Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Neurochem Int. 2016 May;95:109-18. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2015.09.001. Epub 2015 Sep 8.

Nootropic potential of Ashwagandha leaves: Beyond traditional root extracts.

Author information

1
Drug Discovery & Assets Innovation Lab, DBT-AIST International Laboratory for Advanced Biomedicine (DAILAB), Biomedical Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST), Tsukuba Science City, Ibaraki 305 8562, Japan.
2
Drug Discovery & Assets Innovation Lab, DBT-AIST International Laboratory for Advanced Biomedicine (DAILAB), Biomedical Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST), Tsukuba Science City, Ibaraki 305 8562, Japan. Electronic address: s-kaul@aist.go.jp.

Abstract

Rapidly increasing aging population and environmental stressors are the two main global concerns of the modern society. These have brought in light rapidly increasing incidence of a variety of pathological conditions including brain tumors, neurodegenerative & neuropsychiatric disorders, and new challenges for their treatment. The overlapping symptoms, complex etiology and lack of full understanding of the brain structure and function to-date further complicate these tasks. On the other hand, several herbal reagents with a long history of their use have been asserted to possess neurodifferentiation, neuroregenerative and neuroprotective potentials, and hence been recommended as supplement to enhance and maintain brain health and function. Although they have been claimed to function by holistic approach resulting in maintaining body homeostasis and brain health, there are not enough laboratory studies in support to these and mechanism(s) of such beneficial activities remain largely undefined. One such herb is Ashwagandha, also called "Queen of Ayurveda" for its popular use in Indian traditional home medicine because of its extensive benefits including anticancer, anti-stress and remedial potential for aging and neurodegenerative pathologies. However, active principles and underlying mechanism(s) of action remain largely unknown. Here we provide a review on the effects of Ashwagandha extracts and active principles, and underlying molecular mechanism(s) for brain pathologies. We highlight our findings on the nootropic potential of Ashwagandha leaves. The effects of Ashwagandha leaf extracts are multidimensional ranging from differentiation of neuroblastoma and glioma cells, reversal of Alzheimer and Parkinson's pathologies, protection against environmental neurotoxins and enhancement of memory.

KEYWORDS:

Anti-cancer; Anti-stress; Ashwagandha; Neuroprotection; Neuroregeneration

PMID:
26361721
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuint.2015.09.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center