Chapter 5: Phytochemical, Botanical and Therapeutic Potential of Withania somnifera in Ayurveda
Published:09 Nov 2022
S. Subasini, P. Ananthi, K. Hemkumar, and A. Pius, in Chemistry, Biological Activities and Therapeutic Applications of Medicinal Plants in Ayurveda, ed. A. Amalraj, S. Kuttappan, and K. Varma, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2022, ch. 5, pp. 89-107.
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Traditional medicine and ethnomedicine have always used herbal remedies. In the Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine, Withania somnifera (W. somnifera) is a highly regarded genus. According to the Ayurvedic medical system, W. somnifera enhances physical and mental well-being and heals almost all health problems. Comparative analysis of relevant in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies has revealed that its phytochemicals have potent anti-inflammatory, strong antioxidant, antimicrobial, antianxiety, antacid, immunomodulatory, hypoglycemic, antiulcer, antitumor, dopaminergic depressant, and hepatoprotective activities, promoting the rationale behind several of its traditional uses. Cerebral illnesses such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases are also treated using this species. These species are natural sources of withanolides (steroidal lactones), which are employed in a variety of disease-treating compositions. The effects of W. somnifera as a multipurpose therapeutic agent have been studied in several pharmacological areas of research. Phytochemical and pharmacological research have been conducted to investigate various aspects of this substance. This chapter provides a detailed overview of W. somnifera and its active ingredients, geographical distribution, traditional uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological properties.