What is Withania Somnifera?

What is Withania Somnifera?

Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.


Withania somnifera is a drought-resistant shrub 30-150 cm tall that can be grown in many parts of the world. It is an important medicinal plant that has been used in Ayurvedic and indigenous medicine for thousands of years.

It has a wide variety of phytochemicals that perform various antimicrobial actions against pathogens. However, these phyto-chemicals vary significantly with different tissue type, growth conditions, and variety of Withania somnifera. This is a major reason why it is difficult to standardize preparations and commercial exploitation of Withania somnifera.

Medicinal uses

Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha), or Indian ginseng as it is known in the West, is an important medicinal plant that has been used for centuries to treat a wide variety of ailments. It has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, cardiovascular and anti-diabetic properties, as well as the ability to improve sleep quality.

It is an adaptogen, which means it strengthens the nervous system. This property makes it a useful treatment for anxiety, depression and insomnia. It is also used to enhance immunity and reduce stress. In addition, it has been shown to promote muscle strength and regeneration. It can be taken as a powder, or a capsule.

The root of Withania somnifera is the source of the plant's medicinal benefits. It is widely used in the traditional medicine of India and the Middle East. It can be consumed as a food, or added to milk and honey or made into tea.

Traditionally, it was used for nervous exhaustion and as a stimulant. It was also used as a repellent against wild animals.

In recent years, Withania somnifera has been found to have potential for use in a variety of other conditions, including cancer, inflammatory disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. It is thought to regulate the activity of cytokines, which may lead to a decrease in inflammation and other signs of disease.

Researchers are interested in studying its effects on rheumatoid arthritis. One study found that Withania somnifera root powder was effective in reducing inflammation and improving the function of a number of proteins in rheumatoid arthritis patients. It was also shown to help with the reversal of disease in a mouse model of lupus.

Research has also shown that Withania somnifera can be a good treatment for salmonellosis and other bacteria-related infections, especially those of the oral cavity. It can inhibit bacterial acid production and sensitivity to antibiotics, as well as increase biofilm formation.

Ashwagandha can also be a helpful treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. In a clinical trial, patients with these conditions who took 300 mg of an aqueous extract of Withania somnifera root twice daily for eight weeks experienced significantly more improvement in muscle strength and power than those who received a placebo. This was also associated with decreased damage to muscle myocytes during exercise.

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Ashwagandha is widely utilized in various ancient medical systems as it possesses numerous medicinal and therapeutic properties. Phytochemicals in this plant play an important role in its medicinal effect.

Besides having a wide range of pharmacological activity, the leaves of this herb also possess antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Therefore, it is essential to analyze its phytochemicals in order to determine its overall activity and the quality of extracts.

One particular study aimed to identify the bioactive components of W. somnifera and their potential pharmacological activities in human semen cells. The main phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and alkaloids were analyzed. The GC-MS method was employed to detect the phytochemicals in the samples.

Withania Somnifera is an incredibly versatile medicinal plant that has been able to produce several different phytochemicals. It is particularly noted for its signature phytochemical withanolides, which are C-28 steroidal lactone-based compounds that have numerous medicinal properties.

These withanolides are the primary source of the therapeutic repute for this plant and are known to exhibit broad-ranging anticancer, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Moreover, they have been linked with immune-modulating, anti-aging, and stress-relieving effects.

In addition to the presence of a number of cytotoxic constituents, this plant contains alkaloids and mycotoxins that may exert a harmful influence on human health. Thus, a study aimed to assess the toxicity of these withanolides in relation to a variety of bacterial strains and fungus by conducting MTT cytotoxicity test.

The cytotoxicity of the tested withanolides was also assessed by measuring their ability to cross the blood brain barrier and inhibit MMP-9 expression. This enzyme is highly expressed in the central nervous system, and it plays a key role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders.

Despite the significant findings, there are still some limitations in the understanding of these bioactives and their potential toxicity. Hence, more research is required to understand the mechanism of action and to identify safe and effective dosages for human use.

Medicinal plants are very crucial for the production of structurally unique phytomolecules that have diverse pharmaceutical and commercial importance. As a result, in-depth study of the underlying molecular mechanisms of plant cell-based phytochemicals is necessary.


Ashwagandha is a medicinal plant that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to ease pain and inflammation, treat insomnia, boost nutrition, improve energy levels, and increase longevity. It has also been found to be an effective stress reliever and immune modulator.

Withania somnifera root is known to possess anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, and hepatoprotective activity. Moreover, it has been shown to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels in diabetic patients as well. It is also a potent anti-cancer agent that can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy as it inhibits the development of tumors and reduces their growth rates.

In the pre-clinical setting, Withania somnifera extract was proven to have immunomodulatory properties. It inhibited myelosuppression in mice treated with diverse immunotoxins such as cyclophosphamide, azathioprine and prednisolone. It also prevented urethane-induced lung-adenomas in mice. Similarly, it inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in vivo by modulating the release of pro-inflammatory mediators like TNF- and IL-6 from the lungs.

This anti-cancer property can be attributed to Withania somnifera’s antioxidant, free radical scavenging and hepatoprotective activities. Additionally, it can also prevent the development of fibrosis and leucopoenia in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

As a result of its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity, Withania somnifera is a popular herb in the traditional Chinese medicine. It is also used in the treatment of depression, insomnia and anxiety disorders.

It is a versatile medicinal plant, containing many active constituents such as terpenes, flavonoids and amino acids. It is also a good source of iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium.

The leaves are a popular herbal supplement in India, and are used for various ailments such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and gastrointestinal problems. It is also beneficial for women’s health, and is said to promote fertility.

Herbal medicines and supplements have gained popularity around the world in recent years, but the scientific research behind their effectiveness and safety remains scarce.


In traditional Indian medicine, Withania somnifera roots have been used as a herbal drug for a variety of diseases. However, the plant also has aerial parts such as leaves, stem, fruit and seeds which have shown several preclinical pharmacological activities with potential clinical applications. The aerial parts have also been investigated for their anti-cancer, immunomodulatory, neuroprotective, cardioprotective, adaptogenic and anti-diabetic effects.

Ashwagandha is considered an essential herb in Ayurvedic medicine and is a key component of many popular herbal formulations. It has been shown to be effective for a variety of conditions including stress, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, memory function and sleep quality. The safety of this herbal drug is therefore important to consider.

Several preclinical studies have reported the safety of Withania somnifera root and extracts of its roots. These studies have shown that the herb is not toxic when administered by oral routes and has a low LD50 in rats, mice and birds. In addition, a few clinical trials have also shown the efficacy of ashwagandha in treating stress and improving cognitive function.

Another study has found that treatment with a standardized extract of Withania somnifera root (300 mg daily) for 90 days significantly improved memory and attention, reduced stress levels, and improved sleep quality in healthy adults. Compared to the placebo group, subjects taking the Withania somnifera extract showed increased dopamine and serotonin, a reduction in stress levels, and enhanced overall well-being.

The safety of Withania somnifera has been evaluated in animal models by a number of non-clinical studies. These include acute and sub-chronic toxicity studies in rats, mice and birds. These studies have characterized the plant as safe up to the dose of 1000 mg/kg/day in male and female rats, without causing adverse effects on vital signs and hematological parameters.

In a GLP-directed non-clinical study, the hydromethanolic extract of the whole plant of Withania somnifera was assessed for its non-clinical safety in Sprague Dawley rats. OECD guideline 407 was used for the evaluation of the non-clinical safety of WSWPE and it was determined that WSWPE is safe to use at the dose level of 1000 mg/kg/day in both male and female rats.


Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) is one of the most revered herbs in Indian Ayurvedic medicine as a Rasayana. It is used to treat a variety of conditions, including stress, anxiety, depression, and other health problems. It’s also a popular adaptogen, meaning it can help your body better handle stress.

Ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years to ease pain and inflammation, treat insomnia, and boost nutrition. It’s also been studied for its anti-cancer and antioxidant properties.

What Are the Benefits of Withania Somnifera?

Withania Somnifera is part of a class of plants called adaptogens, which are used for their medicinal benefits when taken as teas, powders, tinctures and supplements. It’s been found to boost energy, relieve anxiety, reduce stress, and protect against cancer.

What are the Side Effects of Withania Somnifera?

The most common side effects of Withania Somnifera include fatigue, gastrointestinal discomfort, and skin irritation. In addition, some people may experience dizziness and headaches from taking this supplement. However, other than these minor and rare circumstances it is considered safe and non-toxic.

What is the Best Source of Withania Somnifera?

For centuries, this plant has been a staple in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine.

Often referred to as Indian ginseng, ashwagandha has been shown to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression in humans.

It’s also been found to increase mental and physical endurance in animals, as well as boost immune function and metabolism.

This is why we include 600mg in every daily dose of Military Muscle alongside 10 complimentary nutrients.

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