Triethylene glycol, an active component of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) leaves, is responsible for sleep induction

Mahesh K. Kaushik, Sunil C. Kaul, Renu Wadhwa, Masashi Yanagisawa, Yoshihiro Urade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint which occurs due to difficulty in falling asleep or maintaining it. Most of currently available drugs for insomnia develop dependency and/or adverse effects. Hence natural therapies could be an alternative choice of treatment for insomnia. The root or whole plant extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has been used to induce sleep in Indian system of traditional home medicine, Ayurveda. However, its active somnogenic components remain unidentified. We investigated the effect of various components of Ashwagandha leaf on sleep regulation by oral administration in mice. We found that the alcoholic extract that contained high amount of active withanolides was ineffective to induce sleep in mice. However, the water extract which contain triethylene glycol as a major component induced significant amount of non-rapid eye movement sleep with slight change in rapid eye movement sleep. Commercially available triethylene glycol also increased non-rapid eye movement sleep in mice in a dose-dependent (10±30 mg/mouse) manner. These results clearly demonstrated that triethylene glycol is an active sleepinducing component of Ashwagandha leaves and could potentially be useful for insomnia therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0172508
JournalPloS one
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Triethylene glycol, an active component of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) leaves, is responsible for sleep induction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this