The meaning of the symbols of withania seen in a dream.

Withania Ashwagandha

Kaul (cultivated var.)

W somnífera (Linn.) Dunal (Chemo- type I, II, III: Israele.) Family: Solanaceae.

Habitat: Throughout the drier and subtropical parts of India.

English: Winter Cherry. (Physalis alkekengi is also known as Winter Cherry.)

Ayurvedic: Ashwagandhaa, Haya- gandhaa, Ashwakanda, Gandharva- gandhaa, Turaga, Turagagandhaa, Turangagandhaa, Vaajigandhaa, Gokarnaa, Vrishaa, Varaahakarni, Varadaa, Balyaa, Vaajikari. (A substitute for Kaakoli and Kshira- kaakoli.) Cultivated var.: Asgandh Naagori. (Indian botanists consider the cultivated plants distinct from the wild ones.)

Unani: Asgandh.

Siddha: Amukkuramkizhangu.

Action: Root—used as an antiinflammatory drug for swellings, tumours, scrofula and rheumatism; and as a sedative and hypnotic in anxiety neurosis. Leaf— anti-inflammatory, hepatopro- tective, antibacterial. Fruits and seeds—diuretic. Withanine— sedative, hypnotic. Withaferin A—major component of biologically active steroids; as effective as hydrocortisone dose for dose. Antibacterial, antitumour, an- tiarthritic, significantly protective against hepatotoxicity in rats.

The root contains several alkaloids, including withanine, withananine, withananinine, pseudo-withanine, somnine, somniferine, somniferinine. The leaves of Indian chemotype contain 12 withanolides, including withaferin A. Steroidal lactones ofwithano- lide series have been isolated.

Withanine is sedative and hypnotic. Withaferin A is antitumour, an- tiarthritic and antibacterial. Anti-inflammatory activity has been attributed to biologically active steroids, of which withaferin A is a major component. The activity is comparable to that of hydrocortisone sodium succinate.

Withaferin A also showed significantly protective effect against CCl4- induced hepatotoxicity in rats. It was as effective as hydrocortisone dose for dose.

The root extract contains an ingredient which has GABA mimetic activity

The free amino acids present in the root include aspartic acid, glycine, tyrosine, alanine, proline, tryptophan, glutamic acid and cystine.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia ofIn- dia recommends Ashwagandha in im- potency. This claim could not be sustained in a recent experiment and raises a doubt about the equation of classical Ashwagandha with Withania somnifera. A methanolic extract of With- ania somnifera root induced a marked impairment in libido, sexual performance, sexual vigour and penile dysfunction in male rats. (Llayperuma et al, Asian J Androl, 2002, 295-298.)

The total alkaloids of the root exhibited prolonged hypotensive, brady- cardiac and depressant action of the higher cerebral centres in several experimental animals.

A withanolide-free aqueous fraction isolated from the roots of Withania somnifera exhibited antistress activity in a dose-dependent manner in mice. (Phytother Res 2003, 531-6.)

(See also Simon Mills; American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, 2000; Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

Dosage: Root—3-6 g powder. (API, Vol. I.)... withania ashwagandha

Withania Coagulans


Family: Solanaceae.

Habitat: Drier parts of Punjab, Gujarat, Simla and Kumaon.

English: Vegetable Rennet, Indian Cheese-maker.

Unani: Desi Asgandh, Kaaknaj-e- Hindi, Paneer, Paneer-band. Akri (fruit).

Siddha/Tamil: Ammukkura.

Action: Alterative, emetic, diuretic. Ripe fruits—sedative, CNS depressant, antibilious, emetic, antiasth- matic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory; used in chronic liver troubles and strangury. Dried fruits— carminative, depurative; used for dyspepsia, flatulence and strangury. Leaf—alterative, febrifuge. Seeds— anti-inflammatory, emetic, diuretic, emmenagogue.

Though known as Desi Asgandh, the root is not used in Indian medicine. Ashwagandhaa (Bengali) and Ashwa- gandhi (Kannada) are confusing synonyms of W. coagulans. In the market no distinction is made between the berries of W. coagulans and W. somnifera.

The berries contain a milk-coagulating enzyme, esterases, free amino acids, fatty oil, an essential oil and alkaloids. The amino acid composition fairly agrees with that of papain. The essential oil was active against Micro- coccus pyogenes var. aureus and Vibro cholerae; also showed anthelmintic activity.

The withanolides, withacoagin, coagulan and withasomidienone have been isolated from the plant, along with other withanolides and withaferin. 3- beta-hydroxy-2,3- dihydrowithanolide E, isolated from the fruit showed significant hepatoprotective activity and anti-inflammatory activity equal to hydrocortisone. The ethanolic extract of the fruit showed antifungal and that of the leaves and stem antibacterial activity.... withania coagulans

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