A comparative pharmacognostical, physicochemical, and heavy metal analysis on Ashwagandha root obtained from natural and polluted sources

Dhaval Patel


Background: Ashwagandha root has been ascribed as potent aphrodisiac drug in various Ayurvedic literature and lexicons. The same drug has also been cited in a number of Ayurvedic formularies. Recent studies indicate that heavy metals like As, Cd, Hg, Pb, etc., are toxic to human and environment. Plants are suggested as potential bio sorbents for trace metals removal from the soil. In this work, four samples of Ashwagandha have been collected (2 from pollution free areas and 2 from polluted areas) for their pharmacognostic,physicochemical, and heavy metal analysis. Aims: Awareness is a valuable tool to wipe out the ignorance and mischief. The present work has been selected with the main objective to create the awareness among people regarding the possible side effect of raw drug obtained from polluted areas. Settings and Design: Present work was designed to have an experimental study with three main components which were pharmacognostical study, physicochemical study, and heavy metal analysis. Both of these studies also contained several headings and subheadings, respectively. Materials and Methods: Research work was carried out as per standard operating procedures and specified protocols. Pharmacognostical and physicochemical studies were carried out in the respective
laboratory of I.P.G.T. and R.A.; Gujarat Ayurved University, whereas Heavy metal analysis was carried out at VASU Pharmaceutical Lab Vadodara, 390010. Statistical Analysis Used: All the statistical data used in this research work under the experimental study were given in tabular form with respective table number. Results and Conclusion: Heavy metal analysis revealed that Hg content was below the detection limit in sample A and B, while in case of sample C and D, the Hg content were above the permissible limit.

With all the data generated in this work, it can be concluded that consumption of drug (Ashwagandha) obtained from polluted areas may cause accumulated side effect as well as the toxic effect of the heavy metals, respectively.

Key words: Aphrodisiac, heavy metals, pharmacognosy, root, Withania

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22377/ijgp.v9i1.431


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