94 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Withania is a genus of the nightshade family of flowering plants distributed in the subtropical regions from the Mediterranean to South East Asia. Only two species, W. somnifera and W. coagulans, are found in India. The most common species is W. somnifera (WS), which occurs naturally in the subtropical regions from the Mediterranean through Africa to the Middle East, the Indian Continent, Sri Lanka, South East Asia, subtropical America and Australia. It is a perennial shrub that grows to 75 cm (.75 m) tall with tomentose branches, oval yellowish green leaves, orange red berries and a papery calyx, and it survives harsher climatic conditions. In Ayurveda it is believed the plants which survive harsh conditions have strong healing and tonification properties. The main bioactive phytoconstituents of WS are withanolides (steroidal lactones), alkaloids, flavonoids, sterols, phenolics and others. Among the various withanolides, withanolide A, withaferin A, withanone and withanolide D are the most abundant, having various activities. WS is a wonder herb with a broad spectrum of pharmacological properties, such as antioxidant, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, antiulcerogenic, antivenom, anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic, anticancer, antiparasitic, antimicrobial, anticancerous, antidiabetic, antitumor, hemopoetic neuroregenerative, immunomodulatory, cardioprotective, radio-sensitizing, rejuvenating, antistress, sedative, hypoglycemic, thyroprotective, adaptogenic, antispasmodic, immunomodulatory, immunostimulant and antiaging properties.

    The simultaneous quantitative analysis of six major bioactive withanolides in five varieties of WS and in different plant parts (root, stem and leaf) of WS was accomplished. This method is also applicable to control the quality of commercially formulated products which contain WS bioactive compounds. Results indicated the WS variety NMITLI-135 showed the maximum abundance of withanolides at pH 8.5, EC-0.5 dS m−1, ESP-13 in sodic soil. Our results showed this readily available, rapid and reliable method is suitable for the routine analysis and effective quality control of raw materials and finished products.


    • Presents a collection of Ayurvedic features and scientific analytical and pharmacological evidence of important medicinal plants of Withania somnifera
    • Useful for natural product researchers, faculty, students and herbal product manufacturers
    • Uses advanced hyphenated techniques for assessing phytoconstituents

    1. Withania: Ethno and Phytopharmacological Review

    2. Quantitative Determination of Six Withanolides in Five Varieties of W. Somnifera Grown under Different Soil Treatment Conditions


    Dr. Brijesh Kumar was a Professor (AcSIR), & Chief Scientist at sophisticated analytical instrument facility division, CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute Lucknow, India. He completed his PhD from CSIR-CDRI, Lucknow (Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, Avadh University Faizabad UP, India). He has to his credit 8 books, 11 book chapters and 151 papers in reputed International Journals. His area of research is applications of Mass Spectrometry for qualitative and quantitative analysis of Indian medicinal plants and their herbal formulations for quality control and authentication/standardization. He is also involved in the identification of marker compounds using statistical software to check adulteration/substitution.

    Dr. Vikas Bajpai completed his PhD from the Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), New Delhi, India and carried his research work under supervision of Dr. Brijesh Kumar at CSIR-Central Drug research Institute Lucknow. His research includes development and validation of LC-MS/MS methods for qualitative and quantitative analysis of small molecules of Indian medicinal plants.

    Vikaskumar Gond is a junior research fellow working under supervision of Dr. Brijesh Kumar in the mass spectrometry laboratory, Sophisticated Analytical Instrument Facility at CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute Lucknow. He completed his masters in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of Lucknow. His research interests include fingerprinting and characterization of phytochemicals using LC-MS/MS.

    Surabhi Tiwari completed her masters in Chemistry from the University of Allahabad, India. After working on the analysis of herbals using instruments like- HPTLC and HPLC in the Pharmacognosy Division, NBRI, Lucknow, she is currently working as Senior Research Fellow in SAIF Division of CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India under the supervision of Dr. Brijesh Kumar. Her current research interests include phytochemical analysis of medicinal plants.

    Dr. K. P. Madhusudanan is a mass spectrometry scientist born in 1947 in Kochi, Kerala, India. He obtained his doctoral degree in 1975 specializing in Organic Mass Spectrometry in National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India. He worked as a Scientist and Head, Sophisticated Analytical Instrument Facility in Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow until 2007. His research experience since 1970 includes various aspects of organic mass spectrometry such as fragmentation mechanism, gas phase unusual reactions, positive and negative ion mass spectrometry of natural products using various ionization techniques including DART, effects of metal cationization, LC/MS and MS/MS applications and quantitative analysis of drugs and metabolites. He authored more than 150 research publications. He was a member of the editorial board of Journal of Mass Spectrometry during 1995-2007. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad, India. At present he lives in Kochi.