throughout India ascending to an altitude of 1500 m in the outer Himalayas.
Macroscopic identification: a large aromatic shrub or a small tree, up to 4.5 meter in height. Leaves are palmately compound, mostly trifoliate occasionally penta-foliate.
Parts used: leaf, root, seed (renuka), flowers and bark
Pharmacological action: leaves are externally anti-parasitic; internally alterative, aromatic bitter, and vermifuge anodyne. Root is tonic, febrifuge, alterative, expectorant and diuretic. Fruit is nervine, cephalic and emmanogogue. Dried fruit acts as a vermifuge. Flowers are cool and astringent.
Action and uses in Ayurveda: sula, sopha, vatvyadhi, aamvata, kustha, kandu, kasa, pradra, adhmana, pliha roga, gulma, aruchi, krimi, vrana, karnsula, sutika jwara
Cholera, Colic, Diarrhea, Dysmenorrhea, Dyspepsia,
Ear disorders, Endometriosis, Fever, Fibrocystic
Breast Disease, Headache, Heart Disease, Hemicrania,
Hemorrhoids, Infertility (Female), Liver disorders,
Malaria, Menopause, Menorrhagia (Heavy Menstruation),
Menstrual Difficulties (primary and Secondary
Ammenorhea), Nausea, Premenstrual Syndrome,
Rheumatism, Skin diseases, Ulcers, Worms
Photochemical: leaves contain a colorless essential oil of odor of the drug and resin. Fruit contains an acid resin, an astringent, organic acid, malic acid, traces of an alkaloid and a coloring matter. It is thought to contain a progesterone-like compound The chemical constituents are the monoterpenes agnuside, eurostoside, and aucubin. Chasteberry also contains the flavonoids casticin, chryso-splenol and vitexin.
Properties and action:
Rasa: tikta, katu, kasaya
Karma: kaphsamaka, vatsamaka, sophara, kesa, chaksusya, visaghna, smritiprada, anulomna
Preparations: powder, oil, extract, tincture, decoction, and poultice
Therapeutic classification index:
- Digestive system: fruit is used in diarrhea, intestinal worms and colitis
- Respiratory system: leaves when smoked relieve catarrh and headache.
- Skin: juice from the leaves relieves fetid discharge and worms from ulcers.
- Nutrition and metabolism:
- Genito-urinary system: leaves are very efficacious in dispelling inflammatory swellings of the testes from suppressed gonorrhea or gonorrheal Epididymitis and orchitis. Employing an aqueous extract from the fruit, a 1979 study reported good results on premenstrual water retention. Women were able to sustain a good level of milk production for breast-feeding while taking this herb. While it took some time for the drug to take effect, the women were able to continue the use of the drug for months without harmful side effects. Thus, Vitex's benefits stem from its actions upon the pituitary gland—specifically on the production of luteinizing hormone. This increases progesterone production and helps regulate a woman’s cycle. Vitex also keeps prolactin secretion in check. The ability to decrease excessive prolactin levels may benefit infertile women
- Musculoskeletal system: leaves are very efficacious in dispelling inflammatory swellings of the joints from acute rheumatism, sprains and contusions
Dose: powder (root) –3-6 gm; powder (seed) –3-6 gm
Fresh juice10-20 ml
Capsule Nirgundi contains pure and concentrated Nirgundi
Dosage: one capsule twice a day
Package size: 60 capsules.
- Dr.KM Nadkarni, The Indian Materia Medica, Vol.I, pg 1278
- Prof P.V Sharma, Dravya Guna Vigyana, Vol II, pg 66
- The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Of India, Part I, Vol.III, pg 142