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J Complement Integr Med. 2015 Jun;12(2):117-25. doi: 10.1515/jcim-2014-0075.

Effect of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) root extract on amelioration of oxidative stress and autoantibodies production in collagen-induced arthritic rats.



Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory autoimmune disorder. Withania somnifera Dunal (Solanaceae) (WS), is a common medicinal plant used in traditional systems of medicine for the treatment of arthritis, and is an ingredient of anti-arthritic polyherbal formulations such as Habb-e-Asgand® and Arthritin™. In the present study, we evaluated the antioxidant and anti-arthritic activity of aqueous extract of WS root (WSAq) in collagen-induced arthritic (CIA) rats.


CIA rats were treated by using three doses of WSAq (100, 200, 300 mg/kg b. wt., orally) and methotrexate (MTX, 0.25 mg/kg b. wt. i.p.) as a standard reference drug for 20 days. The anti-arthritic effect was assayed by measuring the arthritic index, autoantibodies such as rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (a-CCP), anti-nuclear antibody (ANA), anti-collagen type II antibody (a-CII) and inflammatory marker like C-reactive protein (CRP). The oxidative stress parameters were also measured.


Treatment with WSAq resulted in a dose-dependent reduction in arthritic index, autoantibodies and CRP (p < 0.05) with maximum effect at dose of 300 mg/kg b. wt. and the results were comparable to that of MTX-treated rats. Similarly, oxidative stress in CIA rats was ameliorated by treatment with different doses of WSAq, as evidenced by a decrease in lipid peroxidation and glutathione-S-transferase activity and an increase in the glutathione content and ferric-reducing ability of plasma (p < 0.05).


The results showed that WSAq exhibited antioxidant and anti-arthritic activity and reduced inflammation in CIA rats and suggests the potential use of this plant in the treatment of arthritis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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