Analgesic activity of a Withania somnifera extract in stressed mice
- 90 Downloads
Withania somnifera is an important Ayurvedic Rasayana herb, the roots of which are often used in traditionally known systems of medicine as tonic or for rejuvenation purposes. Effects of a single and ten daily oral doses (10, 20 and 40 mg/kg) of an analytically well standardized Withania somnifera root extract against foot shock stress triggered transient hyperthermia and hotplate test for analgesics in male mice were quantified. Body weights and basal rectal temperatures of animals were recorded on all observational days and on the 11th and 12th day of the experiment, all animals were subjected to tail suspension and pentobarbital hypnosis tests respectively. Daily dose dependent efficacy of the tested extract in stress induced hyperthermia test and in hot plate test increased with increasing number of treatment days, and its dose dependent inhibitory effect on immobility time in tail suspension were observed after its 11 daily oral doses. Daily handling and intermittent foot shock stress triggered body weight losses and elevations in basal core temperatures were almost completely prevented even by its lowest daily dose (10 mg/kg/day) tested. Repeated daily low oral doses of the Withania somnifera extract is effective in suppressing diverse stress responses, and its centrally acting analgesics and anxiolytics or antidepressants like efficacies increase with increasing numbers of treatment days. These observations reaffirm that Withania somnifera is an adaptogenic herb, and suggest that its effective therapeutic doses has to be adjusted according to the pre-existing allostatic load of patients.
KeywordsWithania somnifera Adaptogen Analgesic activity Antidepressant activity Psychotherapeutic potential
Authors would like to acknowledge the team members of Natural Remedies Private Limited, Bengaluru, India viz. Dr. Deepak Mundkinajeddu, Dr. Amit Agarwal and Mr. Vineet Kumar Singh for providing the standardized roots extract of Withania somnifera and its HPLC fingerprint.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
The research was carried out according to the rules governing the use of laboratory animals as acceptable internationally and the experimental protocol was approved by the Animal Ethics Committee, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India(Registration number: 542/AB/CPCSEA).
- Can A, Dao DT, Terrillion CE, Piantadosi SC, Bhat S, Gould TD (2012) The tail suspension test. J Vis Exp 59:e3769–e3769Google Scholar
- Dey A, Chatterjee SS, Kumar V (2014) Comparison of the adaptogenic efficacy of three different Withania somnifera extracts in mice. Indian J Pharmacol 46(7):S87Google Scholar
- Ghawte SA, Nikhat S, Ahmad J, Mulla G (2014) Withania somnifera L. Dunal a potential herb for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Phytomedicine 3(1):98–102Google Scholar
- Khalili M (2009) The effect of oral administration of Withania somnifera root on formalin-induced pain in diabetic rats. Basic Clin Neurosci 1(1):29–31Google Scholar
- Kulkarni RR, Patki PS, Jog VP, Patwardban B (1992) Efficacy of an Ayurvedic formulation in rheumatoid arthritis: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. Indian J Pharmacol 24(2):98–101Google Scholar
- Kumar V, Chatterjee SS (2014) Single and repeated dose effects of phytochemicals in rodent behavioural models. EC Pharmaceutical Science 1:16–18Google Scholar
- Ojima K, Matsumoto K, Togha M, Watanabe H (1995) Hyperactivity of central noradrenergic and CRF system is involved in social isolation-induced decrease in pentobarbital sleep. Brain Res 84:874–894Google Scholar
- Orrù A, Casu MA, Tambaro S, Marchese G, Casu G, Ruiu S (2015) Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal root extract alleviates formalin-induced nociception in mice: involvement of the opioidergic system. Behav Pharmacol. PMID: 26397759Google Scholar
- Sabina EP, Chandel S, Rasool MK (2009) Evaluation of analgesic, antipyretic and ulcerogenic effect of Withaferin a. Int J Integr Biol 6(2):52–56Google Scholar
- Shahriar M, Alam F, Uddin MMN (2014) Analgesic and neuropharmacological activity of Withania somnifera root. Int J Pharm 4(2):203–208Google Scholar
- Turner RA (1965) Analgesics. In: Turner R, Ebborn P (eds) screening methods in pharmacology. Academic Press, New York, pp 100–102Google Scholar
- Wadhwa R, Konar A, Kaul SC (2015) Nootropic potential of ashwagandha leaves: beyond traditional root extracts. Neurochem Int S0197-0186(15):30043–30047Google Scholar