- rauwolfia serpentina - Sarpagandha
- KUMKUM - (Crocus sativus- mediinal plant))
- Ayurvedic Anti-Inflammatory Herbs
- Alpinia Galanga - RASANA
- Guduci - Tinospora cordifolia
- Phyllanthus niruri - bhu amalaki / boo amalaki
- datura metel -Dhatura
- Acalypha indica Linn.
- Commiphora mukul / Balsamodendron mukul
- Cressa cretica -Rudravanti
- Solanum trilobatum
Herbs - Medicinal plants usage and Identification Data base
Kaul (cultivated var.)
Withania. somnifera (Linn.) Dunal (Chemotype
I, II, III: Israele.)
Family _ Solanaceae.
Habitat _ Throughout the drier and
subtropical parts of India.
English _ Winter Cherry. (Physalis
alkekengi is also known as Winter
Ayurvedic _ Ashwagandhaa, Hayagandhaa,
Gokarnaa, Vrishaa, Varaahakarni,
Varadaa, Balyaa, Vaajikari. (A
substitute for Kaakoli and Kshirakaakoli.)
Cultivated var.: Asgandh
Naagori. (Indian botanists consider
the cultivated plants distinct from
the wild ones.)
Unani _ Asgandh.
Siddha _ Amukkuramkizhangu.
Action _ Root—used as an antiinflammatory
drug for swellings,
tumours, scrofula and rheumatism;
and as a sedative and hypnotic
in anxiety neurosis. Leaf—
antibacterial. Fruits and
sedative, hypnotic. Withaferin
A—major component of biologically
active steroids; as effective
as hydrocortisone dose for dose.
Antibacterial, antitumour, antiarthritic,
against hepatotoxicity in rats.
The root contains several alkaloids,
including withanine, withananine,
somnine, somniferine, somniferinine.
The leaves of Indian chemotype contain
withanolides, including withaferin
A. Steroidal lactones of withanolide
series have been isolated.
Withanine is sedative and hypnotic.
Withaferin A is antitumour, antiarthritic
and antibacterial. Anti-inflammatory
activity has been attributed
to biologically active steroids, of
which withaferin A is a major component.
The activity is comparable to that
of hydrocortisone sodium succinate.
Withaferin A also showed significantly
protective effect against CCl
induced hepatotoxicity in rats. It was
as effective as hydrocortisone dose for
e root extract contains an ingredient
which has GABA mimetic activity.
The free amino acids present in the
root include aspartic acid, glycine, tyrosine,
alanine, proline, tryptophan,
glutamic acid and cystine.
The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India
recommends Ashwagandha in impotency.
This claim could not be sustained
in a recent experiment and raises
a doubt about the equation of classical
Ashwagandha with Withania somnifera.
A methanolic extract of Withania
somnifera root induced a marked
impairment in libido, sexual performance,
sexual vigour and penile dysfunction
in male rats. (Llayperuma et
al, Asian J Androl,
The total alkaloids of the root exhibited
prolonged hypotensive, bradycardiac
and depressant action of the
higher cerebral centres in several experimental
Awithanolide-free aqueous fraction
isolated from the roots of Withania
somnifera exhibited antistress activity
in a dose-dependent manner in mice.
Dosage _ Root—2–4 g powder.