Withania somnifera also known as Ashwagandha: Science and Facts

    1. Also Known as: Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, or winter cherry
    2. Medicinally relevant: The root and berry are used to make medicine
    3. The name Ashwagandha is from the Sanskrit language and is a combination of the word ashva, meaning horse, and gandha, meaning smell. The root has a strong aroma that is described as “horse-like.”
  1. The species name somnifera means "sleepinducing" in Latin, indicating attributed sedating properties, but it has been also used for sexual vitality and as an adaptogen
  2. Promotes health and longevity by augmenting defence against disease
  3. The berries are used as a substitute for rennet, to coagulate milk in cheese making
  4. Ashwagadandha can naturally lower cortisol levels up to 26 percent
  5. Ashwagandha helps to regulate blood sugar levels
Diseases: Anxiety, Asthma, Backache, Bronchitis, Coronary artery disease, Diabetes , Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, Gastrointestinal disease, Hiccups, Hypothyroidism , Liver disease, Leukoderma, Menstruation cycle, Rheumatoid arthritis, Tumor, Tuberculosis, Ulcers Therapeutic Area: Anti-Inflammatory, Analgesic, Abortifacient, Mildly sedative, Antihelmintic agent, Anabolic activities, Alexteric, Styptic, Immunomodulatory, Hemopoetic , Tonic, Vitalizers Common Metabolites: Withanine, Withaninine, Somniferine, Tropeltigloate, Somniferinine, Somninine, Nicotine, Withaferin-A, Withanone, Visamine, Withasomine, Sitoindosides IX, X, VII, and VIII. Ashwagandha is rich in iron, antioxidants, tannins, potassium, nitrate, fatty acids and glucose
 
Plant Details: The plant belongs to Solanaceae family. The plant is an evergreen woody shrub in the tropics and hot desert areas, and acts like a herbaceous perennial in temperate zone and warmer. The plant is Native to Africa, India, Middle East and Orient. The fruit is rich in saponins and can be  used as a soap substitute. The leaves are an insect repellent
Dosage: W. somnifera root powder has generally been used at dosages of 450 mg to 2 g in combination with other preparations (Drugs.com).
Side Effects and Contraindications:
  • If the recommended dosage is used, there should not be any side effect or any contra-indication. Withania somnifera contains Fe and might increase the levels of haemoglobin and erythrocytes; therefore, a high consumption of the plant roots should be avoided in patients with hemochromatosis.
  • It might increase the effect of barbiturates and sedative drugs.
  • Not to be used during pregnancy and the lactation period.
  • Thyrotoxicosis, may be quite a serious side effect of the root.
  • Ashwagandha possesses diuretic properties that can cause kidney lesions in some cases. It may also cause diarrhea if taken in high amounts.
  • Cases of specific hypersensitivity to the plant.
Withania somnifera Latest studies:
  • H1N1 influenza: Withaferin A, an active constituent of Withania somnifera ayurvedic herb, has been shown to have a broad range of medicinal properties including its anti-viral activity. Study carried out demonstrated that WA has the potential to attenuate the neuraminidase of H1N1 influenza (4).
  • Stress: Five human clinical trial studies carried out point towards the fact that Withania somnifera intervention resulted in greater score improvements (significantly in most cases) than placebo in outcomes on anxiety or stress scales (8).
  • Tumor: Withaferin A (WA) - active constituent of Withania Somnifera can inhibit Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and bring about tumor arresting activity (3)
  • Mental health:  A methanolic extract of WS (mWS) was applied on mice hippocampal CA1. Results suggest that WS acts on synaptic/extrasynaptic GABAA receptors and may play an important role in the process of memory and neuroprotection via activation of synaptic and extrasynaptic GABAA receptors (5).
  • Bone formation: WFA administration increased new bone formation, as well as microarchitecture and biomechanical strength of the bones in adult Balb/c mice. At cellular level, WFA promoted differentiation of bone marrow cells (BMCs) and increased mineralization by inducing expression of osteogenic genes (6).
  • Pancreatic cancer: Withaferin A, enhanced oxaliplatin-induced growth suppression and apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells dramatically through a mechanism involving mitochondrial dysfunction and inactivation of the PI3K/AKT pathway. Combination treatment with oxaliplatin and WA could facilitate development of an effective strategy for Pancreatic cancer treatment (7).
  • Parkinsons disease: Maneb (MB) and paraquat (PQ) are environmental toxins that have been experimentally used to induce selective damage of dopaminergic neurons leading to the development of Parkinson's disease. An ethanolic root extract of Withania somnifera was co-treated with the MB-PQ induced mouse model of PD and was shown to significantly rescue canonical indicators of PD including compromised locomotor activity, reduced dopamine in the substantia nigra and various aspects of oxidative damage (9).
  • Ovarian cancer: Treatment of nude mice bearing orthotopic ovarian tumors generated by injecting human ovarian epithelial cancer cell line (A2780) with WFA and cisplatin (WFA) alone or in combination resulted in a 70 to 80% reduction in tumor growth and complete inhibition of metastasis to other organs compared to untreated controls (10).
<Withania somnifera as Food:Ashwagandha is also consumed in the form of tea. Dried ashwagandha root is boiled with tea for 15 minutes for a refreshing drink. To prepare ashwagandha tea, take one tea bag and allow it to steep in a cup of hot water for a period of five to ten minutes. Once the desired strength of tea is reached, sugar, honey, or milk can be added to the brew for additional flavouring if preferred. Drink this tea 2 to 3 times aday, regularly or whenever desired. (http://www.ashwagandhatea.net/)
Withania somnifera products: If you want the actual natural stuff, then go to the villages of India, especially in states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Ashwagandha in the form of capsules and liquid has become widespread now. It is available in herbal health stores and through holistic supply sources throughout the world.
Product name Details You can buy from
Ashwagandha Ashwagandha root herbal product 500 mg capsules ashwagandhawithania.com
Neuro Norm Each capsule contains 450 mg of Withania somnifera’s standardized dried extract Essen Herb
Himalaya Ashvagandha 60 Capsules per Bottle ; 250mg per capsule Himalaya Wellness
Ashwagandha 90 Capsule Dr. Mercola
Ashwagandha Extract(WithaniaSomnifera),500mg,120 Shop Best https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/viagra-prix-en-pharmacie/ Naturals
Ashwagandha Jarrow Ashwagandha - Withania Somnifera - 120 vcaps Astro Nutrition
Ashwagandha Ashwagandha 500 mg (100 Capsules) Ashwagandha.net
Rogue Contain extracts from Withania Somnifera Power Myself

References:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2996571/
  2. webmd.com-vitamins-supplements
  3. J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2015 Feb 11:1-15. [Epub ahead ofprint]
  4. Cell Biochem Biophys. 2015 Jan 28. [Epub ahead of print]
  5. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2014 Oct-Dec;5(4):216-22. doi: 10.4103/0975-9476.146541.
  6. Nutrition. 2015 Jan;31(1):205-13. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.05.010. Epub 2014 Jun 10.
  7. Cancer Lett. 2015 Feb 1;357(1):219-30. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2014.11.026. Epub 2014 Nov 18.
  8. J Altern Complement Med. 2014 Dec;20(12):901-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2014.0177.
  9. Neurochem Res. 2014 Dec;39(12):2527-36. doi: 10.1007/s11064-014-1443-7. Epub 2014 Nov 18.
  10. PLoS One. 2014 Sep 29;9(9):e107596. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107596. eCollection 2014.
  11. http://www.ajpcr.com/Vol4Suppl1/408.pdf
  12. livestrong.com-article
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