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Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal - Modern perspectives of an ancient Rasayana from Ayurveda.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2021 Jan 10; 264:113157.JE

Abstract

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE

Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal, commonly known as Ashwagandha, is an important medicinal plant that has been used in Ayurvedic and indigenous medicine for more than 3000 years. According to Charaka Samhita, Susruta Samhita and other ancient texts, Ashwagandha is known as Balya (increases strength), Brusya (sexual performance enhancer), vajikari (spermatogenic), Kamarupini (libido-enhancing), Pustida (nourishing).

AIM OF THE REVIEW

This review article documented and critically assessed W. somnifera regarding its ethnopharmacology, traditional use, botanical description, phytochemicals present, pharmacological activities, clinical trials, and marketed formulations.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

The sources of information used in the study are traditional Ayurvedic books like Charaka Samhita, Susruta Samhita, Astanga Hridaya etc, government reports, dissertations, books, research articles and databases like Science-Direct, SciFinder, Web of Science, PubMed, Wiley Online Library, and ACS Publications on Ashwagandha and Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal.

RESULTS

Traditional uses of Ashwagandha in Ayurveda are very prominent in several texts where formulations with various dosage forms have been mentioned in Charaka Samhita, Susruta Samhita, Astanga Hridaya, different nighantus etc. The drugs were identified based on their composition containing Ashwagandha as one of the major ingredients and their medicinal uses. Phytochemical studies on W. somnifera revealed the presence of important chemical constituents such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and withanolides. The phytochemicals showed various pharmacological activities like anti-cancer, immunomodulatory, cardioprotective, neuroprotective, anti-aging, anti-stress/adaptogenic and anti-diabetic. Various clinical trials show that the plant extract and its bioactive compounds are used in the prevention and treatment of many diseases, such as arthritis, impotence, amnesia, anxiety, cancer, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, and others.

CONCLUSIONS

Pharmacological data reviewed here revealed that W. somnifera is a potential source for the treatment of a wide range of diseases especially anxiety and other CNS disorders. From its ancient use to its modern application it has been proven to be non-toxic and effective clinically for human health and wellness. W. somnifera based herbal formulation has been marketed in the form of supplement, extract, capsule, powder etc. This review will be helpful to correlate the mechanism of action with the phytochemical profile of this well-known plant from Ayurveda.

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Natural Product Studies, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, 700 032, India; Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development, A National Institute Under Dept. of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, Imphal, 795004, India. Electronic address: naturalproductm@gmail.com.School of Natural Product Studies, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, 700 032, India. Electronic address: ami.subhadipbanerjee@gmail.com.School of Natural Product Studies, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, 700 032, India. Electronic address: sayanb0@gmail.com.School of Natural Product Studies, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, 700 032, India. Electronic address: mailmebhaskar007@gmail.com.School of Natural Product Studies, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, 700 032, India. Electronic address: amit.kar2@gmail.com.Health Care Division, Emami Limited 13, BT Road, Kolkata, 700056, India. Electronic address: ck.katiyar@emamigroup.com.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32783987

Citation

Mukherjee, Pulok K., et al. "Withania Somnifera (L.) Dunal - Modern Perspectives of an Ancient Rasayana From Ayurveda." Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 264, 2021, p. 113157.
Mukherjee PK, Banerjee S, Biswas S, et al. Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal - Modern perspectives of an ancient Rasayana from Ayurveda. J Ethnopharmacol. 2021;264:113157.
Mukherjee, P. K., Banerjee, S., Biswas, S., Das, B., Kar, A., & Katiyar, C. K. (2021). Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal - Modern perspectives of an ancient Rasayana from Ayurveda. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 264, 113157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2020.113157
Mukherjee PK, et al. Withania Somnifera (L.) Dunal - Modern Perspectives of an Ancient Rasayana From Ayurveda. J Ethnopharmacol. 2021 Jan 10;264:113157. PubMed PMID: 32783987.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal - Modern perspectives of an ancient Rasayana from Ayurveda. AU - Mukherjee,Pulok K, AU - Banerjee,Subhadip, AU - Biswas,Sayan, AU - Das,Bhaskar, AU - Kar,Amit, AU - Katiyar,C K, Y1 - 2020/08/09/ PY - 2019/11/25/received PY - 2020/06/26/revised PY - 2020/07/03/accepted PY - 2020/8/14/pubmed PY - 2021/2/27/medline PY - 2020/8/14/entrez KW - Ayurveda KW - Clinical trial KW - Phytochemistry pharmacology KW - Solanaceae KW - Withania somnifera (L.) dunal SP - 113157 EP - 113157 JF - Journal of ethnopharmacology JO - J Ethnopharmacol VL - 264 N2 - ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal, commonly known as Ashwagandha, is an important medicinal plant that has been used in Ayurvedic and indigenous medicine for more than 3000 years. According to Charaka Samhita, Susruta Samhita and other ancient texts, Ashwagandha is known as Balya (increases strength), Brusya (sexual performance enhancer), vajikari (spermatogenic), Kamarupini (libido-enhancing), Pustida (nourishing). AIM OF THE REVIEW: This review article documented and critically assessed W. somnifera regarding its ethnopharmacology, traditional use, botanical description, phytochemicals present, pharmacological activities, clinical trials, and marketed formulations. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The sources of information used in the study are traditional Ayurvedic books like Charaka Samhita, Susruta Samhita, Astanga Hridaya etc, government reports, dissertations, books, research articles and databases like Science-Direct, SciFinder, Web of Science, PubMed, Wiley Online Library, and ACS Publications on Ashwagandha and Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal. RESULTS: Traditional uses of Ashwagandha in Ayurveda are very prominent in several texts where formulations with various dosage forms have been mentioned in Charaka Samhita, Susruta Samhita, Astanga Hridaya, different nighantus etc. The drugs were identified based on their composition containing Ashwagandha as one of the major ingredients and their medicinal uses. Phytochemical studies on W. somnifera revealed the presence of important chemical constituents such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and withanolides. The phytochemicals showed various pharmacological activities like anti-cancer, immunomodulatory, cardioprotective, neuroprotective, anti-aging, anti-stress/adaptogenic and anti-diabetic. Various clinical trials show that the plant extract and its bioactive compounds are used in the prevention and treatment of many diseases, such as arthritis, impotence, amnesia, anxiety, cancer, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, and others. CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacological data reviewed here revealed that W. somnifera is a potential source for the treatment of a wide range of diseases especially anxiety and other CNS disorders. From its ancient use to its modern application it has been proven to be non-toxic and effective clinically for human health and wellness. W. somnifera based herbal formulation has been marketed in the form of supplement, extract, capsule, powder etc. This review will be helpful to correlate the mechanism of action with the phytochemical profile of this well-known plant from Ayurveda. SN - 1872-7573 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32783987/Withania_somnifera__L___Dunal___Modern_perspectives_of_an_ancient_Rasayana_from_Ayurveda_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0378-8741(20)33039-7 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -