Withania somnifera, commonly known as ginseng or Ashwagandha, is a rejuvenating herb that offers a wide variety of therapeutic effects. It is a native plant of India which grows mainly in dry regions. Every part of this plant has clinical importance pharmacologically and has bioactive compounds such as alkaloids, flavonoids, and steroidal lactones. It has been used as an ancient Indian medicine to treat stress and anxiety.
This stress booster herb has been used singly or in combination against various ailments in powder, tablets or capsules, etc.
It helps to improve immunity, strength, and stamina in the body due to its anti-oxidant properties. It can be utilized to treat sleeping disorders, hormonal disturbances, arthritis, etc. It is primarily used as an adaptogen.
It is a medium under shrub, 40-150cm in height. The plant is completely covered by silvery grey hair.
Leaves- alternate, simple, waved margins, 5-20mm long petioles, stellate tomentose, greyish.
Root- woody roots that smell like horse urine
Flowers- small, greenish
Seed- many, reniform with yellow color.
Habitat of Ashwagandha
Found throughout India. It grows in dry areas and on the Himalayas under 1600m-1800m.
It grows as a weed along the roadside, now cultivated in different parts of the country due to its Medicinal and Nutraceutical importance.
Classification of Ashwagandha
Kingdom – Plantae
Ayurvedic Properties of Ashwagandha
|Rasa (Taste)||Katu ( pungent), Kahaya (Astringent) , Tikta(bitter)|
|Guna (Characteristics)||Laghu (light), Snigdha (unctous)|
|Virya (Potency)||Ushna (hot)|
|Vipaka (Final taste after digestion)||Katu (pungent)|
Side Effects of Ashwagandha
- Large doses of Ashwagandha might cause diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach upset.
- Ashwagandha might increase thyroid function
Health benefits of Ashwagandha
- It is used in the treatment of depression
- Ashwagandha supplements are used in the treatment of male fertility
- It helps to boost brain functions
- Ashwagandha powder is applied to the joints to get relief from pain and inflammation
- Ashwagandha Kalka with hot water is used in heart ailments
- Ashwagandha supplements are used to lower cortisol levels in stressed individuals.
- A decoction is used as a diuretic
- Ashwagandha powder with sugar is given in insomnia
- Ashwagandha reduces blood sugar level
- It promotes the death of cancer cells
- Leaves are used as herbal tea in anemia and blood loss
- Flowers are used as diuretics and aphrodisiacs.
- Arishta prepared out of seeds is used in the treatment of anxiety, memory loss, and hysteria.
- Ashwagandha with rock salt is used to remove white spots from the cornea.
Ashwagandha helps to improve overall health as it is good for every organ of our body. Useful parts of the plant are consumed in the form of powder, tablet, or capsule. It is used as a supplement and medicine as well. It works mainly on brain cells, helps in inducing sleep in insomnia, boosts immunity, treats diabetes, fights cancer, and reduces debility and weakness. Taking Ashwagandha daily ensures virility and long life. In case you have a query, you can always consult our online Ayurvedic doctors at Total Ayurveda Care and get answers to your question.