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Preparation and Evaluation of Hair Growth Formulations of Indian Ginseng (Withania somnifera) for Alopecia

  • H N B Garhwal University, Srinagar (Garhwal), India
OPEN ACCESS Asian Journal of Biological Sciences
ISSN 1996-3351
DOI: 10.3923/ajbs.2019.
Research Article
Preparation and Evaluation of Hair Growth Formulations of
Indian Ginseng (Withania somnifera) for Alopecia
Mukesh Pandey, Lokesh Adhikari, Rupali Kotiyal, Ajay Semalty and Mona Semalty
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, H.N.B. Garhwal University (A Central University), Srinagar (Garhwal), India
Background and Objective: Hair loss or alopecia or baldness, a dermatological disorder, affects the personality of an individual,
psychologically and sociologically. There is a flood of drugs claiming to be useful in the treatment of alopecia but none seems to be
developed with a proper rational strategy. The study aims to investigate the hair growth promoting activity of herbal formulations
prepared from fruits extract of
Withania somnifera
(family- Solanaceae) collected from two different locations (from Rajasthan, WSR and
from Uttarakhand WSU) on healthy male Wistar rats. Materials and Methods: The methanolic fruit extracts were sub fractionated into
ethyl acetate, butanol and water fractions. All extracts were evaluated for their total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC)
in vitro
anti-oxidant activity (by two different methods). Aloe vera based herbal formulations were prepared from ethyl acetate
fraction of the plant extracts. The prepared herbal formulations were subjected to primary skin irritation test and
in vivo
hair growth
activity in healthy male Wistar rats. All the formulations were observed for hair growth initiation (HGIT) and hair growth completion
time (HCIT). The histological study of skin samples was also performed at the end of study to study hair growth at follicular level.
Results: Ethyl acetate fraction showed high TPC as well as TFC in both WSR and WSU in general. The extracts (particularly ethyl acetate
extract) showed significant anti-oxidant activity in DPPH free radical scavenging activity and hydrogen peroxide scavenging assay. Primary
skin irritation test showed that the prepared herbal formulations were non-irritating and non-toxic to the skin without any erythema or
oedema at the end of 48 h of formulation application on denuded skin of rats.
In vivo
study showed early hair growth initiation and
completion time in test group of animals as compared to the control group and the effect was comparable to that of standard group. The
histology showed good growth of hair follicle in WSU as compared to WSR, control and standard with visible maximum anagenic
population of hair. Conclusion: It was concluded that WSU formulation showed good
i n v iv o
hair growth activity and was well supported
by follicular/histological study.
Key words:
Withania somnifera
, total phenolic content, total flavonoid content, anti-oxidant activity,
in vivo
hair growth activity, alopecia
Received: December 14, 2018 Accepted: February 01, 2019 Published:
Citation: Mukesh Pandey, Lokesh Adhikari, Rupali Kotiyal, Ajay Semalty and Mona Semalty, 2019. Preparation and evaluation of hair growth formulations
of Indian ginseng (
Withania somnifera
) for alopecia. Asian J. Biol. Sci., CC: CC-CC.
Corresponding Author: Mona Semalty, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, H.N.B. Garhwal University (A Central University), Srinagar (Garhwal), India
Tel/Fax: +911346252174
Copyright: © 2019 Mukesh Pandey
et al
. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the creative commons attribution License, which
permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Competing Interest: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.
Data Availability: All relevant data are within the paper and its supporting information files.
Asian J. Biol. Sci., 12 (3): CC-CC, 2019
Telogen (resting phase)
Three months lengthy phase
Hairs are shed at the end of this
Hair follicles enter in new hair
cycle after end of this phase
Remaining root sheath of
previous hairs acts as root germ
Epidermal cells divide to produce
precursor cells
Differentiation of precursor cells
to form hair cells
Formation of hair filaments
2-8 years lengthy process
Most hairs remain in this phase
Anagen (growth phase)
Catagen (involution phase)
Termination of production of
precursor cells
Cessation of growth of hair
Hair gets detached from hair
10-15 days lengthy phase
Hairs form a vital part of the overall personality and
contribute immensely to the stylish and elegant looks of a
person. Biochemically hairs are composed of protein keratin
and are important part of our integumentary system. Hairs are
filamentous structures or appendages of skin that originates
from hair follicles be cause of coordinated cell proliferation
a nd di f fe r en t ia t io n pr o ce s s1-3. Hairs provide protection against
trauma, electromagnetic radiations, insects and parasite
penetration. They act as insulator for body heat and as sensory
antennae for feeling the surrounding environment4. Hair
follicles act as production units for hairs. Massive proliferation
of these stem cells results in formation of mature hair follicles
that exhibit a regular reoccurring cycle of hair regeneration
called as hair follicle cycle or hair growth cycle3. Hair growth
cycle shows three phases: Anagen, catagen and telogen
(Fig. 1). Once whole cycle gets completed, anagen phase
begins again to start a new hair cycle.
Alopecia generally called as hair loss or baldness is a very
common dermatological disorder. Although not being a
serious threat to life it can have deep psychological impact on
affected person5. Medically alopecia is classified in four major
types. Androgenic alopecia (AGA), Alopecia areata (formation
of circular bald patches on scalp), alopecia total is complete
hair loss of scalp and alopecia universal is (entire body hair
loss). AGA largely affects male but also affects females to a
lesser or mild extent and hence classified into male pattern
and female pattern baldness6-8. In AGA, as condition of
alopecia advances, hair follicles are miniaturized progressively.
Terminal hairs normally found on adult scalp were replaced by
short, finer and non-pigmented vellus hairs. Shortening of
anagen phase and larger telogen phase is characteristic of
AGA9. Lot of products available in market claim for treatment
of alopecia but only few are efficient due to lack of proper
diagnosis for actual reason behind alopecia, causing failure of
treatment strategy of alopecia by synthetic drugs. In addition,
the adverse effects associated with these create more
problems. On other hand, herbal formulations being used
from ancient times as mentioned in indigenous systems of
medicine (Ayurveda, Chinese, Unani etc.) were found and
reported to be more efficient and safer and are very popular
in cosmetics and dermal products. Various studies have
reported the hair growth promotion effect by herbal
Withania somnifera
family), vernacular:
Ashwagandha or Indian ginseng, was extensively used in
ayurvedic formulations since ancient times for its numerous
medicinal and health benefits. Leaves, fruits, seeds, stem and
roots of WS consists of several phyto constituents responsible
for its pharmacological properties. Major secondary plant
metabolites present in WS are with aferin A and with
anolide D13. Some other alkaloids present are with ananine,
somniferinine, cuscohygrine, pseudotropine, scopoletin,
isopelletierine, anaferine, anahygrin etc. Saponins, steroidal
lactones, flavonoids, tannins and amino acids have also
been reported14.
Withania somnifera
was reported to
h av e a n ti - in fl a mm at o ry , ap h ro d is i ac , a nt i -b i ot ic , a nt i -f u ngal,
Fig. 1: Different phases of hair growth/hair follicle cycle
Asian J. Biol. Sci., 12 (3): CC-CC, 2019
immunomodulatory, anti-stress, anti-oxidant, hypolipidermic,
diuretic, sedati ve, hepat oprotect ive activitie s and foun d to
be effective in various cardiovascular, inflammatory and
nervous disorders14,15. It has also been reported to increase
lipid peroxidation (due to proteolytic enzyme, chamase)
and free radical scavenging activity of enzymes such as
superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxides16.
Immunosuppressive effect on human B and T lymphocytes
was also reported17.
In the study aloe vera gel based herbal formulations of WS
fruits extract (collected from two different geographical
locations) were prepared and evaluated for hair growth
potential (on male wistar rats). Besides the hair growth
studies, the extracts of WS fruit extracts were subjected to
Total phenolic content (TPC), Total flavonoid content (TFC)
in vitro
anti-oxidant activity (DPPH and hydrogen
peroxide scavenging activity).
Butylated hydroxy toluene (BHT) and 2,2 diphenyl-1-
picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) were purchased from Himedia
Laboratory Pvt., Ltd., Mumbai. All other chemicals used in the
study were of analytical grade.
Collection of fruits: The fruits of WS were collected from two
geographical locations. First place of collection was Udaipur
region of Rajasthan situated at an altitude of 598 m from sea
level with latitude 24.5854EN and longitude 73.7125EE.
Second area of collection was Pauri Garhwal region of
Uttarakhand situated in lower Himalayan region at an altitude
of 1000-1100 m from sea level with latitude 29.8688EN and
longitude 78.8383EE. Fruits collected from Rajasthan and
Uttarakh and were identified and authenticated from
Department of Botany, H.N.B. Garhwal University, Srinagar
(Garhwal) and hence designated as WSR and WSU
respectively, for the study purpose.
Extraction of fruits: The collected fruits of WSR and WSU
were washed for removal of soil/dust and left for drying for
under shade for 20 days. Dried fruits of both plants were then
grinded to form a coarse powder. Weighed 200 g of this
coarse powder of each plant and dipped in n-hexane for
de-fatting and then dried for at room temperature for 5 days.
The defatted powder of each plant was then dipped in
methanol in a round bottom flask for 4 week and then
extracted in rotary vacuum evaporator (Perfit 5600, buchi type,
India) at 70EC at 80-120 rpm for 24 h and dried in vacuum to
obtain the dried extract.
Dried extracts were further subjected to sub fractionation
into ethyl acetate, butanol and water extract fractions. The
dried fruit extracts of both plants were sub fractionated using
well established pre-reported method18.
Determination of total phenolic content: The total phenolic
content of different extracts of WSR and WSU was determined
by Folin-Ciocalteu reagent method using Gallic acid as
standard18. The total phenolic content was expressed in gallic
acid equivalent (GAE) in µg mgG1 of extract.
Determination of total flavonoid content: Total flavonoids
content of extracts of both plants was calculated using a
calibration curve of quercetin as standard and results were
expressed as quercetin equivalent (QE) in µg mgG1 of
DPPH free radical scavenging activity: Anti-oxidant activity
of the plant extracts (methanolic, ethyl acetate, butanolic
and aqueous extract) were determined by DPPH
(2, 2diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) free radical scavenging
method against the activity of standard, butylated hydroxyl
toluene (BHT) using the standard reported method20.
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) scavenging activity: Hydrogen
peroxide (H2O2) scavenging activity of the plant extracts
(methanolic, butanolic, ethyl acetate and aqueous extract)
were determined by using the standard reported method
against the activity of standard, butylated hydroxyl toluene
Preparation of formulations: Aloe vera gel was used as base
for preparation of formulations of fruit extracts of WSR and
WSU, as reported earlier22. The gel was extracted from aloe
vera leaves from the fresh leaves of aloe vera. Then collected
gel was heated to 40EC and a blend of stabilizers (ascorbic
acid 0.5% w/w and sodium benzoate 0.5% w/w) were added
to it for enhancing its stability. It was then allowed to cool and
stored in cool dark place until used for formulation
An amount of 20 g of prepared aloe vera gel was taken in
a beaker and 0.2 g of dried extract (ethyl acetate fraction) was
added to it. Then, both were mixed to form uniform gel
(Table 1). The prepared formulations were then subjected
to physical evaluation and
in vivo
hair growth studies in
healthy male rats.
In vivo
hair growth activity:
In vivo
activity was carried out
in male Wistar rats weighing from 180-270 g. Animals were
Asian J. Biol. Sci., 12 (3): CC-CC, 2019
Gallic acid equiv alent (mg mL )
Methanolic Ethyl acetate Butanolic Aqueous
0.483 0.695
Table 1: Composition of hair growth formulations of
Withania somnifera
Rajasthan (WSR),
Withania somnifera
Uttarakhand (WSU), standard (S), control (C)
Formulations Composition
Withania somnifera
Rajasthan (WSR) Aloe vera gel (20 g)+herbal extract (0.2 g)
Withania somnifera
Uttarakhand (WSU) Aloe vera gel (20 g)+herbal extract (0.2 g)
Standard (S) 10% w/v minoxidil solution
Control (C) Aloe vera gel only
Fig. 2: Total phenolic content (TPC) of different extracts of
W. somnifera
Rajasthan (WSR) and
W. somnifera
Uttarakhand (WSU)
kept in standard environmental conditions, fed with standard
diet and allowed free access to drinking water. Animal study
protocols were duly approved by Institutional Animal Ethical
Committee of Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences,
Kumaun University Bhimtal campus (KUDOPS/57; 22/10/2016).
Minoxidil 10% w/v solution (Mintop, Dr. Reddys Lab. India)
was used as standard and the heat stabilized plain aloe vera
gel was used as control in study. Preliminary primary skin
irritation test was conducted in three healthy male rats. The
prepared hair gel was applied over the denuded test sites
(on one side of spine) and then the test sites were observed
after 48 h for any toxic side effects, erythema or oedema and
compared with the results of standard and control.
In the major
in vivo
study, four groups of healthy male
rats containing three animals in each group were used. Hairs
from an area of 4 cm2 on the dorsal side were removed by
application of marketed hair removal cream and denuded
skin was wiped with surgical spirit this serves as the test area.
One group on which only control (aloe vera) was applied
served as the control group. On one other group standard
(10% minoxidil solution) was applied. Out of remaining two
groups one was treated with herbal extract formulation of
WSR and the other one was treated with herbal extract
formulation of WSU. Every formulation was applied to the
denuded skin twice a day for 30 days on animals of test
groups. The hair growth pattern was observed visually in the
test animals, recorded and evaluated on basis of two
parameters: hair growth initiation time (minimum time for
initiation of hair growth on denuded skin) and hair growth
completion time (minimum time taken to completely cover
the denuded skin with new hairs)22.
After 30 days of study a rat was selected randomly from
each group. Skin biopsy was taken from the area under test of
the selected rat. Skin specimens of the rats were then
embedded in paraffin and sections were cut out using rotary
microtome. These sections were then stained with
haematoxylin and eosin dyes and histological slides were
prepared. These histological slides were then observed under
stereo microscope for studying the follicular development.
Statistical analysis: Results were expressed as mean
values±standard deviations. A probability value less than 0.05
(p<0.05) was considered to be a significant value.
To evaluate the possible use of WS for treatment of
alopecia the extraction of fruits was done and subjected to
various assays for development of an effective herbal
formulation for alopecia treatment.
Determination of total phenolic content: The TPC of
both WSR and WSU extracts was determined by using
Folin-Ciocalteu method. Phenolic contents of different
extracts were calculated using standard curve of gallic acid
and expressed as gallic acid equivalents (GAE) in µg mgG1
of dry weight of extract. In WSR total phenolic content
within different extracts were found to decrease in following
order; ethyl acetate>aqueous>butanolic>methanolic. Wh i le
in case of WSU the pattern of presence of TPC was as
followed, methanolic>ethyl acetate>aqueous>butanolic.
Results indicated that phenolic components are important
phyto constituents in both WSR and WSU (Fig. 2).
Determination of total flavonoid content: The TFC of extracts
of both plants was determined by aluminium chloride
colorimetric method and calculated by using standard curve
of quercetin. It was expressed as quercetin equivalents (QE) in
µg mgG1 o f pl ant ext ract. In WSR fla vonoi ds con centr ation in
Asian J. Biol. Sci., 12 (3): CC-CC, 2019
Quercetin equivalent (mg mL )
Methanolic Ethyl acetate Butanolic Aqueous
Table 2: DPPH scavenging activity (%) of different extracts of
Withania somnifera
Rajasthan (WSR) and
Withania somnifera
Uttarakhand (WSU)
DPPH scavenging activity (%)
BHT Methanolic extract Ethyl acetate extract Butanolic extract Aqueous extract
Concentration -------------------------- ----------------------------- ----------------------------- --------------------------- ------------------------------
50 87.02 94.54 96.31 80.70 66.67 2.75 92.02 79.06 88.81 76.17
100 96.90 98.60 95.83 89.38 82.98 54.42 92.38 83.44 93.10 80.70
150 97.50 98.75 95.48 91.91 88.33 71.34 93.10 82.26 93.10 81.59
200 97.62 98.91 92.98 94.28 89.52 77.28 93.45 83.59 91.90 82.18
250 97.86 98.85 96.79 93.91 91.79 80.48 93.93 83.07 93.81 83.44
500 98.81 99.27 98.10 96.81 92.26 89.24 94.80 83.15 94.76 83.44
Table 3: H2O2 scavenging activity (%) of different extracts of
Withania somnifera
Rajasthan (WSR) and
Withania somnifera
Uttarakhand (WSU)
H2O2 scavenging activity (%)
BHT Methanolic extract Ethyl acetate extract Butanolic extract Aqueous extract
Concentration -------------------------- ----------------------------- ----------------------------- --------------------------- ------------------------------
5 25.07 20.87 18.03 13.25 40.78 49.07 45.45 82.88 46.90 81.25
10 32.22 30.62 18.55 17.78 44.20 72.48 45.05 89.53 47.07 88.93
20 36.70 40.05 18.50 18.50 49.40 81.03 46.05 91.40 47.75 91.52
25 41.88 71.53 19.57 19.42 43.27 81.92 46.58 90.00 47.97 92.73
50 51.12 78.30 22.53 19.57 49.73 90.40 47.33 93.73 48.92 94.38
Fig. 3: Total flavonoid content (TFC) of different extracts of
W. somnifera
Rajasthan (WSR) and
W. somnifera
Uttarakhand (WSU)
different extracts was found to be decreased in following
pattern, aqueous>methanolic>butanolic>ethyl acetate. The
WSU showed following pattern of flavonoid concentration of
different extracts, ethyl acetate>butanolic>methanolic>
aqueous (Fig. 3).
DPPH free radical scavenging assay: DPPH radical
scavenging activity of standard (BHT) and of both WSR and
WSU extracts were determined at concentrations ranging
from 50-500 µg mLG1. Extracts of both the plants showed
significant anti-oxidant activity especially at higher
concentrations i.e., 250 and 500 µg mgG1. Different extracts
of WSR showed anti-oxidant activity in the following
order; methanolic>butanolic>aqueous>ethyl acetate at
concentration of 500 µg mgG1 (Fig. 4, 5). In case of WSU order
of activity of extracts was found to be in following order,
methanolic>ethyl acetate>aqueous>butanolic at 500 µg mgG1
concentration (Table 2).
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) scavenging activity: The H2O2
scavenging activity analysis was carried out for all extracts of
both plants at concentration ranging from 5-50 µg mgG1 and
BHT was used as standard in same concentration range.
Extracts of both WSR and WSU showed significant H2O2
scavenging activity. In case of WSR study showed the
following pattern of percent H2O2 scavenging activity, ethyl
acetate>aqueous>butanolic>methanolic at concentration
of 50 µg mgG1. The order of H2O2 scavenging activity for
WSU was found to be; aqueous>butanolic>ethyl acetate>
methanolic at 50 µg mgG1 concentration (Table 3).
Physical evaluation of formulations: D ue to pr es e nc e o f hi gh
TPC, high TFC and good antioxidant activity in general, ethyl
acetate extracts of both WSR and WSU were selected for
development of herbal formulation. The selection was based
on evaluation of TPC, TFC and anti-oxidant activities. Herbal
formulations were prepared using aloe vera gel as base. The
prepared formulations showed light Green texture with
characteristic odour.
In vivo
hair growth activity: Primary skin irritation test
conducted before main
i n v i vo
t es t sh o we d th a t t h e p r ep a re d
Asian J. Biol. Sci., 12 (3): CC-CC, 2019
Fig. 4(a-d):
In vivo
hair growth activity showing hair growth initiation time in rats treated with (a) Control (11th day),
(b) Standard (9th day), (c)
Withania somnifera
Rajasthan (WSR) (10th day) and (d)
Withania somnifera
(WSU) (10th day)
herbal formulations were non-irritating and non-toxic to the
skin as no signs of erythema or oedema were observed after
the end of 48 h of formulation application on denuded skin of
In vivo
study showed that hair growth was initiated in
control group of animals receiving aloe vera gel only at the
11th day of the study whereas in case of herbal formulations,
the hair growth initiation occurs at the 10th day of the study
(Fig. 4). In group receiving standard 10% Minoxidil solution
hair growth initiates at 9th day of the study. HGCT in case of
standard and control groups was 22th day and 24th day
respectively. The HGCT for WSU and WSR both was on
22th day. Histological study of the skin specimens showed
that in comparison to the control, standard and WSR the
developmental rate of follicles in the group treated with WSU
was greater (Fig. 5).
The TPC and TFC provide a gross but close prediction
of a plants biological activity. It was observed that ethyl
acetate fraction showed maximum TPC in WSR and second
maximum TPC in WSU. Various previous studies on TPC and
TFC of WS well supported the results of the present study.
et al
.23 determined the TPC of
W. somniferadunal
from three different growth stages of the plant and reported
that leaves, flowers, fruits, roots and stem all possess the
phenolic components and leaves have the highest phenolic
content. Alam
et al
.24 also reported high concentration of
phenolic components from all parts of the WS.
Ethyl acetate fraction of WSU showed maximum TFC.
However, as a paradox ethyl acetate fraction showed least TFC
in WSR. The abundance of flavonoids in both plants was also
well supported by previous studies. Sharma
et al
.25 carried
out phytochemical evaluation of WS collected from the
north west Himalaya and reported for the presence of higher
concentration of flavonoids in leaf extract of plants collected
from roadsides in comparison to plant collected from forests.
et al
.26 reported the presence of both free and
bound flavonoids in leaves, roots, stem and fruits in
W. somniferadunal
and tested them for their anti-microbial
activities against selected pathogens.
Methanolic fractions of both plants showed highest DPPH
Scavenging activity. Study also indicated that anti-oxidant
activity of extracts increases with increase in concentration
(a) (b)
(c) (d)
Asian J. Biol. Sci., 12 (3): CC-CC, 2019
Fig. 5(a-d): Histological images of
i n v i vo
hair growth study showing follicular developmental stages in test animals treated with
different formulations, (a) Control, (b) Standard, (c)
Withania somnifera
Rajasthan (WSR) and (d)
Withania somnifera
Uttarakhand (WSU)
upto certain concentration at least. Study also revealed that
WSU showed higher H2O2 scavenging activity in comparison
to that of WSR. Previous studies also supported the results,
et al
.27 reported that methanolic extracts of leaves,
fruits and roots of
Withania somnifera
have significant
anti-oxidant activities especially leaves, having highest
anti-oxidant property.
Results of the
in vi vo
study indicates that in group of rats
treated with herbal formulations of WSR and WSU a reduction
in HGIT was observed and they also showed a better hair
growth pattern in comparison to control and standard. The
early initiations of hair growth by other aloe vera based herbal
formulations have also been reported with plants like
Trigonella22,28. Aloe vera contributed as spreading agent for
the herbal drug. Though it has also been reported to
contribute in hair growth, the effect has been nullified by its
use in control group during the hair growth study. Histology
study also revealed that population of hair follicles in anagen
phase was higher in comparison to the telogen phase in the
test animals treated with WSU herbal formulations. The
increase in anagenic hair population was a further
confirmation of significant hair growth activity of the prepared
herbal formulations.
The study showed that extracts of fruits of Withania WSU
and WSR have significant antioxidant activity as well as the
potential to stimulate the hair growth with more advanced
hair follicular development in the animals treated with the
herbal formulation of extract. The activity of Withania from
high altitude region (WSU) was found to be better. Therefore,
the study concluded that formulation of fruit extract of
Withania somnifera
(WSU) can have a therapeutic application
as a natural and safe herbal remedy for treatment of alopecia.
Alopecia, hair loss or baldness is a very common
dermatological di so rde r w hic h s how s d eep ps ych ol ogi ca l
(a) (b)
(c) (d)
Asian J. Biol. Sci., 12 (3): CC-CC, 2019
impact on affected person. No precise medicine without any
side effect is available in the global market. The study explored
the fruits of
Withania somnifera
(also called Ashwagandha or
Indian ginseng) for hair growth activity by development of
topical herbal formulation. The study is significant and novel
due to first time reporting of hair growth properties of fruits
of Withania (collected from two different regions) through the
prepared herbal formulation. The study also helps to correlate
the antioxidant activities, flavone/phenol content with that of
hair growth properties. The results of the study if validated
through human trials, may lead to the development of safe
herbal formulation for alopecia.
Authors are thankful for the research grant (MRP-MAJOR-
CHEM-2013-44120) provided by the University Grant
Commission, New Delhi, India. Authors are also thankful to
the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kumaun
University, Nainital, India for providing the animals house
facility for
in vivo
hair growth study.
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Withania somnifera L. is a multipurpose medicinal plant of family Solanaceae occurring abundantly in sub-tropical regions of the world. The folk healers used the plant to treat several diseases such as fever, cancer, asthma, diabetes, ulcer, hepatitis, eyesores, arthritis, heart problems, and hemorrhoids. The plant is famous for the anti-cancerous activity, low back pain treatment, and muscle strengthening, which may be attributed to the withanolide alkaloids. W. somnifera is also rich in numerous valued secondary metabolites such as steroids, alkaloids, flavonoids, phenolics, saponins, and glycosides. A wide range of preclinical trials such as cardioprotective, anticancer, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, anti-depressant, and hypoglycemic have been attributed to various parts of the plant. Different parts of the plant have also been evaluated for the clinical trials such as male infertility, obsessive-compulsive disorder, antianxiety, bone and muscle strengthening potential, hypolipidemic, and antidiabetic. This review focuses on folk medicinal uses, phytochemistry, pharmacological, and nutrapharmaceutical potential of the versatile plant.
Ashwagandha is a plant utilized in medicine from the time of Ayurveda, an ancient system of Indian medication. this review article is presented to compile all the updated information on its hair growth stimulant activities, which were p e r f o r m e d b y w i d e l y d i ff e r e n t m e t h o d s . A s h w a g a n d h a b e n e  t s h a i r b e c a u s e o f i t s v a r i o u s m e d i c i n a l u s e s l i k e antistress,antidepressant,antioxidant,stimulation of DHEA(Dehydroepiandrosterone),and most importantly by maintaining body tridoshas(vata,pitta,kapha).there are many formulations of ashwagandha in the market proving best results for hair growth. Animal models have been studied to evaluate hair growth stimulation properties of Ashwagandha.
Indian ginseng [Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal; Solanaceae] is a significant aromatic medicinal as well as industrial plant in India and in other regions. The plant has numerous pharmaceutical uses owing to synthesis of steroidal lactones, “withanolides,Withania somniferawithanolidesWithanolides” mainly in leaves and roots. Hence, Govt. of India has graded this aromatic plant in top 36 cultivated precious medicinal plants in focus of immense requirement for market and medicine production. The traditional cultivation method of W. somnifera suffers from severe shortage in production to provide sufficient raw materials for phytochemical synthesis and medicinal formulations due to biotic and abiotic factors, poor seed germination, loss or low seed viability, etc. This necessitates consistent supply of raw materials to produce secondary metabolites by exploiting biotechnological tools like cell/organ cultures. Over the few decades, numerous approaches have been made to develop and optimize cell and organ culture protocols for W. somnifera such as direct and indirect organogenesis, suspension-based shoot and cell cultures, adventitious root culture, hairy root culture, and plant transformation for production of plants and withanolides. Several reports indicated the potential utilization of in vitro cell/organ cultures to be put into use in large-scale commercial multiplication of plants and secondary metabolite production as in Panax ginseng and other plants. This review presents a comprehensive account of works performed on hairy root culture of W. somnifera in the last two decades.
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Introduction: Hair loss or alopecia affects the majority of the population at some time in their life, and increasingly, sufferers are demanding treatment. Three main types of alopecia (androgenic [AGA], areata [AA] and chemotherapy-induced [CIA]) are very different, and have their own laboratory models and separate drug-discovery efforts. Areas covered: In this article, the authors review the biology of hair, hair follicle (HF) cycling, stem cells and signaling pathways. AGA, due to dihydrotesterone, is treated by 5-α reductase inhibitors, androgen receptor blockers and ATP-sensitive potassium channel-openers. AA, which involves attack by CD8(+)NK group 2D-positive (NKG2D(+)) T cells, is treated with immunosuppressives, biologics and JAK inhibitors. Meanwhile, CIA is treated by apoptosis inhibitors, cytokines and topical immunotherapy. Expert opinion: The desire to treat alopecia with an easy topical preparation is expected to grow with time, particularly with an increasing aging population. The discovery of epidermal stem cells in the HF has given new life to the search for a cure for baldness. Drug discovery efforts are being increasingly centered on these stem cells, boosting the hair cycle and reversing miniaturization of HF. Better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the immune attack in AA will yield new drugs. New discoveries in HF neogenesis and low-level light therapy will undoubtedly have a role to play.
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Context: Withania somnifera (Linn.) Dunal (Solanaceae) has long been used as an herb in Ayurvedic and indigenous medicine and has received intense attention in recent years for its chemopreventive properties. Objective: The present study focuses on the effect of W. somnifera root powder on the behavioral and radiological changes in collagen-induced arthritic rats. Materials and methods: The rats were randomly divided into five groups: normal control, arthritic control, arthritic rats treated with W. somnifera root powder (at dose levels 600 and 800 mg kg⁻¹) and arthritic rats treated with methotrexate (at dose level 0.3 mg kg⁻¹). The treatment with W. somnifera (daily) and methotrexate (weekly) was initiated from the 20th day post collagen immunization and continued up until the 45th day. Arthritis was assessed macroscopically by measuring paw thickness, ankle size and body weight. Arthritic pain was assessed by toe-spread and total print length of the affected paw. Functional recovery due to the oral treatment of W. somnifera and methotrexate was assessed by sciatic functional index and rota rod activity. Results: Administration of W. somnifera root powder (600 mg kg⁻¹) to the arthritic rats significantly decreased the severity of arthritis by effectively suppressing the symptoms of arthritis and improving the functional recovery of motor activity and radiological score. Discussion and conclusion: W. somnifera root has a protective effect against collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in rats. The results suggest that W. somnifera root powder acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent in decreasing the arthritic effects in collagen-induced arthritic rats.
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Hair has psychological and sociological importance throughout the ages in framing the personality and general appearance of an individual. Significant progress is being made on discovering an effective and safe drug for hair growth. Angiogenesis, androgen antagonism, vasodilation, potassium channel opening and 5-alpha reductase inhibition are the major non-surgical therapeutic strategies of hair growth promotion. In spite of a flood of drugs claiming to be useful as hair growth promoters, more rational strategies, which can target the problem areas or stages of the hair growth cycle effectively, are still awaited. This article highlights the developments in hair rejuvenation strategies and reviews the potential of herbal drugs as safer and effective alternatives.