A Review on Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal)
Authors: Harish Kumar Singhal 1*, Neetu 2, Amit Kataria 3 and Jai SinghaYadav 4
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Ashwagandha , commonly known as Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal is an important medicinal plant which is used in indigenous medicine for over 3,000 years. Due to its varied therapeutic potential, it has now become a subject of interest for modern scientific attention. Withania is widely claimed to have potent aphrodisiac, sedative, rejuvenating and life prolonging properties. It is also used as a general energy-enhancing tonic known as Medha Rasayana (‘that which promotes learning and a good memory’) and in geriatric problems. More than thirty five chemical constituents are present in the roots of Withania somnifera. The biologically active chemical constituents are alkaloids and steroidal lactones. To explore this drug and its properties we made an effort to collect literature mentioned in ancient textbook backed with recent research evidences. To achieve this, known database like pubmed, medline were selected for studies from 1988 to 2010. Data obtained in English language from clinical and experimental studies on Withania somnifera were considered. Various clinical & experimental studies proved its utility as anti-anxiety, anti stress, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antioxidant, antiageing, anticarcinogenic, antibacterial, adaptogenic, hemopoetic & immodulation activity along with cognition enhancing & memory improving activity with effect on Parkinson disease, neuritic regeneration and synaptic reconstruction.