Proximate Nutritive Values and Mineral Components of Withania Somnifera (Linn.) Dunal
Withania somnifera (Linn.) Dunal is a subtropical shrub with important medicinal properties. The nutritive value and the elemental composition of different parts of plants, Withania somnifera which are grown in two distinct geographical regions (Sondekola and Karthikere) of Karnataka have been determined. The investigation revealed that the variation of macro, micro and proximate components varied not only in the plants of different regions but also in the different parts of the same plant. Among the macro elements, Karthikere samples recorded maximum values of nitrogen, phosphorous and magnesium and Sondekola samples recorded maximum values of sodium, potassium and calcium. Among the components of micronutrients, the highest values of iron were recorded both in Sondekola and Karthikere samples. The average values of manganese, copper and zinc were more in the Karthikere samples and comparatively less in the Sondekola samples. Whereas, all the samples of Sondekola recorded maximum values of nutrition. It is believed that the dry climatic condition of the region may contribute the high values of nutrition. Further, the observations are discussed with reference to the geography, elemental composition and nutritional values. The strong and negative observations on herbal drugs and their validity, the study emphasizes the role of elemental composition, proximate components, nutritive value, habitat and geographical features which influence growth and development of Withania somnifera and also herbal products of Withania somnifera in particular and medicinal plants in general.