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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 150-158

Effect of seasonal variations on the phytoconstituents of Aśvagandhā w.r. to lunar cycles


1 Department of Dravyaguna (Clinical Pharmacology), Institute of Post Graduate Training and Research in Ayurveda, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India
2 Department of Pharmaceutics, Institute of Post Graduate Training and Research in Ayurveda, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Swagata Dilip Tavhare
Department of Dravyaguna (Clinical Pharmacology), Institute of Post Graduate Training and Research in Ayurveda, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar - 361 008, Gujarat
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0257-7941.179869

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Introduction: Suśruta, Caraka and other ācāryas advocate the collection of medicinal plants keeping in view the part used, season, soil in which the herb grows and the desired pharmacological actions or therapeutic benefits. The logic behind such recommendations is being validated by modern scientific research. Aim: To assess the effect of seasonal variations on the phytoconstituents of Aśvagandhā (Withania somnifera L. Dunal) w.s.r. to lunar cycles. Material and Methods: The plant specimens were collected from Jamnagar identified pharmacognostically and cultivated under a defined habitat in a herbal garden of IPGT and RA on 7 Oct 2013. The root samples were collected on every paurṃimā (full moon) and amāvāsyā (new moon) days in śiśira and grīşṃa ṃṛtu (as per classics) of the year 2013-14. The physicochemical parameters such as pH, ash values, extractive value, total alkaloid content, total flavonoids content (UV spectrometer with AlCl3 reagent), total phenolic content (Singleton and Rossi method), total carbohydrate content (UV spectroscopy with glucose as standard), UV-VIS-NIR and HPTLC were determined. Result: The results of the analytical studies clearly validate the logic of the recommendations of Suśruta and Cakrapāṃi. According to these recommendations, uşṃa vīrya drugs must be collected during āgneya ṃṛtu i.e. grīşṃa ṃṛtu. In present study, total phenolic, flavonide and carbohydrate content were found more in pournima samples. GAP samples showed maximum differentiation from rest of the samples with regards to TCA, TCW, TFW, MEx, WEX, pH etc. parameters. The Grīşṃa Jyeşṃha Paurṃimā (GJP) and Āşāḍha Paurṃimā (GAP) samples were found to be superior than amāvāsyā samples w.r.t. functional groups and withanoloid content respectively on HPTLC. Conclusion: The observations of experimental studies validate the concept of seasonal as well as lunar collection of herb Ashwagandha to yield a drug of superior quality of active principles.


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