Natural Products Insider

MAY-JUN 2018

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naturalproductsinsider.com/ashwagandha-advantage 3 naturalproductsinsider.com/ashwagandha-advantage A shwagandha (Withania somnifera Dunal) is one of the most popular Indian botanicals, used as a rejuvenative and daily tonic for many centuries in Ayurveda, the 5,000-year-old Indian system of medicine. The plant embodies the very essence of Ayurveda's preventative and curative approach. Withania somnifera is cultivated in many of the drier regions of India, and is also found in some areas of Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean. As a result of this wide-ranging habitat, there are considerable morphological and chemo-typical variations in local species. However, the root phytoactives of the wild and cultivated species appear to be the same. Ashwagandha contains many useful medicinal chemicals, including withanolides (steroidal lactones), alkaloids, fl avonoids, choline, fatty acids, amino acids and a variety of sugars. While the leaves and fruit have been occasionally used, the root of the Ashwagandha plant is the part most commonly used in Western herbal remedies. Indeed, the signifi cant majority of the clinical studies use the root; in contrast, there is much less published evidence in support of using leaf components of ashwagandha. Withanolides are an important (though by no means the sole critical) set of the major bioactive constituents of the ashwagandha root. At present, more than 140 withanolides from this plant have been isolated and are being studied. Not all withanolides are benefi cial. Withaferin A is one withanolide that is cytotoxic, making it undesirable to have in an ashwagandha extract when the intended use is for adaptogenic applications or support of cognitive and immune health. Withaferin A has a considerably stronger presence in the leaf of the ashwagandha plant than the root. While in the natural products marketplace, much of the discussion on ashwagandha is centered around the withanolides constituents or alkaloid constituents, Ayurvedic experts and doctors emphasize there is much more to ashwagandha than just the withanolides. The synergistic effect from than just the withanolides. The synergistic effect from this diverse set of active constituents is believed to be responsible for the multiple therapeutic properties of ashwagandha. This is often delivered in a "full spectrum," which maintains the balance of the various constituents as in the original herb. naturalproductsinsider.com/ashwagandha/ report-ashwagandha-root-unique-adaptogen Ashwagandha: At the Root of a Unique Adaptogen DOWNLOAD Special Report February 2017 ashwagandhaadvantage.com US$39.00 Ashwagandha At the Root of a Unique Adaptogen by Heather Granato and Rachel Adams

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