Journal of Genetics

, Volume 97, Issue 5, pp 1253–1261 | Cite as

Complex effects of Ayurvedic formulation: Guduchi and Madhuyashti on different components of life history may elude the elixir effect

  • Surabhi Singh
  • Bodhisatta NandyEmail author
  • Madhu G. TapadiaEmail author
Research Article


Formulations from the traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda, have long been considered to have potent life-style-enhancing effects, possibly by their effect(s) on key life-history attributes. Although several studies have reported beneficial effects of these formulations on different components of life history, few have investigated their concurrent influence on various life-history traits. Here, we report the results of an investigation showing the effect of two well-known Ayurvedic formulations, Guduchi and Madhuyashti, on fecundity and longevity of Drosophila melanogaster. Flies were either grown (i.e., larval exposure) and/or maintained (i.e., adult exposure) on standard food supplemented with 0.5% Guduchi or 0.5% Madhuyashti. It was observed that the longevity of adult flies of both sexes was not affected on feeding Guduchi food, but fecundity of the females was greatly enhanced. Fecundity was also found to be affected by the adult food and whether their mates were grown on Guduchi or normal food. Madhuyashti, on the other hand, significantly reduced mean longevity and had a stimulatory effect on female fecundity. This fecundity enhancing effect however seemed to be mediated through its effect on the males. Interestingly, much of these effects interacted with age in a complex way, making it difficult to generalize the overall effect of these formulations on the reproductive output of the flies. Our study underlines the importance of evaluating the interacting effects of these (and similar) formulations on a range of life-history traits in a holistic way to understand their utility better.


Guduchi Madhuyashti life-history traits fecundity longevity Ayurveda 



This work was supported by grants from the Department of Science and Technology, Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Government of India, New Delhi, to Madhu G. Tapadia and JRF to Surabhi Singh. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We also acknowledge Arya Vaidya Sala, Kotakkal, Kerela for providing the Ayurvedic formulations. We also thank the editor and anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments which has improved the clarity of the manuscript to a great extent.

Supplementary material

12041_2018_1045_MOESM1_ESM.docx (852 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (docx 851 KB)


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cytogenetics Laboratory, Department of ZoologyBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Indian Institute of Science Education and Research BerhampurGanjamIndia

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