Main Article Content



Withania somnifera is commonly known as ashwagandha (winter cherry) and is widely used as medicinal plant in ayurvedic medicines. It possesses various properties such as antitumor and can be used as antivenom, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and memory enhancing product. Extract of Withania somnifera obtained from its roots and stems when blended with certain chemicals can be used to treat various types of tumor such as breast cancer and uterus cancer. It is also considered effective to normalize the body chemicals which get affected because of chemotherapy .It has many rejuvenating properties, and has less harmful side effects. Treatment with Withania somnifera have shown positive effects in case of uterine fibroids, long memory deficit and stress. It is widely used in treatment of Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis. This plant as a whole can be used for best therapeutic purposes.

Withania somnifera, anti-tumor, anti-arthritic, cell carcinoma, ayurveda, diseases.

Article Details

How to Cite
GUPTA, A. (2020). Withania somnifera (ASHWAGANDHA) AND ITS THERAPEUTIC FUNCTIONS: A REVIEW. PLANT CELL BIOTECHNOLOGY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, 21(61-62), 109-115. Retrieved from http://ikpresse.com/index.php/PCBMB/article/view/5648
Review Article


Weiner MA, Weiner J. Ashwagandha (India ginseng). In: Herbs that Heal. Quantum Books, Mill Valley, CA; 1994; 70–72.

Elsakka M, Grigorescu E, Stanescu U, Dorneanu V. New data referring to chemistry of Withania somnifera species. Rev. Med. Chir. Soc. Med. Nat. Iasi. 1990; 94(2):385-387.

Bone K, et al. Clinical applications of ayurvedic and chinese herbs- monographs for the western herbal practitioner. Australia: Phytotherapy Press. 1996;137-141.

Chopra A, Lavin P, Patwardhan B, Chitre D. A 32-week randomized, placebo-controlledclinical evaluation of RA-11, an Ayurvedic drug, on osteoarthritis of the knees. JCR J. Clin. Rheumatol. 2004;10(5): 236-245.

Kaur K, Rani G, Widodo N, Nagpal A, Taira K, Kaul S, Wadhwa R. Evaluation of the antiproliferative and anti-oxidative activities of leaf extract from In vivo and In vitro raised Ashwagandha. Food Chem. Toxicol. 2004;42(12):2015-2020.

Singh N, Bhalla M, de Jager P, Gilca M. An overview on ashwagandha: A Rasayana (rejuvenator) of Ayurveda. Afr. J. Tradit. Complement. Altern. Med. 2011;8.

Mirjalili MH, Moyano E, Bonfill M, Cusido RM, Palazon J. Steroidal lactones from Withania somnifera, an ancient plant for novel medicine. Molecules. 2009;14(7): 2373-93.

Ahmad M, Dar NJ. Withania somnifera: Ethnobotany, pharmacology, and therapeutic functions. Sustained Energy for Enhanced Human Functions and Activity. 2017;137-154.

Rastogi RP, Mehrotra BN. Compendium of Indian medicinal plants, Central Drug Research Institute, New Delhi. 1998;6.

Trease, Evans. Pharmacognosy. 15th ed. W.B. Saunders. 2002;46.

Khandelwal KR. Practical pharmacognosy: Techniques and experiment. 16th ed. Nirali Prakashan. 2006;149-153.

Mishra L, Singh BB, Dagenais S. Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha): A review, Alter. Medical Reviews. 2000;5: 334–346.

Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Sairam K, Ghosal S. Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: An experimental study. Phytomedicine. 2000;7(6):463-469.

Bhattacharya SK, Muruganandam AV. Adaptogenic activity of Withania somnifera: An experimental study using a rat model of chronic stress. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 2003;75(3):547-555.

Bhatnagar M, Sisodia SS, Bhatnagar R. Antiulcer and Antioxidant Activity of Asparagus racemosus WILLD and Withania somnifera DUNAL in Rats. Ann. N. Y.Acad. Sci. 2005;1056:261-278.

Machiah DK, Girish KS, Gowda TV. A glycoprotein from a folk medicinal plant, Withania somnifera, inhibits hyaluronidase activity of snake venoms. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. C. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 2006; 143(2):158-161.

Anbalagan K, Sadique J. Influence of an Indian medicine (Ashwagandha) on acutephase reactants in inflammation. Indian J. Exp. Biol. 1981;19(3):245-249.

Begum VH, Sadique J. Effect of Withania somnifera on glycosaminoglycans synthesis in carrageenin-induced air pouch granuloma. Biochem. Med. Metab. Biol. 1987;38(3):272-277.

Begum VH, Sadique J. Long term effect of herbal drug Withania somnifera on adjuvant induced arthritis in rats. Indian J. Exp. Biol. 1988;26(11):877-882.

Davis L, Kuttan G. Effect of Withania somnifera on cell mediated immune responses in mice. J. Exp. Clin. Cancer Res. 2002;21(4):585-590.

Iuvone T, Esposito G, Capasso F, Izzo A. Induction of nitric oxide synthase expression by Withania somnifera in macrophages. Life Sci. 2003;72(14):1617-1625.

Dhuley JN. Effect of some Indian herbs on macrophage functions in ochratoxin A treated mice. J. Ethnopharmacol. 1997; 58(1):15-20.

Davis L, Kuttan G. Immunomodulatory activity of Withania somnifera. J. Ethnopharmacol. 2000;71(1-2):193-200.

Andallu B, Radhika B. Hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic effect of winter cherry (Withania somnifera, Dunal) root. Indian J Exp Biol. 2000;(6):607-09.

Prakash J, Gupta SK, Dinda AK. Withania somnifera root extract prevents DMBA-induced quamous cell carcinoma of skin in Swiss albino mice. Nutr. Cancer. 2002; 42(1):91-97.

Jayaprakasam B, Zhang Y, Seeram N, Nair, M. Growth inhibition of tumor cell lines by withanolides from Withania somnifera leaves. Life Sci. 2003;74(1):125-132.

Christina AJ, Joseph DG, Packialakshmi M, Kothai R, Robert SJ, Chidambaranathan N Ramasamy M. Anticarcinogenic activity of Withania somnifera Dunal against Dalton's ascitic lymphoma. J. Ethnopharmacol. 2004;93(2-3):359-361.

Gupta YK, Sharma SS, Rai K, Katiyar C.K. Reversal of paclitaxel induced neutropenia by Withania somnifera in mice. Indian J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 2001;45(2):253-257.

Hemalatha S, Wahi AK, Singh PN, Chansouria JP. Hypolipidemic activity of aqueous extract of Withania coagulans Dunal in albino rats. Phytother. Res. 2006;20(7):614-617.

Visavadiya NP, Narasimhacharya AV. Hypocholesteremic and antioxidant effects of Withania somnifera (Dunal) in hypercholesteremic rats. 200714(2-3):136-42.

Bone K. Clinical applications of ayuvedic and Chinese herbs. Queensland, Australia: Phytotherapy. 1996; 137-41.

Mohanty I, Arya DS, Dinda A, Talwar KK, Joshi S, Gupta SK. Mechanisms of cardioprotective effect of Withania somnifera in experimentally induced myocardial infarction. Basic Clin. Pharmacol. Toxicol. 2004;94(4):184-190.

Malhotra CL, Das PK, Dhalla NS, Prasad K. Studies on Withania ashwagandha, Kaul. III. The effect of total alkaloids on the cardiovascular system and respiration. Indian J. Med. Res. 1981;49: 448-460.

Owais M, Sharad KS, Shehbaz A, Saleemuddin M. Antibacterial efficacy of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) an indigenous medicinal plant against experimental murine salmonellosis. Phytomedicine. 2005;12(3):229-235.

Arora S, Dhillon S, Rani G, Nagpal A. The In vitro antibacterial/synergisticactivities of Withania somnifera extracts. Fitoterapia 2004;75(3-4):385-388.