Talk:Withania somnifera

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add accurate rat experiment data[edit]

Traditional medicinal uses are not enough! Please add accurate rat experiment data! We need official data and links with the actual Universities that performed the experiments! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2.84.216.225 (talk) 11:14, 17 June 2015 (UTC)


exceptional source to be incorporated[edit]

hi, im not a wiki editor but the entry in this book, most of which you can see on the google book limited preview, contains alot of info which must be included here for this exceptional plant http://books.google.com/books?id=463ERB3VeUoC&lpg=PP1&dq=indian%20herbal%20remedies&pg=PA481#v=onepage&q=withania&f=false —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.218.20.179 (talk) 15:25, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks so much for the suggestion. We are currently working very hard to improve this article. While the book you mentioned does contain lots of useful information, much of which appears accurate after a quick read, I don't think it quite reaches the level of an ideal reference for the following reasons: first, lack of author technical expertise (the author is not trained in medicine or the sciences); second, author conflicts of interest (the author is a media and herbal medicine industry entrepreneur); third, lack of verifiable references (the entries were not referenced and were therefore difficult to cross check for accuracy). BSW-RMH (talk) 00:48, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Arthritis remedy?[edit]

FYI ... The Ethiopian culture section of the "Lucy" exhibit (showing the ancient fossils of Australopithecus afarensis), currently touring the USA, states that Ethiopians use Withania somnifera for arthritis. I know nothing about whether or not that's true, if it's effective, or how it is used. Since I suffer from arthritis, I was searching the internet for info. Someone knowledgeable might want to amplify on this point in the main entry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.217.79.235 (talk) 06:03, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Delisted GA[edit]

I delisted this article from GA status because:

  • First off, it appears to be a self-nomination, by User:BorgQueen
  • Lack of inline citations, which aren't a requirement, but still would be useful
  • Needs copyediting:

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), also known as Indian ginseng, Winter cherry, Ajagandha, Kanaje Hindi and Samm Al Ferakh, is a plant in Solanaceae or nightshade family. - needs the word "the" There are other instances of poor writing

  • Weak lead; one sentence paragraph?
  • poor 2-sentence history
  • weak, not thorough

AndyZ 20:07, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree, this article needs research citations, better references to herbal use and better editing. This is an important herb in the Ayurvedic materia medica, and is important as an herbal adaptogen that can readily grown as an annual (unlike ginseng or eleutherococcus).

Karen S Vaughan 18:49, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Constituents[edit]

I find no mention of pyralizodine alkaloids (saturated or unsaturated?- it makes a huge difference) in Duke's USDA database under Withania somnifera. There are no restrictions on use which would be found on an herb with dangerous PAs, as this is a well-researched rasayana herb. It is possible that the leaf or stem, which are not used medicinally, have toxic chemicals as this is a solanaceae, but the herb is considered safe for small children and the elderly in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. The article needs a substantial rewrite. Karen S Vaughan 16:11, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Photo[edit]

So, Image:With_somn.jpg is a nice photo apparently from the "Indian Institute of Science collection" (which I was unable to find information about from google, probably because "collection" and "Indian Institute of Science" are common terms). But there are too many things about it which I don't know how to handle, including whether the right permission is on file (commons:Template:no permission since) and the presence of a credit in the image (commons:Template:Watermark).

I note from commons:User_talk:Madhav_Gadgil that the uploader has had issues with other images more-or-less similarly uploaded, but I can't really tell what the resolution, if any, of all those other situations was.

If this image isn't suitable, we should add needs-photo=yes to the Plants box on this page. Kingdon (talk) 00:20, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Bad english?[edit]

What on earth?

Side effects

   * Slight nausea affect
   * impaired sight
   * chronic diahorreoa
   * misconfiguration of limbs
   * erosion of body parts

1: Ok, 2: What? Because of the sedative effects?, 3: I was given Withania Somnifera AGAINST stomach problems, 4 & 5: These two sound like fetal damage or something. I've read quite a few articles on Ashwaganda and none mention these. What does erosion and misconfiguration mean here? Somebody should fix these. :P

88.91.228.135 (talk) 08:55, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Saleeby reference does not meet WP:RS[edit]

The reference Saleeby, J. P. "Wonder Herbs: A Guide to Three Adaptogens", Xlibris, 2006 does not appear to meet WP:RS, specifically the requirements for self-published sources. The publisher is Xlibris, and a search on WorldCat and Google does not show the author as having published any other WP:RS works in the field of herbs. The reference should be removed.--papageno (talk) 02:17, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

 Done The reference has been removed.--papageno (talk) 04:22, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Consolidate Active constituents sub-section[edit]

I think the second two paragraphs in the Active constituents sub-section could be consolidated, but I don't have enough knowledge of botany to do so accurately.--papageno (talk) 20:01, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

External Review Comments[edit]

The following comments are from an external reviewer BSW-RMH as part of the new joint Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine/Google Project.

Hello, Withania sominifera article writers and editors. This article currently has 'start class' status and is a priority article for the Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine/Google Project. The goal of this project to is provide a useful list of suggested revisions to help promote the expansion and improvement of this article.

BSW-RMH (talk) 05:47, 15 July 2010 (UTC)


Description[edit]

This description seems to be inaccurate and is unreferenced. The reference I have describes Withania somnifera as a short shrub (35-75 cm) with a central stem from which branch extend radially in a star pattern (stellate) and covered with a dense matte of wooly hairs (tomentose). The flowers are small and green, while the ripe fruit is orange-red and has milk-coagulating properties. The plant also has long brown tuberous roots that are used for medicinal purposes. It is cultivated in many of the drier regions of India such as Manasa, Neemuch, and Jawad tehsils of the Mandsaur District of Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Sind. and Rajastan.

-Mirjalili MH, Moyano E, Bonfill M, Cusido RM, Palazón J. Steroidal Lactones from Withania somnifera, an Ancient Plant for Novel Medicine Molecules. (2009);14(7):2373-93. PMID: 19633611

Green tickYI have incorporated the above material BSW-RMH (talk) 21:34, 8 August 2010 (UTC)


The statement, “Although the herb Ashwagandha referred to in the ancient texts is now associated with Withania somnifera, the Himalayan Ayurvedic tradition equates Ashwagandha with Field Bindweed (Convovulus arvensis).” Is an inaccurate restatement of the cited website. This website actually says that Field Bindweed was used as a substitute for W. somnifera in this context. Either way, the cited website is an unreliable source (commercial, no reference to primary material). I removed both the statement and reference.

BSW-RMH (talk) 05:04, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Medicinal use[edit]

This section needs to be rewritten completely. It consists entirely of unreferenced and unconnected statements.


A short paragraph about how the roots of W. somnifera are used as Ashwagandha by Ayurvedic medicine practitioners would be useful. These references have extensive discussion of these uses:

-Mirjalili MH, Moyano E, Bonfill M, Cusido RM, Palazón J. Steroidal Lactones from Withania somnifera, an Ancient Plant for Novel Medicine Molecules. (2009);14(7):2373-93. PMID: 19633611

-Scartezzini P, Speroni E. Review on some plants of Indian traditional medicine with antioxidant activity. J Ethnopharmacol. (2000);71(1-2):23-43. Review. PMID: 10904144


This should be followed by a clear statement that while many health benefits are claimed, there have been few clinical trials to test these claims. Studies completed so far support that W. somnifera is beneficial for:

-easing drug withdrawal symptoms (Lu L, Liu Y, Zhu W, Shi J, Liu Y, Ling W, Kosten TR. Traditional medicine in the treatment of drug addiction. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. (2009);35(1):1-11. PMID: 19152199)

-reducing anxiety (Cooley K, Szczurko O, Perri D, Mills EJ, Bernhardt B, Zhou Q, Seely D. Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974. PLoS One. (2009);4(8):e6628.PMID: 19718255)

-reducing arthritis pain in the knee (Chopra A, Lavin P, Patwardhan B, Chitre D. A 32-week randomized, placebo-controlled clinical evaluation of RA-11, an Ayurvedic drug, on osteoarthritis of the knees. J Clin Rheumatol. (2004);10(5):236-45.PMID: 17043520)( Kulkarni RR, Patki PS, Jog VP, Gandage SG, Patwardhan B. Treatment of osteoarthritis with a herbomineral formulation: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. J Ethnopharmacol. (1991);33(1-2):91-5. PMID: 1943180)


There are currently registered clinical trials to test the potential of W. sominifera to treat:

-Tuberculosis (India, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, CTRI/2008/091/000089, http://www.ctri.in/Clinicaltrials/ViewTrial.jsp?trialno=175)

-Parkinsons Disease (Pakistan, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, ISRCTN31871098, http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial.aspx?TrialID=ISRCTN31871098)

-Bone Cancer (India, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, NCT00689195, http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial.aspx?TrialID=NCT00689195)

-Bipolar disorder (USA, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, NCT00761761, http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial.aspx?TrialID=NCT00761761)

-Diabetes (India, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, CTRI/2008/091/000053, http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial.aspx?TrialID=CTRI/2008/091/000053), (India, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, CTRI/2008/091/000054, http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial.aspx?TrialID=CTRI/2008/091/000053)

-and improve the well-being of the elderly and breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy (India, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, CTRI/2008/091/000052, http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial.aspx?TrialID=CTRI/2008/091/000052)(India, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, CTRI/2008/091/000047, http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial.aspx?TrialID=CTRI/2008/091/000047)

BSW-RMH (talk) 05:04, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Green tickYI incorporated all the suggested material. BSW-RMH (talk) 22:22, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

The page on Yahoo health mentions limited results showing lowering of blood sugar in type 2 diabetes (and other health information) with references. I am not experienced with Wikipedia, but seems like it would fit here. http://health.yahoo.net/natstandardcontent/ashwagandha/3 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 103.245.69.116 (talk) 20:28, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Active constituents[edit]

This should be made more accurate and expanded. Everything you ever wanted to know on this subject is here:

Mirjalili MH, Moyano E, Bonfill M, Cusido RM, Palazón J. Steroidal Lactones from Withania somnifera, an Ancient Plant for Novel Medicine Molecules. (2009);14(7):2373-93. PMID: 19633611

BSW-RMH (talk) 05:47, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Pharmacological effects[edit]

This section needs summarize all the pharmacological effects and therefore needs much expansion. A useful reference is: Mishra LC, Singh BB, Dagenais S. Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha): a review. Altern Med Rev. (2000);5(4):334-46. PMID: 10956379.


“Studies indicate [that] ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antistress, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, hemopoetic, and rejuvenating properties. It also appears to exert a positive influence on the endocrine, cardiopulmonary, and central nervous systems.” (Mishra 2000)


Also of note: “Historically, W. somnifera has been used as an antioxidant, adaptogen, aphrodisiac, liver tonic, antiinflamatory agent and astringent and more recently as an antibacterial, antihyperplycemic and antitumoral, as well as to treat ulcers and senile dementia.”

Mirjalili MH, Moyano E, Bonfill M, Cusido RM, Palazón J. Steroidal Lactones from Withania somnifera, an Ancient Plant for Novel Medicine Molecules. (2009);14(7):2373-93. PMID: 19633611


See also: Gupta, GL, Rana, AC Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha): A Review. Pharmacog. (2007);1, 129-136.


BSW-RMH (talk) 05:01, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Side effects[edit]

Information about effects on rats and anecdotal evidence of perceived side effects are not relevant. Instead, it could be clearly stated that in at least two published clinical trials of Withania somnifera, the side effects experienced by W. somnifera treated individuals were not significantly different than the side effects experienced by placebo treated individuals. This can be expanded in the future.


Cooley K, Szczurko O, Perri D, Mills EJ, Bernhardt B, Zhou Q, Seely D. Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974. PLoS One. (2009);4(8):e6628.PMID: 19718255

Chopra A, Lavin P, Patwardhan B, Chitre D. A 32-week randomized, placebo-controlled clinical evaluation of RA-11, an Ayurvedic drug, on osteoarthritis of the knees. J Clin Rheumatol. (2004);10(5):236-45.PMID: 17043520

BSW-RMH (talk) 05:01, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Green tickYThis information was added to the article BSW-RMH (talk) 03:02, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Other species[edit]

There are currently 23 known species of Withania. (Mirjalili 2009)

BSW-RMH (talk) 05:01, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Green tickYThis citation was added. BSW-RMH (talk) 03:02, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Subspecies[edit]

I did not find a reliable reference for the existence of subpecies of this plant.

BSW-RMH (talk) 05:02, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Green tickYThis section was removed. BSW-RMH (talk) 03:03, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Research[edit]

The current information in this section is selective. I recommend removal of this section in light of the discussions of ongoing clinical trials in the medicinal effects section or perhaps move the ongoing clinical trials information to this section.

BSW-RMH (talk) 05:02, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Green tickYThis section was removed.BSW-RMH (talk) 03:04, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

References[edit]

Unreliable references have been removed.

Green tickYBSW-RMH (talk) 05:02, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Study vs Alzheimer's[edit]

A reputable blog https://luysii.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/could-le-chateliers-principle-be-the-answer-to-alzheimers-disease/ cites [ Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. vol. 109 pp. 3199 - 3200, 3510 - 3515 '12 ] saying: it found a way to dissolve the senile plaques in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. ... Mice were created with mutations known to cause Alzheimer’s disease in man. They developed senile plaques and were then given Ashwagandha extract. The plaques got smaller.

It's the cover article. The title is "Withania somnifera reverses Alzheimer's disease pathology by enhancing low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein in liver". The abstract (free) is at http://www.pnas.org/content/109/9/3510.abstract

I haven't read the paper, nor am I a qualified expert, but I hope someone can follow this up. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.162.228.245 (talk) 23:45, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

The blog is not reputable (cf WP:MEDRS). Rhode Island Red (talk) 01:17, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
But the article in PNAS is reputable. Nadiatalent (talk) 13:39, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
What caught my attention was that the comment opened with the curious statement that the blog is reputable when it in fact it is strikingly not so. While it is true that PNAS is a reputable journal, the article in question was a pre-clinical mouse study (and therefore not directly relevant to humans) and its a primary source (see WP:MEDRS); so limited value. Rhode Island Red (talk) 16:05, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
The PNAS article, as noted above, was featured on the cover of the journal. There is also a commentary about the significance of the study: Dries, D.R.; Yu, G.; Herz, J. (2012). "Extracting β-amyloid from Alzheimer's disease". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109 (9): 3199–3200.  In other words, this is a very promising avenue for further investigation, in a field where previous promising avenues have been strikingly unsuccessful (dangerous, in fact), but it is very new, and so far doesn't provide a therapy for humans. As for the blog, it is a blog written by a well-educated person; as such, it is better formulated than blogs by ignoramuses; there's no call to describe it as "strikingly not reputable". Of course, all blogs (and all news media) are suspect, but this one deserves no further aspersions. Nadiatalent (talk) 22:25, 7 March 2012 (UTC)


Unproven claim about anxiety?[edit]

The study "Naturopathic Care for Anxiety: A Randomized Controlled Trial" looks at a naturopathic treatment with dietary counselling, multivitamins and breathing exercises combined with Withania somnifera NOT Withania somnifera in isolation, it is therefore impossible to conclude that Withania somnifera itself is effective against anxiety. It may well be the case, but someone needs to dig up a better study. --85.24.133.33 (talk) 14:42, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

I agree that the text as written in the article is not supported by the cited reference. Per WP:MEDRS, this content should be removed until a reliable source that does support it can be found. -- Ed (Edgar181) 17:15, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

"various symptoms and conditions"[edit]

Why would I bother using an encylopedia that tells me "various symptoms and conditions". How about a rewrite of WP so each article just reads, "Stuff"? Unimpressed. 49.182.150.111 (talk) 07:46, 26 February 2015 (UTC)