Scientific Validation of the Usefulness of Withania somnifera Dunal in the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer

  • G. S. Pavan Kumar Achar
  • B. T. Prabhakar
  • Suresh Rao
  • Thomas George
  • Soniya Abraham
  • Nicole Sequeira
  • Manjeshwar Shrinath Baliga


Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha), the member of Solanaceae family is recognized to be one of the most significant therapeutically known herbs in the traditional Indian system of medicine, the Ayurveda. In specific, its root is reported to be applied in the treatment of nervous exhaustion, insomnia, skin problems, and coughing. Scientific studies carried out in accordance to the modern system of medicine have shown that the plant extracts possess antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiulcer, analgesic, anti-stress, wound healing, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, antidiabetic, and immunomodulatory effects. In addition, studies have shown that withaferin A, the principal phytochemical of Ashwagandha, exhibits activity against inflammation, apoptosis, invasiveness, and angiogenic effects in various cancer progression conditions. In this chapter, an attempt is made to summarize the antineoplastic effects of Ashwagandha and its principal phytochemical, withaferin A, in various cultured neoplastic cell lines and the mechanisms involved.


Anticancer plants Ashwagandha Neoplasm Phytochemicals Withaferin A 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. S. Pavan Kumar Achar
    • 1
  • B. T. Prabhakar
    • 1
  • Suresh Rao
    • 2
  • Thomas George
    • 3
  • Soniya Abraham
    • 3
  • Nicole Sequeira
    • 3
  • Manjeshwar Shrinath Baliga
    • 2
  1. 1.Molecular Oncomedicine Laboratory, Postgraduate Department of Studies and Research in BiotechnologySahyadri Science CollegeShivamoggaIndia
  2. 2.Mangalore Institute of OncologyMangaloreIndia
  3. 3.Father Muller Medical CollegeMangaloreIndia

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