Review Articles

2018  |  Vol: 4(2)  |  Issue: 4(March-April)  |  https://doi.org/10.31024/ajpp.2018.4.2.5
Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha): A wonder herb with multiple medicinal properties

Madhu Prakash Srivastava1*, Shashi Gupta2, Sonal Dixit1, Namita Yadav1, Vandana Yadav1, Hina Singh1, Pankaj Kanaujia1, Yogesh Kumar Sharma1

1Centre of Excellence, Department of Botany, University of Lucknow, Lucknow-226 007. India

2K. G. B. V. Mohanlalganj, Lucknow, U.P., India

*Address for Corresponding author

Madhu Prakash  Srivastava

Centre of Excellence, Department of Botany, University of Lucknow, Lucknow-226 007, U.P., India

Abstract

A flurry of new research from around the world on Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) is proving the medicinal effects of this ancient Ayurvedic herbal remedy are more than just anecdotal. The past few years have been banner years for Ashwagandha research. Ashwagandha helps in improving immune system. It is a potent adaptogen and aphrodisiac herb used in impotency, cancer, frequent miscarriage, uterine weakness, infertility, asthma, anemia, cancer, arthritis (osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis), anxiety, stress, depression, ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), cerebellar ataxia, diabetes, high cholesterol, infertility, Parkinson’s disease,  fibromyalgia etc. Plants contains a myriad of constituents, including withanolides named withanolide A, withanolide B, withaferin A, and withanone, along with 12-deoxy withastramonolide, withanoside V, withanoside IV. Other complex molecules include trihydroxy-oxowitha-trienolide compounds. These compounds have been found to act synergistically to enable changes in gene expression within the cell – producing a variety of medicinal effects in addition to antioxidant effects. While some research is striving to isolate and extract that one constituent to be synthetically produced in a lab to make a patented drug, the research above and others over the past year testify that this Ayurvedic power house herb is best used in its whole or whole extract form.

Keywords: Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera), withanolides, medicinal effects, immune system

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