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Withania somnifera

About: Withania somnifera is a(n) research topic. Over the lifetime, 2116 publication(s) have been published within this topic receiving 43404 citation(s). The topic is also known as: Ashwaganda & Indian ginseng.
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Journal Article
TL;DR: Preliminary studies have found various constituents of ashwagandha exhibit a variety of therapeutic effects with little or no associated toxicity, indicating this herb should be studied more extensively to confirm these results and reveal other potential therapeutic effects.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The objective of this paper is to review the literature regarding Withania somnifera (ashwagandha, WS) a commonly used herb in Ayurvedic medicine. Specifically, the literature was reviewed for articles pertaining to chemical properties, therapeutic benefits, and toxicity. DESIGN: This review is in a narrative format and consists of all publications relevant to ashwagandha that were identified by the authors through a systematic search of major computerized medical databases; no statistical pooling of results or evaluation of the quality of the studies was performed due to the widely different methods employed by each study. RESULTS: Studies indicate ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antistress, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, hemopoetic, and rejuvenating properties. It also appears to exert a positive influence on the endocrine, cardiopulmonary, and central nervous systems. The mechanisms of action for these properties are not fully understood. Toxicity studies reveal that ashwagandha appears to be a safe compound. CONCLUSION: Preliminary studies have found various constituents of ashwagandha exhibit a variety of therapeutic effects with little or no associated toxicity. These results are very encouraging and indicate this herb should be studied more extensively to confirm these results and reveal other potential therapeutic effects. Clinical trials using ashwagandha for a variety of conditions should also be conducted. (Altern Med Rev 2000;5(4) 334-346)

693 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The pathogen was identified as Alternaria dianthicola and further confirmed by the Agharkar Research Institute, Pune, India and was consistently reisolated from inoculated plants.
Abstract: Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal, a potential medicinal plant used for the treatment of nervous disorders, intestinal infection, leprosy, and cancer, is a perennial herb belonging to Solanaceae and distributed throughout the drier parts of India. Leaf blight disease of this plant generally occurs during March in various districts of South Bengal, India. At the initial stage of infection, symptoms appear as small, light brown spots, gradually becoming irregular, dark brown, concentrically zonate with a diffuse margin, frequently surrounded by light yellow haloes, conspicuous brownish concentric rings in the advance stage of infection. A species of Alternaria was isolated from the lesions. The pathogen was isolated on potato dextrose agar (PDA) media. On PDA, the fungus grew slowly with colonies reaching approximately 35 to 40 mm in diameter in 7 days when incubated at 30°C. Conidiophores arose singly or in groups, straight or flexous, cylindrical, septate, pale to olivaceous brown, as much as 155 μm long, 4 t...

687 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Some of the problems in evaluation of adaptogens which have precluded their inclusion as clinically useful drugs are discussed.
Abstract: Plants from all over the world such as Eleutherococcus senticosus, Panax ginseng, Raponticum carthamoides, Rhodiola rosea, Withania somnifera and Ocimum sanctum have been extensively evaluated for their adaptogenic potential. However, none of them has been successfully introduced as an adaptogen in the clinic. This paper discusses some of the problems in evaluation of adaptogens which have precluded their inclusion as clinically useful drugs. We further discuss our results with six rasayana plants from Ayurveda, which were studied for their adaptogenic potential. The whole, aqueous, standardized extracts of selected plants (Tinospora cordifolia, Asparagus racemosus, Emblica officinalis, Withania somnifera, Piper longum and Terminalia chebula) were administered orally to experimental animals, in a dose extrapolated from the human dose, following which they were exposed to a variety of biological, physical and chemical stressors. These plants were found to offer protection against these stressors, as judged by using markers of stress responses and objective parameters for stress manifestations. Using a model of cisplatin induced alterations in gastrointestinal motility, the ability of these plants to exert a normalizing effect, irrespective of direction of pathological change was tested. All the plants reversed the effects of cisplatin on gastric emptying, while Tinospora cordifolia and Asparagus racemosus also normalized cisplatin induced intestinal hypermotility. Tinospora cordifolia was also tested for its ability to modulate the changes occurring in the phagocytic activity of peritoneal macrophages after exposure of rats to either carbon tetrachloride or horse serum. It was found to normalize the phagocytic function irrespective to the direction of change, complying to the definition of an adaptogen. All the plant drugs were found to be safe in both acute and subacute toxicity studies. Studies on the mechanisms of action of the plants revealed that they all produced immunostimulation. The protection offered by Tinospora cordifolia against stress induced gastric mucosal damage was lost if macrophage activity was blocked. Emblica officinalis strengthened the defence mechanisms against free radical damage induced during stress. The effect of Emblica officinalis appeared to depend on the ability of target tissues to synthesize prostaglandins. Recent data obtained with Tinospora cordifolia suggest that it may induce genotypic adaptation, further opening the arena for more research and experimentation.

461 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: An overview of the chemical structures of triterpenoid components and their biological activity is presented, focusing on two novel activities, tumor inhibition and antiangiogenic properties of withaferin A and the effects of withanolide A on Alzheimer's disease.
Abstract: Withania somnifera, commonly known as Ashwagandha, is an important medicinal plant that has been used in Ayurvedic and indigenous medicine for over 3,000 years. In view of its varied therapeutic potential, it has also been the subject of considerable modern scientific attention. The major chemical constituents of the Withania genus, the withanolides, are a group of naturally occurring C28-steroidal lactone triterpenoids built on an intact or rearranged ergostane framework, in which C-22 and C-26 are appropriately oxidized to form a six-membered lactone ring. In recent years, numerous pharmacological investigations have been carried out into the components of W. somnifera extracts. We present here an overview of the chemical structures of triterpenoid components and their biological activity, focusing on two novel activities, tumor inhibition and antiangiogenic properties of withaferin A and the effects of withanolide A on Alzheimer's disease. The most recent attempts in biotechnological production of withanolides are also discussed.

392 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Treatment with Ashwagandha was accompanied by significant increases in hemolytic antibody responses towards human erythrocytes, which prevented myelosuppression in mice treated with all three immunosuppressive drugs tested.
Abstract: The immunomodulatory activity of an Indian Ayurvedic medicinal preparation, Ashwagandna (Withania somnifera (L. Dunal)) was studied in mice with myelosuppression induced by one or more of the following three compounds: cyclophosphamide, azathioprin, or prednisolone. The assessment of immunomodulatory activity was carried out by hematological and serological tests. A significant modulation of immune reactivity was observed in all the three animal models used. Ashwagandha prevented myelosuppression in mice treated with all three immunosuppressive drugs tested. A significant increase in hemoglobin concentration (P < 0.01), red blood cell count (P < 0.01), white blood cell count (P < 0.05), platelet count (P < 0.01), and body weight (P < 0.05) was observed in Ashwagandha-treated mice as compared with untreated (control) mice. We also report an immunostimulatory activity: treatment with Ashwagandha was accompanied by significant increases in hemolytic antibody responses towards human erythrocytes.

332 citations


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Performance
Metrics
No. of papers in the topic in previous years
YearPapers
20221
202187
2020124
201995
2018111
2017151