Withania somnifera: Can it be a Therapeutic Alternative for Microbial Diseases in an Era of Progressive Antibiotic Resistance?
Author's: Muhammad Naeem Iqbal, Asfa Ashraf
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Article Type: Editorial
Published Online: Jan. 31, 2019
Pages: Online first
Resistance to antibiotics poses a serious and sometimes deadly challenge to the treatment of severe bacterial infections, in particular in developing countries. Antibiotic resistance causes biological cost by reducing fitness of resistant strains, which can minimize the spread of resistant bacteria. Microbes that are resistant to multiple antimicrobials are called multidrug resistant (MDR) (Iqbal et al., 2015a).
Withania somnifera (WS), widely known as ashwagandha, is an Ayurvedic herb that has recently been investigated for its antimicrobial activity. Although used as a broad-spectrum remedy in India for centuries, WS has only recently been under investigation in laboratory settings. WS is categorized as an herbal supplement for its anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antistress, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, hemopoietic, and rejuvenating properties. These hypothesized healing properties have led to widespread use of WS in Ayurvedic medicine, and it has been studied as a treatment for various health conditions. As Ayurvedic practices, such as the administration of herbs, gradually acquire more support in primary care, the need to evaluate the use of herbal substances in the management of specific conditions becomes more acute.
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