The mechanisms underlying the role of Vitex agnus-castus in mastalgia

Bratisl Lek Listy. 2022;123(12):913-918. doi: 10.4149/BLL_2022_147.


Medicinal plants exert therapeutic effects or have beneficial healing functions on the human or animal body. Medicinal plants are widely used in traditional medicine as an interesting alternative and/or complementary to science-based medicine. Compared to chemical drugs, medicinal plants have a lower risk of side effects, are eco-friendly, and have cost-effective production. This encouraged researchers to extensively exploit them for their therapeutic use. One of the most well-known medicinal plants is Vitex agnus-castus L., which belongs to the Verbenaceae family. This shrub tree is mainly grown in tropical and sub-tropical regions. The parts of VAC, especially berries and leaves, contain essential oils, flavonoids, and diterpenes. Many medical benefits of VAC have already been reported, including mastalgia, regulating menstrual cycles and premenstrual complaints, and infertility. Respiratory and cardiovascular effects are also reported. In this review, we will analyze and characterize the known roles of VAC in mastalgia, as well as the mechanism of action reported in in vitro and/or in vivo studies, and show the potential for alternative therapeutic uses in mastalgia, also known as breast pain (Fig. 2, Ref. 40). Keywords: mastalgia, Vitex agnus-castus, therapy, traditional medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mastodynia* / drug therapy
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plant Leaves
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Vitex* / chemistry


  • Plant Extracts