Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha): A Review

Los Angeles College of Chiropractic (LACC), 16200 E Amber Valley Dr., Whittier, CA 90609-1166.
Alternative medicine review: a journal of clinical therapeutic (Impact Factor: 3.83). 09/2000; 5(4):334-46.
Source: PubMed


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.
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.
Studies indicate ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antistress, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, hemopoietic, 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.
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.

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Article: Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha): A Review

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    • "This notwithstanding, an additional mechanism by which WSE may exert at least part of its inhibitory effects on ethanol self-administration might be related to its free radical scavenging properties and to its ability to interfere with catalase activity (Ames et al., 1993; Mishra et al., 2000; Bhattacharya et al., 2001; Davis and Kuttan, 2001). "

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    • "Numerous studies indicated that W. somnifera possesses antioxidant, antitumor, anti-stress, anti-inflammatory, immuno-modulatory, hematopoetic, anti-ageing, anxiolytic, anti-depressive rejuvenating properties and also influences various neurotransmitter receptors in the central nervous system (Pattipati et al., 2003). The constituents of W. somnifera are the steroidal alkaloids and steroidal lactones which are withanolides (Elsakka et al., 1990; Mishra et al., 2000) with the main active chemical constituent Withaferin A which is a phytosteroid (Lavi, 1965). Other constituents include saponins containing an additional acyl group (sitoindoside VII and VIII). "
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    ABSTRACT: A study was conducted to explore the effects of different levels of water based infusion of Allium sativum (A. sativum) and Withania somnifera (W. somnifera) mixture in 1:6 respectively on lipid profile of broiler chicks. One hundred and twenty day-old broiler chicks were distributed into four groups; A, B, C and D each having three replicates (10 chicks replicate-1). The chicks were reared in pens in an open sided house for 35 days. Chicks in group B, C and D received water based infusion of A. sativum and W. somnifera at rate of 5, 7.5 and 10 ml/L of drinking water, respectively, while group A served as control. Water based infusion of A. sativum and W. somnifera at the rate of 10 mlL-1 in broiler chicks reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides, low density lipoproteins while increased high density lipoproteins level. It is concluded that water based infusion of A. sativum and W. sominefera in 1:6 at rate of 10 mlL-1 of drinking water improved the lipid profile of broiler chicks
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    • "Dunal) belongs to the family Solanaceae and which is commonly found or scientifically cultivated in Tripura state of the north east region of India. Research reveals W. somnifera possesses anti-inflammatory [6], anti-tumor [7], anti-stress [8], anti-oxidant [9], immunomodulatory [10], hemopoietic [11] and rejuvenating "

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