Withania somnifera or Ashwagandha as a supportive herbal remedy for health of heart, high Cholesterol levels and in Diabetes
Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera has in its arsenal the weapons for cardiac and diabetic disorders as well. This botanical is truly versatile in the beneficial effects for us.
The cardiac protective action is exerted by helping in ischemic and reperfusion injury. It supports focal ischemia as well. Another polyherbal formula with this herb exerts anti-atherogenic effect.
In another study it showed hypoglycemic, diuretic and cholesterol lowering activity. It supports well in diabetes. Diabetes induced oxidative damage in brain and diabetes induced cataract respond well to this botanical.
Ashwagandha as Natural Herbal Remedy for Cardio-protection Against Ischemic & Reperfusion Injury:
Wistar rats were divided into six groups – WS (50 mg/kg) treated, Vit. E (100 mg/kg) group and control group. After one month hemodynamic, histopathological and laboratory parameters were compared for each group.
Myocardial enzymes (CPK or Creatinine phosphokinase) and Antioxidant parameters (SOD or Superoxide dismutase, GSH or Glutathione, MDA or Malondialdehyde, CAT or Catalase and GSHPx or Glutathione peroxidase) were evaluated.
Ashwagandha and standard reference Vit. E modulated most of parameters. Vit. E didn’t restore GSH and mean arterial pressure. WS stimulated production of endogenous antioxidants while Vit. E didn’t.
This study indicate beneficial action of WS in ischemic injury and its cardio-protective role. This study was designed at All India Institute Of Medical Sciences, India. (Mol. Cell Biochem. 2004 May 260(1-2) 39-47)
Ashwagandha Useful In Focal Ischemia:
Withania somnifera was evaluated in a middle cerebral artery occlusion model of stroke in rats. Pretreatment with its extract for 30 days prevented motor impairment and significantly decreased the raised levels of MDA (Malondialdehyde, the marker of oxidative stress). This study reports the effectiveness of WS in focal ischemia.
Departments of Pharmacology and NMR, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Herbal Remedies for High Cholesterol – Ashwagandha Supporting Antiatherogenic Activity In multiherbal formulation:
A polyherbal product containing Commiphora mukul, Allium sativum, Plumbago indica, Semecarpus anacardium, Hemidesmus indicus, Terminalia arjuna, Tinospora cordifolia, Withania somnifera and Ocimum sanctum, was evaluated for antiatherogenic effect in rats.
This formulation was found to exert antiatherogenic effect via antioxidant, anticoagulant, platelet antiaggregatory, lipoprotein lipase releasing, anti-inflammatory and hypolipidaemic activity.
Amala Cancer Research Centre, Thrissur, Kerala, India.
Herbal Remedies for Diabetes and Blood Sugar Regulatioon – Hypoglycaemic, Diuretic & Anti-hypercholesterolemic Effects Of Ashwagandha:
Six mild NIDDM and six mild hypercholesterolemic persons were treated with Withania somnifera for one month. At the end of one month, the blood glucose level was lower comparable with oral hypoglycemic drug. There was significant increase in urine volume, urine Na+. There was decrease in serum cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL & VLDL cholesterol. (Indian J. Exp. Bio. 2000 Jun. 38(6) 607-9)
Herbal Remedies for Diabetes – Withania coagulans Extract Supports Diabetes:
One study from Dept. of Pharmaceutics, Banaras Hindu University, India, found significantly lowered blood sugar, serum cholesterol, serum and hepatic LPO levels after administration of aqeous extract of fruit of Withania coagulans in the dosage of 1000 mg per kg in Streptozotocin induced diabetic rats post-operatively.
Normal rats also responded with lowered blood glucose levels for Streptozotocin induced diabetes.
Herbal Remedies for Brain Health – Ashwagandha & Aloe Vera Supports Diabetes Induced Oxidative Damage In Brain:
Diabetes mellitus is reported to impair the memory function in experimental animals. Since the mammalian hippocampus and cerebral cortex play a pivotal role in a diverse set of cognitive functions, such as novelty detection and memory, we examined the vulnerability of cortex and hippocampus regions of the brain to oxidative damage in streptozotocin (STZ) diabetic mice.
Extracts of Withania somnifera and Aloe vera were examined for their effect on hippocampal and cortical cell degenerations. The oxidative damage in both brain regions was reduced as marked by a significant declines in both LPO and PC after giving this combined herbal extract formulation.
The combined formulation is more potent in checking this degeneration than single herbal extract. Motor dysfunction and memory impairment were also improved.
This study concluded that impairments in the hippocampus and cortex in STZ diabetic mice are associated with an increased free radical mediated oxidative damage and that the supplementation of plant extracts showed preventive effects in attenuating oxidative damage in both brain regions possibly via antioxidative mechanisms.
Chaudhary M, Shetty R,
Biochemistry Division, Faculty of Life Science, School of Studies in Zoology, Vikram University, Ujjain 456 010, India.
Herbal Remedies for Diabetes induced Cataract – Role of Ashwagandha:
Researchers at AIIMS, India, studied the effects of four herbs – Ocimum sanctum (OS), Withania somnifera (WS), Curcuma longa (CL), Azadirachta indica (AI) for their effect on sugar-induced cataractogenic changes in rat lenses in vitro.
Cataract is the leading cause of blindness all over the world. Diabetes is one of the major risk factors for cataractogenesis and aldose reductase (AR) has been reported to play an important role in sugar-induced cataract.
From dose-response curve, OS was found to be the most effective AR inhibitor followed by CL, AI and WS. (Ocimum sanctumS>Curcuma longaL>Azadirachta indica>Withania somnifera)