Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) is a plant used in medicine from the time of Ayurveda, the ancient system of Indian medicine. The dried roots of the plant are used in the treatment of nervous and sexual disorders. From chemistry point of view, the drug contains group of biologically active constituents known as withanolides. The chemical structures of withanolides have been studied and they are widely distributed in family Solanacae. Withaferin-A is therapeutically active withanolide reported to be present in leaves. In animal studies, withaferin-A has shown significant anticancer activity. Majority of the anticancer drugs like Vinblastine, Vincristine, and Taxol have been derived from green flora. Today there is much interest in natural products with anticancer activity. Withanolides are under research potential as far treatment of cancer is concerned. The article reviews the scope of studies published in favor of anticancer potential of withaferin-A.
Singh, Amrit Pal
"Withaferin-A: A Potential Anticancer Withanolide from Withania somnifera (L.) Dun.,"
Ethnobotanical Leaflets: Vol. 2005
, Article 34.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/ebl/vol2005/iss1/34