Withania somnifera, known commonly as ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, or winter cherry, is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Several other species in the genus Withania are morphologically similar. It is used as a herb inAyurvedic medicine. This species is a short, tender perennial shrub growing 35–75 cm (14–30 in) tall. Tomentose branches extend radially from a central stem. Leaves are dull green, elliptic.. The flowers are small, green and bell-shaped. The ripe fruit is orange-red.
Ashwagandha belongs to the Solanaceae family and its scientific name is Withania somnifera. It is also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry. In Sanskrit, it is known by the name Ashwagandha, which means the odor of a horse. It is named so because of the odor of horse sweat that the roots seem to emanate. The plant originated from India and it grows best in dry regions. It is a robust plant that can survive very high temperatures and low temperatures, ranging from 40°C to as low as 10°C. Ashwagandha grows from sea level to an altitude of 1500 meters above sea level.
HISTORY AND FOLKLORE
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has become one of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs in use in the Western world. And it is no wonder, with all the benefits that Ashwagandha has to offer! Ashwagandha has been used by Ayurveda for thousands of years as a rasāyana (rejuvenative) and an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it is used to help the body resist physiological and psychological stress.1 The name ashwagandha translates into “smell of a horse”; this is a reference to both the unique smell of the herb, as well as the virility of a horse, an inference to the traditional use of ashwagandha to support a healthy male reproductive system
Anxiolytic, tonic, hypolipidemic, rejuvenative, nervine, sedative, 5 and adaptogenic.
The main chemical constituents are alkaloids and steroidal lactones. These include tropine and cuscohygrine. The leaves contain the steroidal lactones, withanolides, notably withaferin A, which was the first to be isolated from the plant
USES AND PREPARATION
Ashwagandha is used to tone, support, and revitalize bodily functions.1 It has been revered over time for its dual capacity to energize and calm at the same time. Stress can cause fatigue, often manifesting as “hyper” signs like agitation and difficulty sleeping. By providing a nourishing, energizing effect, you can support a healthy nervous system. When the stress doesn’t impact the nervous system as strongly, the “hyper” signs will naturally resolve over time,2 allowing for a calming effect. This quality of ashwagandha makes it a prime supplement to use in the toning and rejuvenation process.3 In addition to its dual energizing/calming effect, ashwagandha offers a number of benefits:
• Supports a healthy immune system*2, 3
• Calms mental processes*3
• Fosters healthy sleep patterns*2
• Benefits a healthy reproductive system in both males and females*4, 5
• Supports sustained energy levels, strength, and vitality, including with physical activity*
• Supports healthy back and joints*4
Specific: Not for use in pregnancy except under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.