Ashvagandha / Withania somnifera


Radix Withaniae

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Hyperlipidemia is the greatest risk factor of coronary heart disease. The present study was designed to investigate the antihyperlipidemic activity of Withania somnifera in Triton X-100 induced hyperlipidemic rats.

Withania extract was administered at different dose of 200mg/kg and 400mg/kg (p.o) daily for 7 days to hyperlipidemic rats. Atorvastatin is used as reference standard.

The statistical analysis was carried out using oneway ANOVA followed by Dunnet’s multiple comparison test. Withania somnifera showed a significant decrease in the levels of serum cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, VLDL and significant increase in the level of serum HDL at the dose of 400mg/kg (p.o) against Triton induced hyperlipidemic rats.

Therefore, it effectively suppressed the Triton induced hyperlipidemia in rats, suggesting the potential protective role in Coronary heart disease.


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Withania monograph


Organic cultivation of Ashwagandha with improved biomass and high content of active Withanolides: Use of Vermicompost

Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) has recently been studied extensively for its health-supplementing and therapeutic activities against a variety of ailments.

Several independent studies have experimentally demonstrated pharmaceutical potential of its active Withanolides, Withaferin A (Wi-A), Withanone (Wi-N) and Withanolide A (Wil-A).

However, to promote its use in herbal industry, an environmentally sustainable cultivation and high yield are warranted. In modern agriculture strategies, there has been indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers to boost the crop-yield, however the practice largely ignored its adverse effect on the quality of soil and the environment.

In view of these, we attempted to recruit Vermicompost (Vcom, 20–100%) as an organic fertilizer of choice during the sowing and growing phases of Ashwagandha plants.

We report that (i) pre-soaking of seeds for 12 h in Vermicompost leachate (Vcom-L) and Vermicompost tea (Vcom-T) led to higher germination, (ii) binary combination of pre-soaking of seeds and cultivation in Vcom (up to 80%) resulted in further improvement both in germination and seedling growth, (iii) cultivated plants in the presence of Vcom+Vcom-L showed higher leaf and root mass, earlier onset of flowering and fruiting and (iv) leaves from the Vcom+Vcom-L cultivated plants showed higher level of active Withanolides, Withanone (Wi-N), Withanolide A (Wil-A) and Withaferin A (Wi-A) and showed anticancer activities in cell culture assays.

Taken together, we report a simple and inexpensive method for improving the yield and pharmaceutical components of Ashwagandha leaves.

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