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J Herbmed Pharmacol. 2022;11: 320-329.
doi: 10.34172/jhp.2022.37
  Abstract View: 151
  PDF Download: 108

Review

Ethnobotanical importance, phytochemical constituents, and pharmacological properties of Withania somnifera

Nurul Bariah Jamalludin 1 ORCID logo, Nurhuda Manshoor 2* ORCID logo

1 Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA Selangor, Bandar Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
2 Atta-ur-Rahman Institute for Natural Product Discovery, Universiti Teknologi MARA Selangor, Bandar Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
*Corresponding Author: *Corresponding author: Nurhuda Manshoor, Email: , Email: nurhuda15@uitm.edu.my

Abstract

Withania somnifera belongs to the family of Solanaceae. It is widely used by the locals, especially in India, as a medicinal plant. W. somnifera is rich in alkaloid and steroidal lactone that account for various pharmacological activities. The present study aimed to review all the evidence on the ethnobotanical perspective of W. somnifera in some countries. This review also analyses the bioactive compounds that account for the pharmacological activities. The online medical literature databases such as ScienceDirect, PubMed, and Google Scholar were used to search articles up to March 2022. W. somnifera is widely used in Asian and African countries like India and South Africa, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, and Lesotho. In India, W. somnifera is prepared by boiling and crushing the leaves and roots to make a tonic poultice, juice, and paste to treat bacterial infections and bruises. Numerous in vivo and in vitro studies have demonstrated that W. somnifera exerts pharmacological effects such as anti-Parkinson’s, anti-Alzheimer’s, cardioprotective, antidiabetic, antiarthritic, and antibacterial properties. Withaferin A and withanolide are the major bioactive compounds contributing to the pharmacological effects. W. somnifera is a valuable plant that has been used in traditional medicine systems for a long time and is supported by its wide range of pharmacological activities. The extensive medicinal uses of W. somnifera are a sign of its great potential.
Keywords: Solanaceae, Withanolide, Ethnomedicine, Herbal medicine, Traditional preparation

Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education: This contribution is to construct a literature review that discusses the importance of W. somnifera to various ethnics in different countries and continents. This article also reports the latest discovery of the phytochemicals and pharmacological properties of the plant, which may be taken into consideration in future clinical studies and therapies involving this plant. Please cite this paper as: Jamalludin NB, Manshoor N. Ethnobotanical importance, phytochemical constituents, and pharmacological properties of W. somnifera. J Herbmed Pharmacol. 2022;11(3):320-329. doi: 10.34172/jhp.2022.37.
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Submitted: 15 Feb 2022
Revision: 20 Apr 2022
Accepted: 21 Apr 2022
ePublished: 25 Jun 2022
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