Saturday, November 15, 2003

Ashwagandha can prevent cataract

PTI [ Tuesday, October 28, 2003 ]

HYDERABAD : Progression of age-related cataract can be arrested by intake of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), a plant used in Ayurveda, according a study here.

Geetha Thiagarajan and colleagues at the L V Prasad Eye Institute reported that their experiments in test tubes had shown that water extract of Ashwagandha had excellent antioxidant, cytoprotective and related properties.

They said that it was also able to retard the formation of 'cold cataract' (a phenomenon where the proteins of the eye lens separate) "suggesting that Ashwagandha could well act as a cataract-static agent".

The scientists, who reported their findings in the October 10 issue of Current Science, said the antioxidant and other properties of Ashwagandha make it an attractive drug of choice to be tried on human patients.

Antioxidant vitamins were known to delay cataract formation, but they were very expensive compared to Ashwagandha, they added.

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