Expert Group to examine advisory against using Ashwagandha leaves in ASU drugs
- The Ministry of Ayush has decided to re-examine the matter relating to the use of Ashwagandha (Withania somniferal) leaves in ASU (Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani) drugs by constituting an expert group.
- The Expert Group will make appropriate recommendations to the Government of India on the use of Ashwagandha leaves /Panchanga of Ashwagandha in ASU products based on scientific evidence.
Withania somnifera, commonly known as ashwagandha
- Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry or winter cherry, is an annual evergreen shrub in the Solanaceae or nightshade family that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa.
- Although thought to be useful as a medicinal herb in Ayurveda and sold in many countries as a dietary supplement, there is insufficient scientific evidence that it is safe or effective for treating any disease.
- The plant, particularly its root powder, has been used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine, but there is insufficient evidence that it is safe or effective for treating any disease.
- Mainly due to the poor quality of the clinical research, there is no high-quality evidence that it provides any medicinal benefit as a dietary supplement, and may cause adverse effects if taken together with prescription drugs.
- Reported side effects include diarrhea, skin burning and discoloration, sedation, severe liver injury, thyrotoxicosis, increased testosterone levels, and miscarriage.