ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

VITEX NEGUNDO (Lagundi) in Focus: The Multi-Purpose Medicinal Plant

Updated on February 12, 2012

Recent studies showed the emerging importance of utilizing alternative medicine. One aspect of such practice is the use of herbal entities as treatment for various illnesses. Even before the marked scientific advancement in the history of humankind, herbal plants were used as part of traditional remedy for health disorders by ancient people. At present, there are more types of plants discovered which possess medicinal benefits. Some are even widely used today. Currently, one herbal plant is in the limelight of health breakthrough accounted for a number of its health and medicinal attributes. Being called in different names relative to the area or country that rears it, Vitex Negundo is simply just one-of-a-kind.

Commonly known as Lagundi in the Philippines, Vitex Negundo is a large shrub with thin and greyish bark and bluish-purple flowers. It has finger-like structured (digitate) leaves which grow in quadrangular branches. It bears flowers that develop in to clusters within densely matted filaments. V. Negundo is considered as a “hardy” plant because it can thrive even in the most extreme conditions though they are commonly found among humid areas or along courses of water. V.Negundo has gained popularity due to its medicinal value. More recent studies show its proven effectiveness to treat common illnesses such as cough and colds, to name a few.

A typical Vitex Negundo
A typical Vitex Negundo | Source

Vitex Negundo is widely used on par with other proven herbal plants in traditional medicine. Its significance is known since the early times. As a matter of fact, it is vastly promoted and recommended by different health institutions worldwide upon verification of its use in relieving symptoms of respiratory ailments. Other scientific findings also claim that almost every part of this plant serves a variety of medicinal purposes such as remedy for febrile state, inflammation, rheumatic conditions, wounds, and ulcers.

AS ANTI-INFLAMMATORY AGENT

During an episode of inflammation several chemical mediators are released which increase blood flow and extravasation of fluid through the area of affectation. One of these mediators is prostaglandin. It activates inflammatory response, produces pain sensations, and even induces increase in body temperature (known as fever). The leaves of the V.Negundo have essential phytochemicals that are said to be effective in treating acute or sub-acute inflammations and pain. Its action is geared primarily on the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis . Such action was said to be achieved all alone or in conjunction with other commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen.

AS ANALGESIA

As mentioned earlier, pain results from prostaglandin synthesis. The phytochemical extracts from the leaves of V.Negundo act on inhibiting the synthesis of prostaglandin. Hence, pain and discomfort is reduced or alleviated. In addition, there are various studies showing that sub-therapeutic doses of leaf extracts increase the analgesic effects of some standard pain-relieving medications such as Meperidine (a type of narcotic) and Aspirin. There are also several experimental studies involving administration of V.Negundo extracts which indicates that its analgesic effect is not associated with opiod-mediated receptors as evidenced by its lack of response to Naloxone, a potent narcotic antagonist.

RELIEF OF RESPIRATORY AILMENTS

Vitex Negundo has properties that can treat a wide array of illnesses. It has essential phytochemicals which are effective in treating common respiratory ailments and asthma. Studies show that they work to alleviate cough, colds, and pharyngitis. Its properties are also capable of inhibiting the production of leukotriene, also a mediator of inflammatory process, in mast cells associated with asthma attack.

AS ANTI-MICROBIAL

Certain bioactive phytochemicals present in Vitex Negundo, namely phenols, terpenoids, flavonoids, anthraquinones, and carotenoids are said to be associated in the antibacterial capabilities of the plant. Examinations showed that certain pathogenic agents such as salmonella paratyphi, klebsiella pneumonia, streptococcus mutans, and vibrio cholera are susceptible to these innate bioactive agents.

Some conditions that Vitex Negundo was said to be effective as a remedy are as follows:

  • For foetid discharges from ulcerations
  • As a medication capable of evacuating intestinal parasitic worms (as vermifuge)
  • For headaches
  • Swollen joints and testes (due to gonorrheal epidymitis or orchitis)
  • Gastric colic and flatulence
  • Promotes lactation for breastfeeding women (NOTE: Always consult your obstetrician before doing so.)

Apart from the above-mentioned purposes, V. Negundo is also claimed to have insecticidal properties.

Before, Vitex Negundo solutions were made out of boiled leaves and are often prepared in concoctions. However, due to their bitter taste, people (especially kids) are reluctant to ingest such mixtures. Instead, they resort taking over-the-counter medicines. But with recent advancements that focus on the medicinal benefits of V.Negundo, pharmaceutical companies came up with various preparations. Today, it is readily available in capsule or syrup forms.

Vitex Negundo in syrup preparation. (LAGUNDI is the term we call Vitex Negundo plants growing here in the Philippines.)
Vitex Negundo in syrup preparation. (LAGUNDI is the term we call Vitex Negundo plants growing here in the Philippines.) | Source

There you have it - lots of medicinal and health benefits from a single shrub. With the advent of renewed interest for alternative medicine, particularly in the utilization of herbal plants for medicinal purposes, we are all a couple of step closer to a treatment regimen that is safe, with minimal or no side effects at all, accessible, and cost effective.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Maria Samantha 18 months ago

      Hi miss singer nurse. I would like to feature your work in my research about lagundi plant. Furthermore, I would like to inquire your personal data most especially your name for the reference of the said research.

      Thank you!

    • thesingernurse profile image
      Author

      thesingernurse 5 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      Sure thing Sir. :)

    • normanwinkfield profile image

      Norman Winkfield 5 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Hi D, I've been good. Send me some more of your music.

    • thesingernurse profile image
      Author

      thesingernurse 5 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      Hi Sir! It's been a while, how have you been?

      I have to agree. Despite the efforts of the Department of Health regarding promotion to use medicinal plants, especially those from which they have identified (I think there are 11 of them?) to have been very effective, medical practitioners are reluctant to use them. Medicinal plants are more natural and has fewer side-effects as compared to laboratory-manufactured drugs.

      Thank you very much for dropping by and giving your wonderful insight. :D Take care!

    • conradofontanilla profile image

      conradofontanilla 5 years ago from Philippines

      thesingernurse,

      Voted useful. V. negundo, so far as I know, is the first medicinal plant of the Philippines that has been commercialized and is now being prescribed by doctors in conventional medicine.

      I hope the same could be done on other medicinal plants, especially on the prescription part.

    • thesingernurse profile image
      Author

      thesingernurse 5 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      Hi Sibaram! Thank you very much for dropping by. You are right. We already have everything we need in our environment. All we have to do is to make use of these creations wisely. We have all the provisions for food and, especially, for medications. I also hope that more and more natural health options would be available for human consumption in the coming years.

    • profile image

      Sibaram Paria 5 years ago

      Oh God,it is your gift for us.If we used scientifically and juditially all the natural herbs will be a treasure iland for diseases.

    • thesingernurse profile image
      Author

      thesingernurse 5 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      Thank you for reading Cassy! :) Vitex Negundo (or Lagundi as we call it here) has been around for quite sometime. However, people don't realize how important this plant is. Instead of buying OTC drugs, V.Negundo is much safer and more natural to use. Not to mention, a lot cheaper. I think medical experts should explore on alternative options such as this.

      It's always a pleasure to have you as one of my readers. You made my day! :D

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      I never even heard of this until I read it i your terrific hub here, Tina! This sounds impressive! Having a medical knowledge of things make a big difference when you are a Hub Writer. Your hubs are always excellent! Cheers! :)

    • thesingernurse profile image
      Author

      thesingernurse 5 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      Thank you very much for dropping by the nextgoodthing! I can still remember about that hub you made about your grandma's herbal remedies. That was also very well written and informative. :)

    • nextgoodthing profile image

      nextgoodthing 5 years ago from Miami,Fl

      Hi thesingernurse, this is a very usuful hub!Thanks for sharing in such detailed and clear way. Voted UP and became your follower ! :)

    • thesingernurse profile image
      Author

      thesingernurse 5 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      Wow! That was something new I learned from you. I'd google it so I could learn more about Gotu Kola. :)

      Nah... You don't have to address me as Madam or Queen. You could just call me Tina. :D

    • normanwinkfield profile image

      Norman Winkfield 5 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Hi young lady. The singing Nurse. I thank you for giving me the title of Sir. Are you British? are you a Queen? Maybe not British but you are a Queen of Herbs. I bestow on you the title of Madam Queen. So you would love to learn from my expertise. I would love to share with you. The first will be to reciprocate for you sharing with me. Gotu Kola its from India, it's a tonic acts to stimulate the brain. The rest is up to you enjoy yourself Madam. Talk to you later.

    • thesingernurse profile image
      Author

      thesingernurse 5 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      Thank you normanwinkfield! It's my pleasure to give out valuable information to people thru my hubs. Herbal plants are nature's blessings that we could always take advantage of. Here in the Philippines, we use V.Negundo to treat common illnesses and it's a great way to save up expenses too. :D

      I would love to learn from your above mentioned expertise. Thank you very much Sir!

    • normanwinkfield profile image

      Norman Winkfield 5 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Hi Tina, You have overwhelmed me with this hub and somewhat embarrassed me. You have caused me to step out side of my "I know it all about health box" I am 75yrs. old my forte is how to slow the aging process down with certain herds, foods, exercises,yoga and meditation. I am a witness herbs have a profound effect and effect on the body. Herbs are like people each has its own personality, they must be studied.Some herbs are dangerous and can make one very sick or kill. Thank you for a good job in your research of Vitex Nugundo. I feel safe to add it to my vast knowledge of herbs. Great job, great hub. Thanks again