Talk:Withania somnifera (botany)

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Withania somnifera
Withania somnifera-3.jpg
An ashwagandha plant found in nature.
Taxonomical nomenclature
Kingdom Plantae
Unranked Angiosperms
Unranked Eudicots
Unranked Asterids
Order Solanales
Family Solanaceae
Genus Withania
Species W. somnifera
Common nomenclature
Common names Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, Poison gooseberry and Winter cherry
Constituents
Active constituents Tropine, withanolides, cuscohygrine

Withania somnifera (Commonly known as Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, Poison gooseberry and Winter cherry) is an adaptogenic[1] plant in the Solanaceae or Nightshade family that is used as a herbal treatment in Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha contains flavonoids such as Withanolide A and Withaferin-A, which are believed to be responsible for Ashwagandha's psychoactive properties.

Ashwagandha has been well-researched for a multitude of health benefits, including anxiety reduction[2], stress reduction[3], physical performance enhancing[4][5], depression relief[6], and fatigue relief[7].

Chemistry

Molecule.svg

This chemistry section is incomplete.

You can help by adding to it.

Withanolides are present in all plants in the Solanaceae family of plants[citation needed], of which Withania Somnifera(Ashwagandha) is the highest in concentrations. These Withanolides are believed to be the prime component of Ashwagandha's psychoactive profile.[8]There has been reported to be high variability in the amount of active withanolides in common nutritional supplements, which may be due to lack of standardization of root powder.


Pharmacology

Chemical structure of Withanolides found in Ashwagandha

Theanine is structurally similar to the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, and in accordance, binds to glutamate receptors, though with much lower affinity in comparison. Specifically, it binds to ionotropic glutamate receptors including the AMPA and kainate receptors and, to a lesser extent, the NMDA receptor.[9][10][11][12] It acts as an antagonist of the former two sites[13] and as an agonist of the latter site.[14] In addition, it inhibits glutamine transporters and glutamate transporters, and thus acts as reuptake inhibitor of glutamine and glutamate.[15][16][17]

Theanine increases dopamine, GABA, and glycine levels in various areas of the brain.[18][19][20][21] It also effects serotonin in a manner which is still a matter of debate in the scientific community, with separate studies showing increases and decreases in brain serotonin levels using similar experimental protocols.[22][23]

These various changes in neurotransmitter levels contribute to the calming and nootropic properties of theanine.

Subjective effects

The effects listed below are based upon the subjective effect index and personal experiences of PsychonautWiki contributors. The listed effects will rarely (if ever) occur all at once, but heavier dosages will increase the chances and are more likely to induce a full range of effects.

Physical effects

Cognitive effects

Experience reports

There are currently no anecdotal reports which describe the effects of this compound within our experience index. Additional experience reports can be found here:

Toxicity and harm potential

Theanine is non-addictive, is not known to cause brain damage, and has an extremely low toxicity relative to dose. Similar to many other nootropics drugs, there are relatively few physical side effects associated with acute theanine exposure. Various studies have shown that in reasonable doses in a careful context, it presents no negative cognitive, psychiatric or toxic physical consequences of any sort.

It is strongly recommended that one use harm reduction practices when using this drug.

Tolerance and addiction potential

Theanine is not habit-forming and the desire to use it can actually decrease with use. It is most often self-regulating.

Tolerance to the effects of theanine are built after prolonged and repeated usage. After that, it takes about 7 days for the tolerance to be reduced to half and 14 days to be back at baseline (in the absence of further consumption). Theanine presents cross-tolerance with no other known compounds, meaning that after the consumption of theanine all other psychoactive compounds will not have a reduced effect.

Legal issues

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This legality section is a stub.

As such, it may contain incomplete or wrong information. You can help by expanding it.

Theanine is unscheduled across the world and is not known to be specifically illegal within any country.

  • United Kingdom - It is illegal to produce, supply, or import this drug under the Psychoactive Substance Act, which came into effect on May 26th, 2016.[25]

See also

External links

References

  1. Withania somnifera: an Indian ginseng. |http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17959291
  2. Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974. | http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19718255
  3. A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. | http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23439798
  4. Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna) on physical performance and cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy young adults. | http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21170205
  5. Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial.| http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26609282
  6. A double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the anxiolytic efficacy of an ethanolic extract of withania somnifera. | http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21407960
  7. Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974. | http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19718255
  8. A standardized root extract of Withania somnifera and its major constituent withanolide-A elicit humoral and cell-mediated immune responses by up regulation of Th1-dominant polarization in BALB/c mice. | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17336338
  9. The neuropharmacology of L-theanine(N-ethyl-L-glutamine): a possible neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agent (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17182482
  10. Inhibition by theanine of binding of [3H]AMPA, [3H]kainate, and [3H]MDL 105,519 to glutamate receptors (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12596867
  11. Neuroprotective effects of theanine and its preventive effects on cognitive dysfunction (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21477654
  12. Neuroprotective effects of the green tea components theanine and catechins (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12499631
  13. Neuroprotective effects of the green tea components theanine and catechins (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12499631
  14. Behavioral and molecular evidence for psychotropic effects in L-theanine (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21861094
  15. Neuroprotective effects of the green tea components theanine and catechins (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12499631
  16. Inhibition of glutamate transporter by theanine enhances the therapeutic efficacy of doxorubicin (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11325559
  17. Theanine and glutamate transporter inhibitors enhance the antitumor efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14643924
  18. The neuropharmacology of L-theanine(N-ethyl-L-glutamine): a possible neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agent (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17182482
  19. Behavioral and molecular evidence for psychotropic effects in L-theanine (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21861094
  20. Theanine, r-glutamylethylamide, increases neurotransmission concentrations and neurotrophin mRNA levels in the brain during lactation (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17904164
  21. Effect of theanine, r-glutamylethylamide, on brain monoamines and striatal dopamine release in conscious rats (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9566605
  22. Effect of theanine, r-glutamylethylamide, on brain monoamines and striatal dopamine release in conscious rats (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9566605
  23. Theanine-induced reduction of brain serotonin concentration in rats (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9614715
  24. A combination of green tea extract and l-theanine improves memory and attention in subjects with mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled study. (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21303262
  25. Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 (Legislation.gov.uk) | http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2016/2/contents/enacted