The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

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Simpleleaf Chastetree

Scientific Names

Simpleleaf Chastetree

  • Vitex trifolia
  • Lamiaceae family

Common Names

  • Arabian lilac
  • Bois noux noux (Seychelles)
  • Common Blue Vitex
  • Fructus Viticis
  • Gendavasi
  • Halamang gamot (Philippines)
  • Jalanirgundi (Sanskrit)
  • Lagondi (Malayalam)
  • Lagundi (Philippines)
  • Lalatahi (Tonga)
  • Lawarani (Bugi)
  • Legoendi (Dutch)
  • Legundi (Indonesian)
  • Lemuni (Malaysia-especially in northern region)
  • Liligundi (Bali)
  • Man Jing Zi (Chinese)
  • Namulega (Samoa)
  • Nichinda (Hindi)
  • Nira-lakki-gida (Kannada)
  • Nirnochchi (Tamil)
  • Nirnoschi (Malayalam)
  • Niruvavili (Telugu)
  • Panikisanbhalu (Hindi)
  • Paniki-shumbala (Bengali)
  • Pani-samalu (Bengali)
  • Rara (Cook Islands)
  • Sangari
  • Shirunoch-chi (Tamil)
  • Shiruvavili (Telugu)
  • Simpleleaf Chastetree
  • Sindhuka (Sanskrit)
  • Sufed-sanbhalu (Hindi)
  • Surasa (Sanskrit)
  • Three Leaflet Vitex
  • Urikshibi (Manipuri)
  • Vitex Fruit
  • Vrikshaha (Sanskrit)

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Parts Usually Used

Leaves, flowers, fruit, roots, inner bark
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Vitex trifolia is a shrubby evergreen tree that can grow up to 5-6 meters tall. Its flowers are violet to purple in color and are about 5 mm long. The yellow-brown fruits are about 6 mm in diameter and contain four small, black seeds.

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Where Found

Simpleleaf Chastetree is a coastal plant that is native to Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand.

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Medicinal Properties

Vitex trifolia contains antimicrobial, analgesic, antitubercular, hepatoprotective, insecticidal, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, antioxidant, and antiasthmatic properties.

The roots have diaphoretic and diuretic properties.

According to Asian Journal of Traditional Medicines: Biological assays of [Vitex trifolia] plant organic extracts have shown a number of important activities. Hexanic and dichloromethanic extracts, when prepared from stems and foliage, have proved to be very toxic against cultures of several cancer cell lines. Also, an important anti-feeding activity against the insect pest Spodoptera frugiperda has been recorded. The hexanic extract of the leaves completely inhibited the growth of the fungal plant pathogen Fusarium sp. The essential oils of Vitex trifolia have been shown to having insecticidal activity.

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Biochemical Information

Vitex trifolia fruit contains flavonoids, sterols, and terpenoids as well as vitricin, fatty oil, p-hydroxy benzoic acid, p-anisic acid, and vanillin. The leaf contains volatile oils, which are mainly α-pinene, β-pinene, phenol, 1,8-cineole and α-terpineol.

This plant contains potentially bioactive molecules, such as diterpenoids, iridoids, derivatives, flavonoids and phytosteroids.

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Legends, Myths and Stories

Simpleleaf Chastetree is often used as a background shrub or a small multi-trunk shade tree.

The seeds and flowers of this plant are used to make decorative leis

Because of oils in the leaves that are distateful to insects and mosquitoes, they are often burned as an insect repellant.

The wood is used to make tools and axe handles.

The wood is often burned for fuel.

Vitex trifolia. L an endangered medicinal plant.

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Simpleleaf Chastetree flower

In the Cook Islands, the leaves are used to treat menstrual cramps and other female ailments.

The leaves are applied externally to treat such ailments as sprains, rheumatic pains and inflammations.

The flowers are used to treat fevers with vomiting.

A decoction made from the roots is used to treat fever and liver diseases.

A decoction made from the dried fruit is is used to treat headache, common cold, mastitis and watery eyes.

Some people chew the inner bark as a remedy for dysentery.

Traditional practitioners use this plant as a treatment for expulsion of mucus, fever, lowering blood pressure, viruses, common cold, prosopalgia, chronic tracheitis, sinusitis, periodontitis and rheumatism.

The leaves are ground with garlic, pepper, turmeric, and boiled rice and formed into balls which are used in the treatment of consumption.

The fresh juice is used as a treatment for headache.

Baths with the leaves are used to treat beriberi.

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Formulas or Dosages

According to the Chinese Herbs Healing website: The Chinese Materia Medica believes that it is acrid and bitter in flavor and slightly cold in nature. And it goes to meridians of liver, stomach, and bladder. Vital functions are dispelling wind and heat and clearing head and eyes. Main vitex trifolia uses and indications include wind-heat type cold, dizziness, headache, migraine, swollen and aching gums, swollen red eyes, excessive tearing, pain in eyes, dim vision, arthritis with fixed pain caused by dampness, and spasm. Recommended dosage is from 6 to 10 grams in decoction, soaked wine, pills, or powder.

1. Yi Qi Cong Ming Tang from Zheng Zhi Zhun Sheng (The Level-line of Patterns and Treatment). It works with Huang Qi (Astragalus Root), Ren Shen (Ginseng), Sheng Ma (Cohosh), Ge Gen (Kudzu Root), etc. to treat insufficiency of middle-warmer energy, lucid yang failing to rise, tinnitus, and deafness.

2. Qiang Huo Sheng Shi Tang from Nei Wai Shang Bian Huo Lun (Clarifying Doubts about Damage from Internal and External Causes). It joins Qiang Huo (Notopterygium), Du Huo (Radix Angelicae Pubescentis), Chuan Xiong (Ligusticum), Fang Feng (Radix Saposhnikoviae), etc. to cure rheumatism;

3. Man Jing Zi from Lan Shi Mi Cang (Secret Library of the Orchid Room). It combines with Astragalus, Ginseng, Zhi Gan Cao (Honey Fried Licorice Root), Huang Bai (Amur Cork Tree Bark), and Bai Shao (White Peony Root) to treat overstrain, improper diet, and cataracta.

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Some people have reported allergic reactions to this plant, including respiratory problems, sneezing, headache, dizziness and nausea.

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Resource Links

Recent Studies Show Seven Herbs Help Stop Cancer Growth These Medicinal Plants Put Brakes on Cancer Growth

Journal of Ethnopharmacology: Evaluation of anti-proliferative activity of medicinal plants used in Asian Traditional Medicine to treat cancer

National University of Singapore: Anti-cancer properties uncovered in plants

Wikipedia: Vitex trifolia

Monaco Nature Encyclopedia: Simpleleaf Chastetree

ScienceDirect: Antibacterial activity of Vitex trifolia

ResearchGate: In-vitro Flowering in Vitex trifolia L

Asian Journal of Traditional Medicines:

Useful Tropical Plants: Vitex trifolia

Chinese Herbs Healing: Vitex Trifolia

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