Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an adaptogenic botanical used in Ayurvedic practice for thousands of years. It is especially coming under scrutiny as a natural medicine that can help reduce stress and strengthen coping abilities.
In this scientific study, ashwagandha was blended with other botanicals, including amla (Indian gooseberry), another widely used herb in Ayurvedic practice. Results showed that the herbs significantly reduced anxiety and oxidative stress, and had a leveling effect on gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter tied to excitatory actions in the brain.
While the ashwagandha used in this study was combined with other herbs, it also appeared to do much of the heavy lifting in alleviating symptoms. If you are searching for an ashwagandha supplement, it should be standardized for key compounds known as withanolides. There are supplemental forms available that use specialized processes that can concentrate these compounds so that you don’t have to add large dosages to your regimen.
Muhasaparur Ganesan R, Settu DK, Murkunde Y, Duraipandian C. Pharmacological and pharmacokinetic effect of a polyherbal combination with Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal for the management of anxiety. J Ethnopharmacol. 2020 Sep 3;265:113337.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: In the Indian system of medicine, Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal, Hemidesmus indicus (R.Br.), Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa, Emblica officinalis Gaertn, Ocimum sanctum (L.) has been mentioned as a remedy for the treatment of anxiety related disorders. Based on their folklore use, a polyherbal combination was derived for the management of anxiety.
Aim of the study: The present study is aimed to find the best polyherbal combination (PHC), in terms of its pharmacological action, out of two PHC, namely PHC1 and PHC3, prepared based on the previous studies conducted and to carry out the pharmacokinetic (PK) study of the best combination (PHC3).
Materials and methods: Pharmacological activities include elevated plus maze model and hole-board test for anti-anxiety screening, gamma amino-butyric acid (GABAA) measurement in brain tissues and superoxide dismutase, lipid peroxidation and reduced glutathione measurement for anti-oxidant screening.
Results: PHC3 (100 mg/kg) produced statistically significant (p < 0.05) effect on all the pharmacological outcome measures when compared to alprazolam standard. Therefore, it was chosen for PK study. PK study was carried out using Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy technique with respect to Withaferin-A. PK parameters such as maximum plasma concentration (Cmax), 16.78 ± 5.32 ng/mL; time of maximum concentration (Tmax), 18 ± 0.12min; half-life (T1/2) 61.20 ± 9.87min; mean residual time (MRT), 7.53 h s; area under the concentration versus time curve (AUC0-1), 1678 ± 34.13 ng/mL; area under the concentration versus time curve from zero to infinity (AUC0-∞), 1705 ± 28.87 ng/mL; total clearance (CL), 290.67 ± 15.89 mL/min and volume of distribution (Vd) 0.054 L were calculated.
Conclusions: The results of the studies revealed that PHC3 possessed significant anxiolytic, anti-oxidant activities and enhanced expression of GABAA mediated inhibition when compared to PHC1. Withaferin-A in PHC3 exhibited a rapid oral absorption in rat plasma. The findings of this study greatly help to provide useful evidence for the development of suitable formulation using PHC3.
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