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Ashwagandha Next on Patent Hunters' list

on 2001/5/18 9:47:02 ( 1458 reads )


HYDERABAD, INDIA, May 16, 2001: Neem. Turmeric. Now, Ashwagandha. American and Japanese companies have discovered another Indian treasure-and they are patenting it. According to the officials of the department of science and technology, seven American and four Japanese firms have filed for grant of patents on formulations containing Ashwagandha or extracts of the plant. Fruits, leaves and seeds of the Indian medicinal plant withania somnifera have been used for ages in the ayurvedic system as aphrodisiacs, diuretics and for restoring loss of memory, the officials said.The Japanese patent applications are related to the use of Ashwagandha as a skin ointment for cosmetic purposes and for promoting fertility. Natreon of the United States has obtained a patent for "an extract obtained from the Ashwagandha plant taken from steep rocks in the Himalayan mountains," officials of the patent facilitating cell said in their report. The report said another US establishment, the New England Deaconess Hospital, has taken a patent on an Ashwagandha formulation claimed to "alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis." "One thing which is very obvious from the above study," the report concluded, "is that Ashwagandha plant is catching attention of scientists and more and more patents related to Ashwagandha are being filed or granted by different patent offices of the world since 1996." (PTI)

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