COVID19: India, U.K. to conduct clinical trials of ‘Ashwagandha’

AYUSH Ministry is to conduct clinical trials of “Ashwagandha” in collaboration with UK’s London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Team will check its efficacy on COVID-19 infection.


  • All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) and LSHTM signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct clinical trials of Ashwagandha, recently.
  • Clinical trials would be conducted on 2,000 people in three UK cities namely Leicester, Birmingham and London.
  • There have been several studies on Ashwagandha in past to understand its benefits on several ailments. But this is the first time Ministry of AYUSH has collaborated with foreign institution to check its efficacy on COVID-19 patients.

What is Ashwagandha?

  • Ashwagandha is scientifically called as withania somnifera.
  • It is commonly called as ‘Indian winter cherry’.
  • This traditional herb boosts energy, reduces stress and makes immune system stronger.
  • It is an easily accessible, over-the-counter nutritional supplement in United Kingdom.

Significance of the Trial for India

Successful completion of clinical trial can provide a major breakthrough and provide scientific validity to traditional medicinal system of India. After successful trial, Ashwagandha will be authorized for medicinal treatment to prevent infection and will be recognized by scientific community globally.

Recent study on Ashwagandha

Recently, randomized placebo-controlled trials of Ashwagandha were conducted in humans in India.  Study demonstrated its efficacy on reducing anxiety & stress, improving muscle strength and reducing symptoms of fatigue in patients treated for chronic conditions. It also showed its efficacy on treating non-restorative sleep.

All-India Institute of Ayurveda

It is an Apex Institute for Ayurveda under AYUSH. It aims to bring synergy between Traditional Wisdom of Ayurveda and Modern tools & technology. Institute was set up to offer postgraduate and doctoral courses in several disciplines of Ayurveda. It focuses on fundamental research of Ayurveda, drug development, standardization and scientific validation of Ayurvedic medicine.




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