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Family Verbenaceae
Vitex trifolia Linn.

San ye man jing

Scientific names Common names
Vitex benthamiana Domin Dangla (Ilk.)
Vitex bicolor Willd Lagundi (Tag., Sbl., Bik., Bis.)
Vitex indica Mill. [Illegitimate] Lagundian (Lan.)
Vitex integerrima Mill. [Illegitimate] Lagunding-dagat (Tag.)
Vitex iriomotensis Ohwi Liñgei (Bon.)
Vitex negundo var. philippinensis Moldenke Lipuk (Tag.)
Vitex neocaledonica Gand. Tigau (Sul.)
Vitex paniculata Lam. Shrubby chaste tree (Engl.)
Vitex petiolaris Domin Simple leaf chaste tree (Engl.)
Vitex trifolia Linn. Three-leaved chaste tree (Engl.)
Vitex triphylla Royle Indian privet (Engl.)
Vitex variifolia Salisb. Indian wild pepper (Engl.)
Lagundi is a shared common name by two Vitex species: Vitex negundo and Vitex trifolia.
Vitex trifolia L. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Panisamalu, choto nishinda, Kowa-nouda.
CHINESE: : Man jing zi, San ye man jing.
HINDI: Pani-ki-sanbhalu, Sufed-sanbhalu.
MALAY: Lenggundi.
THAI: Khon thiso.
VIETNAMESE: M[aj]n kinh.

Lagunding-dagat is a shrub or small tree growing from 1 to 4 meters high, sometimes prostate or ascending in habit. Leaves are simple or 3-foliolate. In the prostrate form, the leaves are all simple, stalkless, oblong to oblong-elliptic, 4 to 7 centimeters long, 1.5 to 4 centimeters wide, pointed at both ends, smooth and shining on the upper surface, and sparsely covered with gray hairs beneath. Flowers are numerous, borne in terminal, oblong panicles 5 to 10 centimeters long. Corolla is hairy, lavender to blue. Tube is about 8 millimeters long, the larger central lobe of the lower lip has a white blotch at the base; limb is 12 millimeters in the greatest diameter. Fruit is rounded, 4 to 5 millimeters in diameter.

- Along the seashore throughout the Philippines.
- Occurs in similar habitats in India to Mauritius and Japan, and southward through Malaya to tropical Australia and Polynesia.

Study yielded 31 compounds and 28 were identified as triterpenes, fatty acids, flavones, and derivatives of benzene.
Leaves Leaves yield an essential oil and resin.
Fruit contains an acid resin, an astringent organic acid, malic acid, traces of an alkaloid, and coloring matter.
Chemical studies of leaves and twigs yield an essential oil, 0.11 - 0.28 per cent. Chief constituents of the oil are l-d-pinene and camphene (55 %); terpinyl acetate (10 %); and a diterpene alcohol (20 %).

Study isolated a new benzofuran-type lignan, vitrifol A, from the fruits of V. trifolia with three known compounds.
Study yielded five triterpenoids: (1) ursolic acid (2), 2alpha,3alpha-dihydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic acid (3) betulinic acid (4) taraxerol, and (5) 2alpha,3beta, 19-trihydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic acid.

- Plant has been reported to trigger allergic reactions: sneezing, dizziness, headache, nausea.
- Leaves considered antiseptic, anthelmintic, aromatic, febrifuge, anodyne, diuretic, emmenagogue, insecticidal.
- Fruit considered nervine, cephalic, emmenagogue.
- Roots considered tonic, expectorant and febrifuge.
- Studies have shown larvicidal, anticancer, anti-infammatory, analgesic, hepatoprotective, anti-asthmatic, wound healing, anthelmintic, antitubercular properties.

Parts used
Leaves, roots, fruits.


For that peculiar Filipino malady characterized by an intense localized burning in the soles of the feet - quemaduras del pie o ignipedites - application of leaves 3 to 4 times daily provides relief. The leaves are heated in an earthen pot without the addition of water, then applied when sufficiently hot, and held in place by a bandage.
Decoction of leaves used for aromatic baths.
Emmenagogue, used in amenorrhea.
In Malaya, decoction of roots is drunk for fever and after childbirth.
In India, leaves used as anodyne, diuretic and emmenagogue. Leaves in fomentations and baths used for treatment of beri-beri and burning of the feet.
Dry fomentation of leaves used for sprains, contusions and rheumatism.
Infusions used for intermittent fevers with scanty urine, rheumatism and as febrifuge.
In Malaya, leaves are ground with garlic, pepper, turmeric and boiled rice and made into pills and given for consumption.
Powdered leaves used as febrifuge and antiseptic.
Used for headache, catarrh, watery eyes, and to promote growth of the beard.
Used in treatment of breast cancer.
Powdered fruit, sweetened or mixed with honey, or in decoction, used as nervine, cephalic and emmenagogue.
Leaves used internally or externally in baths to cure itching associated with Ciguatera fish poisoning.
In Chinese medicine, dried fruit has been used for colds, headache, migraine, eye pain. In some parts of China, used as folk medicine to cure certain cancers.
Roots used as tonic, expectorant and febrifuge.
Decorative: Flowers and seeds used in making leis.
Repellent: Leaves are burned as insect or mosquito repellent.

Wood: Used for fuel and for light construction.

Vitexicarpin / Apoptosis-Inducing:
In a study investigating the inhibitory effect of vitexicarpin on the proliferation of human cancer cells showed it induces apoptosis in K562 cells via mitochondria-controlled apoptotic pathway.(1)
Larvicidal: In a study of four species of Vitex against Culex quinquefasciatus larvae, the highest larvicidal activity was found with the extract of V. trifolia. (2)
Larvicidal: In a study of the larvicidal activity of fatty acid methyl ester extracts of V. altissima, V. negundo and V. trifolia against early fourth-instar larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus, the extract of V. trifolia showed the highest larvicidal activity. (13)
Anti-Cancer / Antifungal: Hexanic and dichloromethanic extracts showed toxicity against several cancer lines in culture. The hexanic extract from the leaves completely inhibited the growth of the fungal plant pathogen Fusarium species. (3)
Hepatoprotective / CCl4-Induced Injury: Study showed V. trifolia could provide significant protection against CCl4-induced hepatocellular injury. The hepatoprotective activity is supported by histological studies of liver tissue. (4)
Hepatoprotective / Flowers: Study showed ethanolic extract of flowers of Vitex trifolia possess hepatoprotective activity on CCl4-induced hepatic injury in rats. The activity was comparable to standard drug, silymarin. (5)
Anti-Inflammatory: Aqueous extract of Vitex trifolia showed significant dose- and time-dependent inhibitory activity on interleukin (IL)-1B, IL-6 and iNOS mRNA synthesis. (6)
Wound Healing: Study on the wound healing potency of ethanol leaf extracts of V trifolia and V altissima showed both extracts to possess significant would healing potency. Of the two, V trifolia showed maximum healing activity compared to V altissima.
Anti-Asthmatic Compounds: Study of leaves of V trifolia isolated three compounds – viteosin-A, vitexicarpin and vitetrifolin-E. Vitexicarpin was the most active of the three. The mechanism of activity seems to be non-competitive antagonism to histamine and stabilization of mast cells membrane function.
Antibacterial: Various extracts of Morinda citrifolia, Vitex trifolia (leaf) and Chromolaena odorata were evaluated for antibacterial activity. The extracts showed comparable antibacterial activity towards bacterial isolates, supporting its traditional use and suggesting a potential use for the treatment of infectious disease and development of chemotherapeutic agents. (11)
Antinociceptive / Anti-Inflammatory: Study of leaf extract showed significant anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory activity. The leaf extract potentiated the analgesic activity with pentazocine and aspirin. It showed dose-dependent anti-inflammatory activity in the carrageenan-induced paw edema model. (12) Study evaluated an aqueous extract of leaves for anti-inflammatory activity by carrageenan induced paw edema, granuloma pouch and formaldehyde induced arthritis models. Results showed significant (p<0.001) increase in percentage of inhibition of paw edema and significant inhibition of exudate formation. (26)
Anticancer / Vitexicarpin: Study carried out to identify anticancer components isolated 18 compounds: labdane-type diterpenes 1-6, flavonoids 7-13, iridoid, lignan, steroid, phenolic and fatty acids 14-18. Compound 9, vitexicarpin, exhibited strong dose-dependent anticancer activity. Further anticancer evaluation showed inhibitory activity of vitexicarpin on the proliferation of K562 cells. (14)
Anti-Inflammatory Properties / Inhibition of NF-kB Translocation: Study suggested the anti-inflammatory properties of V. trifolia extract seemed associated with inhibition of NF-kB translocation through a reduction in expression of expression of NF-kB p50, and effects on inflammation mediators such as chemokines CCL-3 and CXCL-10, and COX-2. (17)
Antibacterial / Leaf: Study evaluated two medicinal plants, Vitex trifolia and Aristolochia indica for potential bacterial activity against S. aureus, K. pneumonia, B. subtilis, E. coli, S. typhi and P. aeruginosa. A benzene extract of leaves of V. trifolia exhibited highest inhibition against B. subtilis. Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, phenolics, tannins and terpenoids. (18)
Anthelmintic / Leaves: Study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of various leaf extracts of V. trifolia against earthworm Pheretima posthuma. Results showed the potential usefulness of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of V. tirifolia against the earthworm. (19)
Antitubercular Diiterpenoids / Leaves: Study yielded a new halimane diterpenoid, 13-hydroxy-5(10),14-halimadien-6-one and two new labdane diterpenoids, 6α,7α-diacetoxy-13-hydroxy-8(9),14-labdadien (compound 2) and 9-hydroxy-13(14)-labden-15,16-olide. Compounds 3 and 4 (known diterpenoid, isoambreino- lide) exhibited antitubercular activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv in BACTEC-460 assay. (20)
Analgesic / Leaves: Study evaluated the analgesic potential of V. trifolia using the acetic acid-induced writhing test in mice and tail immersion method in rats. Results showed both central and peripheral analgesic potential. (21)
Anticancer / HepG2 and HeLa: Study evaluated the cytotoxicity of n-hexane fractions of Vitex trifolia in two cancer lines: HepG2 and HeLa. Results showed VT to be highly effective against both HepG2 and HeLa cancer lines at concentration of 80 µg/ml. Findings suggest a potential for use in liver and cervical cancers. (24)
Cytotoxicity / MCF-7 Cell Lines: Study evaluated the the cytotoxic activities of methanol and PE extracts against MCF-7 and Vero cell line. Results showed strong inhibition against MCF-7 cell lines and weak inhibition against the Vero cell line. Results suggest V. trifolia can cause cell death in MCF-7 cancer cells and has promise as a chemotherapetic agent in breast cancer treatment. (25)


Last Update September 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: File:Vitex trifolia Blanco1.226-cropped.jpg / Flora de Filipinas / 1880 - 1883 / Francisco Manuel Blanco (O.S.A) / Pubic Domain / Modifications by Carol Spears Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Vitex trifolia / Flowers at Kahului Airport, Maui / Forest and Kim Starr - Plants of Hawaii / Creative Commons Attribution / alterVISTA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Vitexicarpin, a flavonoid from Vitex trifolia L., induces apoptosis in K562 cells via mitochondria-controlled apoptotic pathway / Wang Hai-yan, CAI Bing et al / Acta Pharceutica Sinica, 2005-01
Differential larvicidal efficacy of four species of Vitex against Culex quinquefasciatus larvae / Krishnan Kannathasan et al / Parasitology Research, Volume 101, Number 6 / November, 2007 / DOI 10.1007/s00436-007-0714-5
Biological activities of crude plant extracts from Vitex trifolia L. (Verbenaceae) / M M Hernandez, C Heraso et al /
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 67, Issue 1, October 1999, Pages 37-44 / doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(99)00041-0 |
Hepatoprotective Activity of Vitex trifolia against Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Hepatic Damage / B K Manjunatha and S M Vidya / Indian J Pharm Sci. , 2008 Mar–Apr; 70(2): 241–245. / doi: 10.4103/0250-474X.41466.
EFFECT OF ETHANOL EXTRACT OF FLOWERS OF VITEX TRIFOLIA LINN. ON CCl4 INDUCED HEPATIC INJURY IN RATS / Ramasamy Anandan, Balasundaram Jayakar et al / Pak. J. Pharm. Sci., Vol.22, No.4, October 2009, pp.391-394 391
Characterisation of the anti-inflammatory potential of Vitex trifolia L. (Labiatae), a multipurpose plant of the Pacific traditional medicine / Mariko Matsui et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 126, Issue 3, 10 December 2009, Pages 427-433 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2009.09.020 |
Comparative evaluation of wound healing potency of Vitex trifolia L. and Vitex altissima L. / B K Mamjunatha, S M Vidya et al / Phytotherapy Research, Volume 21 Issue 5, Pages 457 - 461
Published Online: 30 Jan 2007
One new dihydrobenzofuran lignan from Vitex trifolia / Qiong Gu et al / Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, Volume 10, Issue 6 June 2008 , pages 499 - 502 / DOI: 10.1080/10286020801967359
Antiasthmatic Compounds Isolated from Antiasthmatic “JAMU” Ingredient Legundi Leaves (Vitex trifolia L.) / S Wahyuono, G Alam et al / Conference abstract SL-25 / Scientia Pharmaceutica
Studies on the triterpenoids of Vitex trifolia / Chen YS, Xie JM, Yao H, Lin XY, Zhang YH./ Zhong Yao Cai. 2010 Jun;33(6):908-10.
Evaluation of antibacterial activity of Morinda citrifolia, Vitex trifolia and Chromolaena odorata / S. Esath Natheer, C. Sekar, P. Amutharaj, M. Syed Abdul Rahman and K. Feroz Khan / African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology Vol. 6(11), pp. 783-788, 22 March, 2012

Anti-nociceptive and Anti-inflammatory Effects of the Leaf Extract of Vitex trifolia Linn. in Experimental Animals / P Goverdhan and Diwakar Bobbala / Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 65-72. 2009.
Larvicidal activity of fatty acid methyl esters of Vitex species against Culex quinquefasciatus / Krishnan Kannathasan, Annadurai Senthilkumar, Venugopalan Venkatesalu and Manivachagam Chandrasekaran / PARASITOLOGY RESEARCH, Volume 103, Number 4 (2008), 999-1001/ DOI: 10.1007/s00436-008-1078-1
Studies on the Anticancer Constituents of Vitex Trifolia L.,A Traditional Chinese Medicine / Tumor Research Center
Sorting Vitex names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 The University of Melbourne.
Aqueous extract of Vitex trifolia L. (Labiatae) inhibits LPS-dependent regulation of inflammatory mediators in RAW 264.7 macrophages through inhibition of Nuclear Factor kappa B translocation and expression.
/ Matsui M1, Adib-Conquy M, Coste A, Kumar-Roiné S, Pipy B, Laurent D, Pauillac S. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Aug 30;143(1):24-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.05.043. Epub 2012 Jun 23.
Efficacy of different solvent extracts of Vitex trifolia L. and aristolochia indica L. for potential antibacterial activity / M and Mohan V R / Science Research Reporter 2(1): 110-114, March 2012
Evaluation of Anthelmintic activity of Vitex trifolia Linn. leaves against Pheretima posthuma
/ S.Thenmozhi*, K.Vibha, M.Dhanalakshmi, K.Manjuladevi, Sumeet Diwedi and U.Subasini / International Journal of Pharmaceutical & Biological Archives 2013; 4(5): 878 - 880
Antitubercular diterpenoids from Vitex trifolia / Neerja Tiwari, Jayprakash Thakur, Dharmendra Saikia, Madan M. Gupta / Phytomedicine 20 (2013) 605–610
ANALGESIC POTENTIAL OF VITEX TRIFOLIA LINN (VERBANEACAE). / Kulkarni LA / Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research
Vitex trifolia / Synonyms / The Plant List
Vitex trifolia / Local Names / WordAgroForestry
Evaluation of Anticancer Activity Using Hexanic Extract of Vitex trifolia on Two Different Cancer Cell Lines
/ Vasanthi.V. J., Radhjeyalakshmi. R., Nasrin. F. / International Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemical Research 2014; 6(3): 449-453

Cytotoxicity of Vitex trifolia leaf extracts on MCF-7 and Vero cell lines / Mohammed I. Garbi*, Elbadri E. Osman, Ahmed S. Kabbashi, Mahmmoud S.Saleh, Yuosof S. Yuosof, Sara A. mahmoud, Hamza A. A Salam / Journal of Scientific and Innovative Research 2015; 4(2): 89-93

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