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Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) - Uses, Health Benefits, Dosage, Medicinal Properties

Latin name - Withania somnifera
English name - Winter cherry, Indian Ginseng
Indian name - Ashwagandha

Introduction- There is an herb regarded as a 1st class adaptogenic tonic in one of the worlds greatest herbal medical systems, an herb which can compare favorably to the world's most renowned herbal tonics. Ashwagandha, one of the most valuable herbs in the Ayurvedic medical system dating back more than 3,000 years. Ashwagandha, also known as "Winter Cherry," improves the body-s ability to maintain physical effort and helps the body adapt to various types of stress. Perhaps the most famous Ayurvedic rejuvenative botanical used in many tonics and formulas, Ashwagandha is a rejuvenative that helps maintain proper nourishment of the tissues, particularly muscle and bone, while supporting the proper function of the adrenals and reproductive system.

Plant Description: This grows in the temperate climates. It grows up to a height of 5000 feet in Western India and Himalayan regions. The stems are around 3 to 4 feet in height. One plant survives for up to 4 to 5 years. The leaves are bowl shaped, small and without thorns. It remains green for 12 months near big trees and ponds. Its stem contains fiber like texture. The leaves are oval shaped, 2 to 4 inches long and contain fiber. The flowers are blooming at the base of the stems are small, somewhat long with chimney shape and yellowish green in color. The flowers bloom from the base of the leaves and become red when wipe. The seeds are small, heart shaped, smooth and flat. The roots are rough, white from within, strong, transparent, thick and one to one and half feet long. Crushing the fresh leaves and raw roots gives urine like smell and hence named Ashwagandha, Ashwa means ' horse' and gandha means 'smell'. The seeds are sown in rainy season and harvested in the spring season.

Chemical Composition of Ashwagandha

The roots excrete Cuseihygrine, Anahygrine, Tropine and 13 different kinds of acid. The acids include Vithenyle oil, which evaporates, Hentiroctane, Phitosteryl are obtained. It also contains a chemical called Bidaphyrine A. Other than these Glycocide, Vithenyle, acidic starch, contain Vethinine and someniphyrine alkaline and nicotine somanani vetheninine alkaline.

Parts Used-Roots


Ashwagandha is an herb that improves the body's ability to maintain physical effort and helps the body adapt to various types of stress. Ashwagandha has been used to treat conditions such as fatigue, chronic disease, impotence, and waning memory.
Ashwagandha is specific for a wide range of conditions includeng arthritic inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, respiratory disorders, nervous disorders, gynecological disorders, male infertility and impotence.

It is a herb that enhances resistance to stress, increases stamina and promotes general well-being. Many Western herbalists refer to this herb as "Ayurvedic ginseng" because of its reputation for increasing energy, strength, and stamina, and for its ability to relieve stress.
According to the Ayurvedic system, Ashwagandha is the best herb for balancing Vata in the body. Vata governs all movement in the body, including the movement of nerve impulses throughout the nervous system.

Modern research has found several types of alkaloids in Ashwagandha of which somniferin and withaniol are responsible for its multiple actions. The roots of the plant have been reported to have Alkaloids, Withanolides and many Glycosides. Several studies over the past few years have looked into whether Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-stress, antioxidant, mind-boosting, immune-enhancing, and rejuvenating properties. Historically Ashwagandha root has also been noted to have sex-enhancing properties.

The constituents believed to be active in Ashwagandha have been extensively studied. Compounds known as Withanolides are believed to account for the multiple medicinal applications of Ashwagandha. These molecules are steroidal and bear a resemblance, both in their action and appearance, to the active constituents of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) known as ginsenosides. Indeed, Ashwagandha has been called "Indian ginseng" by some. Ashwagandha and its withanolides have been extensively researched in a variety of studies examining effects on immune function, inflammation, and even cancer. Ashwagandha stimulates the activation of immune system cells, such as lymphocytes. It has also been shown to inhibit inflammation and improve memory. Taken together, these actions may support the traditional reputation of Ashwagandha as a tonic or adaptogen -an herb with multiple, nonspecific actions that counteract the effects of stress and generally promote wellness.

Ashwagandha is a tonic-strengthening herb that is high in iron content and increases hemoglobin. Ashwagandha berries are a blood tonifier that improves circulation and absorption of nutrients by cells.
It is used as a liver and kidney tonic in Chinese medicine. Ashwagandha rejuvenates tissues throughout the body, clears the mind, strengthens the nerves, and promotes restful sleep. It has the ability to improve memory, sexual ability and lessens graying of the hair. Additionally, Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, that is, it works on muscles and nerves to increase performance in athletes, enhances psychomotor coordination, and reaction time. It helps to tone the liver, kidneys, immune system and balances hormones in the body.

Ashwagandha helps provide progressive results for the following health concerns

  • Aging
  • Memory problems
  • Sports fitness
  • Stress
  • Anemia and slow growth
  • Arthritis
  • Fatigue

Many other Uses Of Ashwagandha

  • Ashwagandha soothes and calms down the stressed mind and nerves. It relieves nervous exhaustion, brain fag, loss of memory, and loss of muscular energy. It helps to normalize the sympathetic tone that is increased in Stress, Anxiety and Depression.
  • Ashwagandha is a good hypnotic in Alcoholism.
  • Ashwagandha a good natural remedy for Arthritis. It is a good adaptogenic, immunity booster.
  • Ashwagandha is an essential additive in herbal formulation for hypertension due to its effects on nerves, stress and brain and sleep.
  • Ashwagandha is very useful in spermatorrhea, loss of strength, lack of sexual drive, erectile dysfunction.
  • Ashwagandha is found to be promising in steritlity of women.
  • Ashwagandha It is a good Uterine anti-inflammatory so useful in Uterine infections.
  • Ashwagandha is used as an application in carbuncles, scrofulous and other glandular swellings
  • The oils processed with Ashwagandha and other herbs are used in rheumatic pains and swellings.
  • Ashwagandha is a good herb to be used when the body needs fresh energy and the rejuvenating effect that is depleted due to Chronic Constitutional diseases like Syphilis, Tuberculosis, Rheumatic fever, over-work and stressful situations.

White Discharge and Infertility

Take round 3gm of Ashwagandha powder with 12gm of sugar candy and sugar twice daily with milk to cure white discharge and infertility

Ashwagandha for Impotency

Take Ashwagandha powder and sugar in equal proportions measuring 3 to 6 gm with milk everyday cures impotency

An a rejuvenative herb for Old Age

  • Add one gm each of Ashwagandha, sugar candy, honey and take 10gm ghee every morning to improve humors, strengthening the body and brings back youthfulness.
  • Take equal quantities of Ashwagandha and Tribulus powder and store it in greasy container. Take around 6 to 12 gm twice daily with hot milk regularly for 4 months. his cures vata dosha, old age related problems and rejuvenates the body. The same medicine taken with 6gm ghee and 3 gm honey cures the disease in which vital humors of the body are excreted through urine.
  • Take 10 gm Ashwagandha with Amla juice everyday and gradually increase the quantity. This stops aging.

Ashwagandha for Increasing Stamina and Sperm Count

Add Ashwagandha in one-fourth quantity of ghee, grind it nicely and store it in a container. Take 5gm of this powder with milk or lukewarm water regularly for one month to increase strength and sperm. This cures all types of pains ad wind related problems.

Ashwagandha for Physical Weakness

Extract of the pure oil from Ashwagandha roots cures weakness and wind related problems

Ashwagandha for Stomach Disorder

Grind Ashwagandha roots in cow urine and apply on the affected ares to cure the swelling due to stomach disorder

Wind Related Problem due to heart Disease

Grind Ashwagandha powder with hot water and take it regularly to cure wind related problem due to heart disease

Ashwagandha for Reduction in Breast Milk

Make decoction with Ashwagandha roots, Vidharikand and Mulethi and take it with milk to increase the breast milk.

Ashwagandha for Arthritis

Coarsely grind the roots, skin , leaves, flowers and fruits of Ashwagandha and take out the rasa, take at least 30 to 60 gm of this juice to cure arthritis.

Ashwagandha for Piles

Add the skin of Ashwagandha and Nirgundi with Kateri fruits and paipal with ghee and burn it. Give fumigation in the rectum area to cure piles.
Poison: In case of snake bite give 6gm of Ashwagandha roots juice at an interval of 1 hour to remove the effect of poison

Ashwagandha for Whooping Cough

Take 12gm of Ashwagandha, grind them and add 12 gm of sugar candy, now pour one liter water and make the decoction till it reduces to one-eight quantity. Give this decoction in little quantity to cure whooping cough.

Ashwagandha for Joint pain

Take 3 gm of winter cherry powder and add equal quantity of ghee and one gm unrefined sugar and take it twice daily to cure joint pain.

Ashwagandha for Blood Impurities

Take equal quantities of Ashwagandha powder and sugar, make a fine powder and take 4gm with honey to cure blood impurities.
The word Ashwagandha literally means "the sweat of a horse" indicating that one who takes it would have the strength and sexual vitality of a horse.

Ashwagandha for Weakness

Taking Ashwagandha powder with milk, ghee or water cures weakness in children, weakness in old people and reduces the aging process.

Ashwagandha for Sleeplessness

Taking ashwagandha powder with ghee made out of cow milk or sugar cures sleeplessness and pain in the hips.
The decoction is beneficial to cure tuberculosis. Adding honey in the juice of winter cherry leaves cures the problem of sleeplessness due to joint pain.

Pain in the Hips and Back Pain

Adding sugar candy and ghee in Ashwagandha powder cures pain in the hips and backache.

Ashwagandha for Weak Eyesight

Add liquorice in Ashwagandha powder and take it with amla juice to cure weak eyesight

Ashwagandha for Old Age Problems

Taking Ashwagandha powder with honey and ghee regularly for one month in winter season cures old age problems.

Ashwagandha for Heart Pain

Take Ashwagandha powder and Baheda with jaggery for quick relief in heart ache.

All types of problems

Regular consumption of Ashwagandha with Giloy extract and honey cures all types of problems.

Vata dosha (wind related problem)

Consumption of Ashwagandha, Shatavari, ghee and honey cures the vata dosha

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