Adaptogenic activity of a novel, withanolide-free aqueous fraction from the roots of Withania somnifera Dun

Phytother Res. 2001 Jun;15(4):311-8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.858.


The practitioners of the traditional Indian system of medicine regard Withania somnifera Dun. as the 'Indian ginseng'. A new withanolide-free aqueous fraction was isolated from the roots of this plant and was evaluated for putative antistress activity against a battery of tests such as hypoxia time, antifatigue effect, swimming performance time, swimming induced gastric ulceration and hypothermia, immobilization induced gastric ulceration, autoanalgesia and biochemical changes in the adrenal glands. This bioactive fraction exhibited significant antistress activity in a dose-related manner in all the parameters studied. The extract of Withania somnifera root (a commercial preparation available locally) was used to compare the results. A preliminary acute toxicity study in mice showed a good margin of safety.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plant Roots
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Rats
  • Solanaceae*
  • Stomach Ulcer / prevention & control*
  • Stress, Physiological / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Plant Extracts