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Dr. Pratibha*, Dr. Dipti and Dr. Sudipta Kumar Rath*


Background: Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal is a plant of Solanaceae family which is commonly known as Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, and winter cherry. It is a thick hairy herb which is found in the forests of Mandsaur and Bastar in Madhya Pradesh, the foothills of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and western Himalayas in India. Ashwagandha attains the special name because its root smells like horse (“Ashwa”) and believe to provide power like horse when consumed. Ashwagandha is very famous plant for Rasayana, Balya and Vrishya property in Ayurveda. It has several activities including immunomodulation, anti-cancer, anti-epileptic, anti-ageing, antioxidant, cardioprotective, neuroprotective, hypoglycemic, hypocholesterolemic activities, memory enhancer and in common an effective adaptogen. The aim of present article is to put forward the pharmacognostical evaluation of root of Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal. Methods: Macroscopic evaluation, microscopic evaluation, physicochemical evaluation, extractive values, phytochemical analysis, T.L.C. study were carried out using root of Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal and data was obtained. Results: Data pertaining to the above cited evaluations was recorded for root of Withania somnifera. Conclusion: All the values hence obtained were subjected to comparison with their corresponding standard values as mentioned in API. It was observed that all the values were under their normal range.

Keywords: Withania somnifera, Ashwagandha, Rasayana, Balya and Vrishya.

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