Withania somnifera among Antioxidant Herbal Remedies, Herbal Remedies for Heavy Metal Toxicity and Herbs for Nueroleptic Drugs Side Effects Prevention
Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera is one of the first liner herbal remedy with antioxidant, free radical scavenging properties. These properties play significant role in its enhancing immunity.
Withania somnifera can induce natural antioxidants in rat brain. It can induce Nitric oxide expression. It was found to be herbal antiradicals and protected against DNA cleavage.
Iron overdosage liver toxicity is also relieved by this botanical. Lead toxicity can be regulated with this herb especially lipid peroxidative process.
Withania somnifera As Antioxidant Herbal Remedy:
Researchers at Banaras Hindu University, India tested this herb on rats and found that it increases three natural antioxidants in rat brain – catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. This study validated its therapeutic effects popular in ayurvedic herbal medicine. This antioxidant effect partly explains its other effects like anti-aging, anti-stress, anti-inflammatory and cognition facilitation.
Induction of nitric oxide synthase expression by Withania somnifera in macrophages:
To elucidate the mechanism of Withania somnifera, researchers investigated the effect of a methanolic extract from the root of Withania somnifera (WS) on nitric oxide (NO) production in J774 macrophages.
These results demonstrate that WS may induce the synthesis of inducible NOS expression likely by acting at transcriptional level. The increased NO production by macrophages could account, at least in part, for the immunostimulant properties of Withania somnifera.
Iuvone T, Esposito G, Capasso F, Izzo AA.
Department of Experimental Pharmacology, University of Naples Federico II, via D. Montesano 49, 80131, Naples, Italy.
Herbal Antiradicals & DNA Cleavage Protectors:
Celastrus paniculatus L. (Celastraceae) (CP), Picrorhiza kurroa L. (Scrophulariaceae) (PK) and Withania somnifera L. (Solanaceae) (WS) were investigated for the free radical scavenging capacity and the effect on DNA cleavage induced by H2O2 UV-photholysis. In addition, researchers investigated whether these plant extracts are capable of reducing the hydrogen peroxide-induced cytotoxicity and DNA damage in human non-immortalized fibroblasts.
These extracts showed a dose-dependent free radical scavenging capacity and a protective effect on DNA cleavage; methanolic extracts from PK was more active than extracts from CP and WS. These results were confirmed by a significant protective effect on H2O2-induced cytoxicity and DNA damage in human non-immortalized fibroblasts.
These antioxidant effects of active principle of CP, PK and WS may explain, at least in part, the reported anti-stress, immunomodulatory, cognition-facilitating, anti-inflammatory and antiaging effects produced by them in experimental animal and in clinical situations and may justify the further investigation of their other beneficial biological properties.
Russo A, Izzo AA, Cardile V, Borrelli F,
Department of Biochemistry, Medical Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Catania, Italy.
Ashwagandha as Herbal Remedies for Heavy Metal Toxicity
Withania somnifera Useful In Iron Overload Hepatotoxicity:
Drug Research & Development Center, Calcutta, India studied the effect of WS extracts on iron overload induced hepatotoxicity. The results indicate that the reported use of WS in Ayurveda for hepatoprotection against heavy metals and other environmental toxins, may be due the antioxidant action of WSG.
Ashwagandha Beneficial In Lead Toxicity:
Chaurasia et al studied the importance of Withania somnifera root extract in the regulation of lead toxicity with special reference to lipid peroxidative process has been investigated in liver and kidney tissues of male mice. This study suggested the ameliorating role of root extract of W. somnifera in the lead intoxicated mice could be the result of its antiperoxidative action.
Thyroid Research Unit, School of Life Sciences, D.A. University, Khandwa Road, Indore, 452 017, India.
Ashwagandha as Herbs Preventing Neuroleptic Induced Extrapyramidal Side Effects:
This study investigated the role of oxidative stress in the pathophysiology of haloperidol (HP)-induced orofacial dyskinesia and evaluated the beneficial effect of Withania somnifera (Ws) root extract in the amelioration of HP-induced vacuous chewing movements (VCMs) and tongue protrusions in the rat model for TD.
Haloperidol was found to cause these extrapyramidal symptoms. Coadministration of Ashwagandha extract significantly reduced the lipid peroxidation and significantly reversed the decrease in forebrain SOD and catalase levels but had no significant effect on the HP-induced decrease in forebrain glutathione levels.
These findings strongly suggest that oxidative stress plays a significant role in HP-induced orofacial dyskinesia and that Ashwagandha could be effective in preventing neuroleptic-induced extrapyramidal side effects.
Pharmacology Division, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh-160014, India.