In Ayurvedic medicine,Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) is well known for its anti-stress activity. A passive rat experimental model, where the animals are subjected to multiple stress of cold, hypoxia, restraint (C-H-R) has been developed to evaluate adaptogenic properties of various fractions of W. somnifera root extracts. We have carried out extraction of roots of W. somnifera with water and further isolated one of the active constituents called compound X and also tested its anti-stress activity in C-H-R model. The effect of administration of W. somnifera water suspension (360 mg/Kg bw) and compound X (20mg/Kg bw) on the fall and recovery of colonic temperature was noted. There was an increase of ≈38% and ≈54% in the time taken to attain Trec 23°C by rats given a single dose of fresh aqueous suspension and biologically active constituent (Compound X) respectively, where as decrease in the recovery time to attain Trec 37°C is ≈13% and ≈33% respectively, as compared to control group. It is clear that rats treated with the fresh aqueous suspension and compound X ofWithania somnifera, could withstand the multiple stress of C-H-R better than control group.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Nadkami, A. K. (1954) Indian Material Medica 3rd Ed, Popular Book Depot, Bombay, Vol. 1, 1292–1294.
Bahr, V. and Hansel, R. (1982) Immunomdulating Properties of 5,20α (R)-Dihydroxy-6α, 7α-epoxy-1-oxo-(5α)-with α-2,24-dienolide and Solasodine J. Med. Plant Res 44, 32–33.
Lavie, D. Glotter, E. and Shvo, Y. (1965) Constituents of Withania somnifera Dun., The structure of Withaferin-Amer. J. Chem. Soc. 30, 7517–7531.
Ghosal, S., Kaur, R. and Srivastava, R.S. (1988) Sitoindosides IX and X, new glycowithanolides from Withania somnifera Ind. J. atural Prod. (Sagar) 4, 12–13.
Schliebs, R. Liebmann, A., Bhattacharya, K.S., Kumar, A., Ghosal, S. and Bigl, V. (1997) Systemic administration of defined extracts from Withania somnifera (Indian Ginseng) and Shilajit diffenrentially affects cholinergic but not glutamatergic and Gabaergic markers in rat brain. Neuro. Chem. Int. 30 181–190.
Grandhi, A. Mujumdar, A. M. and Patwardhan, B. (1994) A comparative pharmacological investigation of Ashwagandha and Ginseng. J. Ethnopharmacol. 44, 131–135.
Archana, R. and Namasivayam, A. (1999) Antistress effect of Withania somnifera. J. Ethnophamacol. 64, 91–93.
Lavie, D., Glotter, E. and Shvo, Y. (1965) Constituents ofWithania somnifera Dun. III-the side chain of Withaferin Amer. J. Chem. Soc. Perkin Trans 1 30 1775–1778.
Ramachandran, U. Divekar, H.M. Grover, S.K. and Srivastava, K. K. (1990) New experimental model for the evaluation of adaptogenic products J. Ethanopharmacol 29 275–281.
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Kaur, P., Mathur, S., Sharma, M. et al. A biologically active constituent of withania somnifera (ashwagandha) with antistress activity. Indian J Clin Biochem 16, 195–198 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02864860
- Withania somnifera
- cold-hypoxia-restrainted model