Withania Biological Sources, Morphology, Chemical Constituents, Adulterants , Uses, and MCQ with Answer for GPAT, Pharmacist Exam

Withania Biological Sources, Morphology, Chemical Constituents, Adulterants , Uses, and MCQ with Answer for GPAT, Pharmacist Exam


Plant Part Used :- 


Synonyms :-

Indian Ginseng,Withania root, Ashwagandha, Clustered Winter cherry

Biological Source :- 

It consists of the dried roots and stem bases of Withania somnifera Dunal, belonging to family Solanaceae.

Geographical Source :-

Withania is widely distributed from southern Europe to India and Africa.

Cultivation and Collection :- 

  • Withania somnifera are propagated by division, cuttings or seed. Seed is the best way to propagate them. Seed sown on moist sand will germinate in 14–21 days at 20°C.
  • Withania somnifera need full sun to partial shade with a well-drainedslightly alkaline soil mix. Plants do best when the soil pH is 7.5–8.0.
  • Soil mix consisting of two parts sandy loam to one part sand will to better. The plants are allowed to dry thoroughly in between waterings.
  • In containers, too much water causes root rot. Plants are fertilized once during the year with a balanced fertilizer.

Characteristics :- 

  • A low lying plant, often reaching only 1–2 ft, but occasion-ally 6 ft.
  • It is a perennial, but can be grown as an annual.
  • Plant and fruits resemble its relatives the ground cherry and Chinese lantern.
  • Young roots are straight, unbranched and conical and in pieces of different lengths.
  • Root thickness varies according to age and usually it is 5–12 mm below crown.
  • Outer surface is buff to yellow and longitudinally wrinkled. Taste is bitter and mucilaginous.

Chemical Constituents :- 

  • The plants contain the alkaloid withanine as the main constituent and somniferine, pseudowithanine, tropine and pseudotropine, hygrine, isopellederine, anaferine, anahygrine and steroid lactones.
  • The leaves contain steroid lactone, commonly known as withanolides.
Type of Constitution Chemical constituents
Alkaloids Withanine
Glycoside Sitoindosides VII,VIII
Steroidal lactones Withanolides
Alcohol Somnitol, somnirol

Uses :- 

  • All plant parts are used including the roots, bark, leaves, fruit and seed are used to treat nervous disorders, intestinal infections and leprosy.
  • Ashwagandha is one of the most widespread tranquillizers used in India, where it holds a position of importance similar to ginseng in China.
  • It acts mainly on the reproductive and nervous systems, having a rejuvenative effect on the body, and is used to improve vitality and aid recovery after chronic illness.
  • It is also used to treat nervous exhaustion, debility, insomnia, wasting diseases, failure to thrive in children, impotence, infertility; multiple sclerosis, etc.
  • Externally it has been applied as a poultice to boils, swellings and other painful parts. Withania is considered as an adaptogen and so is used in number of diseases.
  • Induction of polyploidy Hori culture.

Ailled Drug :- Withania Coagulanse

Adulterant :- Wild Ashwagandha


1. Synonyms of Winter Cherry ?

A. South Korea Ginseng

B. Indian Ginseng

C. Chain Ginseng

D. All of the above

2. Biological Source of  Withania Root

A. Solanaceae

B. Ginsengacea

C. Liliaceae

D. Combretaceae

3. Which of the following is adulterant of Ashwagandha ?

A.  Kruchi

B. Holarrhena

C. Withania Coagulanse

D. Wild Ashwagandha

4. Which of the following is not use of Ashwagandha ?

A. Gout

B. Horticulture

C. Reproductive system disorders

D. Rheumatism arthritis

5. Match Of The following
i. Alkaloids.      A  Sitoindosides VII
ii. Alcohol         B withanine
iii. Glycoside    C Somnitol

A. i→ A ii→ B iii→ C

B.i→ C ii→ B iii→ A

C.i→ B ii→ C iii→ A

D.i→ A ii→ B iii→ C

6. Which of the following is false sentence about Ashwagandha root ?

A. Root thickness is 5-12 mm.

B. Root has mucilagenous taste.

C. Root thickness is 1-2 mm.

D. Root has Conical shape.

7. Which of the following is use of Ashwagandha ?

A. Nervous Disorders

B. A and C

C. Gout

D. Entamoeba histolytica

8. Which of the following is Allied drug of  Withania Root ?

A.  Kruchi

B. Holarrhena

C. Withania Coagulanse

D. Wild Ashwagandha

9. Which of the following is major chemical constituents of Winter Cherry ?

A. Withanine

B. Sitoindosides VII

C. Withanolides

D. Somnitol

10. Which of the following plant part is use of Ashwagandha ?

A. Root

B. Flower

C. Leave

D. None of the above

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Answer Key :-

1. B

2. A

3. D

4. D

5. B

6. C

7. B

8. C

9. A

10. A

Reference :- 

16 Edition of Trease and Evans Pharmacognosy Text Book ( Pg. No. :- 68)


This information is taken only for education purpose



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