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Withania somnifera Has Potential to Treat Cancer

Abstract

Withania somnifera is universally known as Ashwagandha in Ayurveda. Different parts of the Withania are used in medicinal and clinical applications. It possesses a lot of therapeutic action. Among them anticancer activity of Withania is the most interesting subject to research with. Recently in various studies Withania somnifera extract, different metabolites derived from Withania are found to show potent anticancer efficacy against various cancers including pancreatic, breast, lung, cervical, skin etc. The mostly studied Withaferin A (WA), a withanolide purified from Withania somnifera is an important bioactive molecule. WA showed promising inhibitory activity against various cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. WA induces apoptosis in cancer cells by stimulating pro-apoptotic proteins and inhibiting anti-apoptotic proteins. The mechanisms of action of WA in cancer cells are extensively studied all over the world. Withania somnifera could be use full medicinal herb as a potent chemotherapeutic agent in diverse clinical circumstances.

Keywords

  • Withania somnifera
  • Cancer
  • Withafrin A
  • Withanolide
  • Traditional medicine
  • Chemotherapeutic agent

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Fig. 10.1

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Acknowledgements

Authors are thankful to the Department of Biotechnology (Grant Number: GAP0405) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (Grant Number BSC0208) and AB SCIEX, India for funding and help. We are grateful to all the lab members for fruitful discussion.

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Correspondence to Suman S. Thakur .

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Halder, B., Thakur, S.S. (2017). Withania somnifera Has Potential to Treat Cancer. In: Kaul, S., Wadhwa, R. (eds) Science of Ashwagandha: Preventive and Therapeutic Potentials. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59192-6_10

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