Role of Ashwagandha in Neurological Diseases

Withania somnifera (Family: Solanaceae), commonly known as Ashwagandha or Indian ginseng is distributed widely in India, Nepal, China and Yemen. The roots of plant consist of active phytoconstituents mainly withanolides, alkaloids and sitoindosides and are conventionally used for the treatment of multiple brain disorders.

In a new review the authirs try to assess and summarize the current state and implication of Ashwagandha in brain disorders. They have mainly focussed on the reported neuroactive phytoconstituents, available marketed products, pharmacological studies, mechanism of action and recent patents published related to neuroprotective effects of Ashwagandha in brain disorders.

Identified neuroprotective phytoconstituents of Ashwagandha are sitoindosides VII-X, withaferin A, withanosides IV, withanols, withanolide A, withanolide B, anaferine, beta-sitosterol, withanolide D with key pharmacological effects in brain disorders mainly anxiety, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Schizophrenia, Huntington's disease, dyslexia, depression, autism, addiction, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorders. The literature survey does not highlight any toxic effects of Ashwagandha. Further, multiple available marketed products and patents recognized its beneficial role in various brain disorders; however, very few data is available on mechanistic pathway and clinical studies of Ashwagandha for various brain disorders is scarce and not promising.