Indian Ginseng, Withania, Avarada, Indian Winter Cherry
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (WS)) is a small shrub with yellow flowers that is native to India and North Africa. The extract or powder from the plant's roots or leaves are a popular Ayurvedic herb, used for over 3,000 years to aid in relieving stress, increasing energy levels, and improving concentration in humans. Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in both animal and human studies. The main chemical components of benefit are the plant's high concentration of withanolides, which are triterpene lactones that have been shown to fight inflammation and tumor growth. More than 40 withanolides, approximately 12 alkaloids, and several sitoindosides have been isolated and identified. The plant is also reported to contain high amounts of iron. Specific applications studied in poultry include:
Antioxidant: Ashwagandha antioxidant effects in the brain, and tranquilizing effects on the central nervous system in animals.
GI System: Ashwagandha root is known to provide protection against stress induced gastric ulcers.
Antitumor: Supplementing the diet of laying hens with Ashwagandha root has been shown to decrease the incidence and progression of ovarian cancer.
Springer, Cham. "Ashwagandha Bioactives for Cancer Treatment: Experimental Evidence and Their Mechanism (s) of Action." Science of Ashwagandha: Preventive and Therapeutic Potentials" Wadhwa, Renu, et al. (2017)
Singh, Prem Prakash, et al. "Effect of supplementation of ashwagandha and vitamin E on haematological and immunological parameters of vencobb-400 broilers" ndian Journal of Poultry Science 51.2 (2016)