Author(s): Margaret Diana van Die, Henry G Burger, Helena J Teede, Kerry M Bone
Background: The origin of the current practice of administering Vitex agnus-castus in menopause-related complaints is uncertain, but appears to be relatively recent. Here we review the evidence for this application of Vitex based on evidence from pharmacological studies and clinical research. Methods: The mechanisms of potential relevance in the context of menopause are explored with reference to the current understanding of the endocrinology and neuroendocrinology of menopause and associated symptoms. Conclusions: We conclude that, while evidence from rigorous randomized controlled trials is lacking for the individual herb in this context, emerging pharmacological evidence supports a role for V. agnus-castus in the alleviation of menopausal symptoms and suggests that further investigation may be appropriate.