Ayurvedic Medicine College - Distance Learning Institute > Ayurvedic Herbs > Ashwagandha - Withinia somnifera - Winter cherry

Ashwagandha - Withania somnifera

Botanical name: Withania somnifera, Solanaceae

Other names: Ashgandh (H), Amukkira (T), Winter Cherry (E)

AshvagandhaBotany: Ashwagandha is an erect branching shrub that attains a height between 30-150 cm, covered in a wooly pubescence. The ovate leaves are up to 10 cm long and 2.5-5 cm wide, margins entire, arranged in an alternate fashion. The flowers are green or yellow, borne in axillary fascicles, giving rise to red globose fruits when mature. The roots are fleshy and cylindrical, the epidermis light brown and medulla white. Ashwagandha is found throughout the drier parts of India, into West Asia and northern Africa (Warrier et al 1995, 409; Kirtikar and Basu 1935, 1774). Although the Sanskrit name Ashwagandha is typically associated with Withania somnifera, this plant does not grow in the Himalayas, which is often stated as being the traditional home of Ayurveda. Instead of Withania, Ayurvedic physicians in the Himalayan tradition make used of Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) (picture right) as Ashwagandha.

Part used: Root.


  Rasa: tikta, kashaya
  Vipaka: katu
  Virya: ushna
  Karma: medhya, nidrajanana, stanyajanana, vedanasthapana, balya, vajikarana, rasayana, Vatakaphahara (Srikanthamurthy 2001, 258; Warrier et al 1996, 409; Dash 1991, 59)

Constituents: Ashwagandha contains steroidal compounds of great interest to researchers, such as the ergostane-type steroidal lactones, including withanolides A-Y, dehydrowithanolide-R, withasomniferin-A, withasomidienone, withasomniferols A-C, withaferin A, withanone and others. Other constituents include the phytosterols sitoindosides VII-X and beta- sitosterol, as well as alkaloids (e.g. ashwagandhine, cuscohygrine, tropine, pseudotropine, isopelletierine, anaferine), a variety of amino acids including tryptophan, and high amounts of iron (Williamson 2003, 322; Yoganarasimhan 2000, 592; Mills and Bone 2000, 596).

Medical research:

Adaptogen: The traditional use of Ashwagandha as an adaptogen has been assessed. Researcher found that rats treated with an extract of Withania somnifera showed better stress tolerance in cold water swimming tests, a classic experimental model of adaptogenic activity (Archana and Namasivayam 1999).

Antiinflammatory: A methanolic extract of the aerial parts of Withania somnifera had antiinflammatory activities comparable to that of hydrocortisone sodium succinate in rats subjected to subcutaneous cotton-pellet implantation (al-Hindawi et al 1992). An 80% ethanolic extract of Withania somnifera displayed significant antiinflammatory activity on carrageenan-induced paw edema in rats (al-Hindawi 1989).

Antioxidant: An aqueous suspension of root extract of Ashwagandha prevented the rise of experimentally induced lipid peroxidation in rabbits and mice (Dhuley 1998a). An extract of Withania somnifera, consisting of equimolar concentrations of sitoindosides VII-X and withaferin A, induced an increase in the levels of superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase in rat brain, consistent with other research that reports an antioxidant, immunomodulant and antiinflammatory activity (Bhattacharya et al 1997).

Cancer: The administration of Ashwagandha rasayana (an Ayurvedic polyherbal formulation containing Ashwagandha) significantly reduced the lung tumor nodule formation by 55.6% in experimental animals (Menon et al. 1997). An alcoholic extract of the dried roots as well as withaferin A isolated from the extract showed significant antitumor and radiosensitizing effects in experimental tumors in Chinese hamster cells, without any noticeable systemic toxicity (Devi 1996). The steroidal lactone withaferin A displayed significant antitumor and radiosensitizing effects, inhibiting tumor growth and increasing survival in Swiss mice inoculated with Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (Devi et al 1995; Sharad et al 1996). The administration of an extract of Withania somnifera was found to significantly reduce leucopenia induced by cyclophosphamide treated experimental animals, indicating its usefulness in cancer therapy (Davis and Kuttan 1998). The administration of methanolic extract of Ashwagandha was found to significantly increase the WBC count in normal Balb/c mice and reduce leucopenia induced by a sublethal dose of gamma-radiation. Withania increased bone marrow cellularity and normalised the ratio of normochromatic erythrocytes and polychromatic erythrocytes. This observed activity was thought to be due to stem cell proliferation (Kuttan 1996).

Central Nervous system: Isolated constituents of Withania somnifera (sitoindosides VII-X and withaferin-A) increased cortical muscarinic acetylcholine receptor capacity, partly explaining the cognition-enhancing and memory-improving effects traditionally attributed to Ashwagandha (Schliebs et al 1997). A methanolic extract of Withania somnifera inhibited the specific binding of [3H]GABA and [35S]TBPS, and enhanced the binding of [3H]flunitrazepam to their putative receptor sites, suggesting a GABA-mimetic activity (Mehta et al 1991). A commercial root extract of Withania somnifera used repeatedly over nine days attenuated the development of tolerance to the analgesic effect of morphine and suppressed morphine-withdrawal jumps (Kulkarni and Ninan 1997).

Diabetes: The hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic effects of roots of Ashwagandha were assessed in six patients with mild NIDDM and six patients with mild hypercholesterolemia. The treatment consisted of the powder of roots over a 30 day period. At the end of the study, researchers noted a decrease in blood glucose comparable to that of an oral hypoglycemic drug, and a significant increase in urine sodium and urine volume, coupled with a decrease in serum cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL (low density lipoproteins) and VLDL (very low density lipoproteins) cholesterol, with no adverse effects noted (Andallu and Radhika 2000).

Immunity: Myelosuppressed mice treated with an extract of Ashwagandha displayed a significant increase in hemoglobin concentration, red blood cell count, white blood cell count, platelet count and body weight as compared to controls, as well as increased hemolytic antibody responses towards human erythrocytes (Ziauddin et al 1996). Researchers at the Amala Cancer Research Centre in Kerala, India, found that the administration of an extract from the powdered root of Withania somnifera enhanced the levels of interferon-?, interleukin-2 and granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor in normal and cyclophosphamide-treated mice, suggesting an immunopotentiating and myeloprotective effect (Davis and Kuttan 1999). Mice infected intravenously with Aspergillus fumigatus and treated for 7 consecutive days with an oral preparation of an extract of Withania somnifera at a dose of 100mg/kg displayed increased phagocytic activity and prolonged survival time (Dhuley 1998). The antifungal activity of Withania has been confirmed elsewhere, attributed to the withanolides (Choudhary et al 1995).

Musculo-skeletal: A herbomineral formulation containing roots of Withania somnifera, the stem of Boswellia serrata, rhizomes of Curcuma longa and a zinc complex (Articulin-F), was evaluated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, cross-over study in clients with osteoarthritis. The results produced a significant drop in severity of pain and disability, although radiological assessment did not show any significant changes. Side effects were minimal and did not necessitate the withdrawal of treatment. (Kulkarni et al 1991)

Toxicity: Ashwagandha appears to be very safe, with an LD50 of a 50% alcohol extract determined to be 1000 mg/kg in rats (Williamson 2002, 323; Aphale et al 1998).

Indications: Anorexia, bronchitis, asthma, consumption, leucoderma, edema, asthenia, anemia, exhaustion, aging, insomnia, ADD/ADHD, infertility, impotence, repeated miscarriage, paralysis, memory loss, multiple sclerosis, immune dysfunction, cancer, rheumatism, arthritis, lumbago.

Contraindications: Caution should be used with clients on anticonvulsants, barbituates and benzodiazepines due to its GABA-nergic and sedative properties. Ashwagandha is traditionally avoided in lymphatic congestion, during colds and flu, or symptoms of ama (Frawley and Lad 1986, 160).

Medicinal uses: Ashwagandha is often considered the Indian equivalent to Ginseng (Panax ginseng), but unlike Ginseng, Ashwagandha has a sedative (nidrajanana) rather than stimulant action on the central nervous system, making it a superior medicine for exhaustion with nervous irritability. Ashwagandha is a useful nervine, taken before bed to relax and nourish the body in deficiency diseases, but is only seen to be efficacious when taken on a sustained basis – it is not a sufficient sedative to treat acute insomnia. For poor memory, lack of concentration and in the treatment of ADD/ADHD Ashwagandha may be used in equal proportions with Brahmi and Ling zhi (Ganoderma lucidum). Ashwagandha is widely used in any debility, emaciation or consumptive condition, in both adults and children (Kirtikar and Basu 1935, 1775; Nadkarni 1954, 1294). One rejuvenating preparation can be made by mixing Ashwagandha with 10-15% Pippali, taken with one half part ghrita and one part honey on an empty stomach, morning and evening. As its name ‘smelling like a horse’ suggests, Ashwagandha is an important vajikarana dravya, indicating the sexual potency of a stallion, used in the treatment of infertility, impotence and “seminal depletion” (Nadkarni 1954, 1293). When mixed with equal parts Shatavari, it is an appropriate treatment for female infertility and frigidity, useful in threatened miscarriage, and is an excellent post-partum restorative. In the treatment of uterine prolapse a paste prepared from equal parts Ashwagandha, Vacha, Kushta, Haridra, Maricha (Piper nigrum) and Nilotpala (Monochoria hastata) is recommended by the Chakradatta to restore uterine tone (Sharma 2002, 579). In the treatment of infertility in both sexes a simple decoction of Ashwagandha in milk is indicated, taken with ghee as an anupana (Sharma 2002, 580). Similarly, a medicated taila called Ashwagandhadi taila is prepared by decocting Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Kushta, Jatamamsi and Brhati fruit (Solanum indicum) in sesame oil, massaged into the breasts and genitalia to make them stronger and larger (Sharma 2002, 654). Mixed with equal parts Vriddhadharu (Impomea pataloidea) Ashwagandha churna is allowed to sit in a pot with ghee for a few days, and is then administered in doses of 12 g taken with milk as a vajikarana rasayana (Srikanthamurthy 1984, 100). In the treatment of consumptive conditions the Chakradatta recommends a decoction of equal parts Ashwagandha, Guduchi, Shatavari, Dashamula, Bala, Vasaka, Pushkaramula (Inula helenium root) and Ativisha (Aconitum heterophyllum), taken in conjunction with a diet of milk and meat broth (Sharma 2002, 134). A more recently developed formula by the Hospital of Integrated Medicine in Madras is Ashwagandhadi lehya, prepared by dissolving 1.356 kg of sugar in 452 mL of hot water, after which is gradually added 192 g each fine powders of Ashwagandha, Sariva (Hemedesmus indicus), Jiraka (Cuminum cyminum, Madhusnuhi (Smilax chinensis), and Draksha (Vitis vinifera), and 24 g Ela (Elettaria cardamomum). Following this, 226 g of ghee (226 g) is added, and when the mixture is cool, 452 g of honey is added. Ashwagandhadi lehya is used in dosages of 6-12 g in milk to strengthen the body, and promote fertility and long life (India 1978, 27). For poor eyesight Ashwagandha powder is mixed with equal proportions of Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra root) powder and the fresh juice of Amalaki (Emblica officinalis fruit) (Nadkarni, 1294). Nadkarni mentions that Ashwagandha is used in the treatment of antiinflammatory joint disease (1954, 1293), but may facilitate the production of ama (Lad and Frawley 1986, 160), and thus an eliminative regimen is best implemented prior to using this botanical. Likewise, Ashwagandha is an appropriate remedy in the treatment of asthma and bronchitis (Kirtikar and Basu 1935, 1775-6), but should be used concurrently with dravyas that have a dipanapachana property to avoid the production of ama. Warrier et al mention that a paste made of the roots and bruised leaves may be applied to carbuncles, ulcers and painful swellings (1996, 409). Based on its traditional use, and upon the experimental studies that support its usage in this way, Ashwagandha is an excellent choice to support the health of patients undergoing conventional cancer treatment, to protect against injury, improve immune status, and enhance recovery. Combined with Madhuka (Glycyrrhiza glabra), and used in sufficient doses, Ashwagandha can be used to wean a patient off of corticosteroid therapy, or may be used in place of it.


• Churna: 3-15 g b.i.d.-t.i.d. • Kvatha: 1:4, 60-120 mL b.i.d.-t.i.d. • Tincture: fresh root, 1:2, 95% alcohol; dried root, 1:3; 35% alcohol; 1-15 mL b.i.d.-t.i.d.

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Ashwagandha- withania somnifera (somn= sleep), winter cherry

ashwa = horse

aka Indian ginseng

Rasa: sweet, bitter, sl. astringent Virya: heating Vipak: sweet

Action on Doshas: V v P ^ K v

Hanuman- god of shakti & Ashwini Kumar have affinity for this herb


  mild diuretic, anti-bacterial, digestive, used in general debility
  vasodilator, does not increase BP
  alterative tonic, nervine sedative, calms down anxiety
  active principle- somniferine, alkaloid, has depressive action, analgesic, does bruhana- anabolic, contains essential fatty acids, reduces cholesterol
  increases endurance, stamina, strength & virulence
  has stimulant- tannin that is why acts as aphrodisiac, stimulates sex energy

improves blood flow to genital organ

take 1 tsp. ashwaganda + cup of milk- 1 hour before sex will enjoy sex like a horse

generally masculine aphrodisiac (female one is shatavari)

  has double hormonal action, sweet rasa- increases testosterone
  heating- stimulates shukra dhatu agni- for spermatogenesis
  slightly narcotic tx insomnia, induces natural sleep
  rejuvenator to muscle tissue- tx neuromuscular dystrophy
  expectorant because of heating quality tx cold, congestion, cough
  has food precursors of tryphtophane
  food precursor for progesterone, promotes happy painless ovulation

helps form healthy endometrium, regulates menses, tx Vata dysmenorrhoea- spasmodic

  rich in potassium nitrate- acts like glycerin nitrate (sublingually tx angina pectoris pain)

has sedative, hypnotic action

  best geriatric tonic for males & females, tx senility


  tx TB, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatic swelling, female sterility, insomnia, fatigue, debility, cold, congestion, cough, high cholesterol
  1 tsp. ashwaganda TID- massive dose for extreme low libido, menses problems- irregular menses
  insomnia- 1 tsp. ashwagandha + 1 cup milk-> boil + add pinch of nutmeg
  lactation-  tsp. ashwagandha +  tsp. yasthimadhu + 1 cup milk
  senile debility-  tsp. ashwagandha +  tsp. honey + 2 tsp. ghee- BID on empty stomach for 2 months
  spermatogenesis- 1 tsp. ashwagandha + 1 cup warm milk at bedtime
  tachycardia- ashwaganda + arjun
  anxiety neurosis- ashwagandha + bala
  pulmonary TB- ashwagandha (500 mg) + bala (500 mg) + vidhari (500 mg) + laghu malini vasant- lmv (200 mg) TID
  MS- ashwagandha, bala, vidhari
  enlarged prostate- ashwagandha (500 mg)- improves tone + shilajit (200 mg)- directs ashwagandha to prostate
  treats acne & boils topically or internally

acne- stagnant male or female hormones, aka yavana pitika→ blooming youth

  leave on eyes when go to bed (for half hour)-> will make eyes bright
  best rasayana- to use for 6 months

Contraindications: during pregnancy, will disturb fetal circulation, make fetus hyperactive

Fair Use Source: Student Notes from Dr. Vasant Lad's Herb Seminar at Ayurvedic Institute, 1999

Sanskrit Name: Ashwagandha synonyms: balada, gandhanta, vajinama, vajini, pushtida, punya, vataghni, balya, hayahya, vrusha

Common Name: Winter cherry

Botanical Name: Withinia somnifera Solanaceae (scientist; sleep producing)

Brief Botanical Description: small shrub (up to 5‘) growing wildly in drier parts throughout India

Parts Used: root

Constituents: K= high percentage of alkaloids, nicotine, somniferiene, somniferinine, withanine, withananine, pseudowithanine, sucrose, beta-sitosterol an acid; isopelletierine in roots, tropine, pseudotropine, 3alpha-trigloyloxytropane, choline, cuscohygrine, dl-isopelletierine, alkaloids anaferine and anhygrine; leaf contains withanone; berries have amino acids

Affect on Vata, Pitta, Kapha: - + -

Guna / Attributes: laghu, snigdha; light, oily

Rasa / Tastes: T Ks (M); bitter, astringent (sweet)

Virya / Energy: Ushna; heating

Vipaka / Post-Digestive Effect: Madhura; sweet

Pharmacological Actions: tonic, rasayana, aphrodisiac, sattvic, hypnotic, sedative, mild antibiotic, periodic, digestive, astringent, alterative, diuretic, nervine; hridya; K = kapha vat samaka, shotha hara, bandana asthapana, nari daurbalya, vata vikara; tonic, alterative, astringent, aphrodisiac, nervine sedative; seeds coagulate milk; leaves and root are narcotic; root is diuretic, deobstruent, tonic, alterative, aphrodisiac

Indications: TB, degenerative arthritis, sciatica, low libido, insomnia, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, female infertility, azoospermia, tics, spasms, fatigue, M.S., tremors, Parkinson’s, phobias, poliomyelitis, acne, reg. menses, dysmenorrhea phobias, general debility, old age, convalescence, emaciation, sexual debility, impotence, swollen prostate, infertility, miscarriage, leukorrhea, nervous exhaustion, insomnia, arthritis, cough, edema, skin diseases; K = roots and leaves used as hypnotic in alcoholism and emphysematous dysphonea; leaves are anthelmintic, used in carbuncles; root is used as application in obstinate ulcers and rheumatic swelling; used for consumption, emaciation of children senile debility, rheumatism, general debility, nervous exhaustion, brain fog, loss of memory, loss of muscular energy, spermatorrhea, impotence, seminal debility (with honey and ghee); nutrient and health restorative to pregnant and old. Also used for scrofulous, glandular swelling, as galactogogue (with cow's milk and licorice), for sight (with licorice and juice of amla) worms, spermatorrhea, disorders or nerves, V and K schizophrenia, antiepileptic for grand mal;

Contraindications / Cautions: pregnancy (may increase estrogen leading to abortion) (not according to Dr. Vasant Lad)

Affinity: shukra, mamsa, meda, majja; mutra vaha srotas; genitals

Working With Ashwagandha

Withania somnifera Solanaceae

Sources: Gogte, Nadkarni, Kapoor, Paranjpe

Some applications:


As lepa good for: swellings, atonia, swollen cervical glands, obstinate ulcers


N/S: as powder good for: strengthens senses, brain tonic, sedative, fainting, giddiness, insomnia

As a liquid when mixed with powder of licorice and juice of amalaki good for eyesight

C/S: as powder good for: cardiac tonic, alterative, edema

As decoction good for rheumatoid arthritis

Decoction of milk good for anemia caused edema

M-S/S: as liquid with ghritam, milk, sugar good for rasayana

As decoction good for geriatrics as restorative

As lehyam powder with sugar candy and ghritam good for lumbago, pain in small of back, loins

Rs/S: as powder good for cough, asthma, expectorant,

As lehyam its ash with honey and ghritam good for asthma, puerperal backache

U/S: as powder good for diuretic, oliguria or anuria

Rp/S: as powder good for: aphrodisiac, semen disorders, leukorrhea from endometritis

As lehyam with ghritam and honey good for aphrodisiac

As decoction in milk with licorice good for lactagogue

As lehyam powder with sugar, honey, pippali, ghritam taken with milk good for spermatorrhea, sexual debility

In/S: as powder good for skin diseases, vitiligo

As ash powder of root for blisters and other skin disorders

As powder mixed well with oil good for skin diseases

Some Preparations:

Ashwagandhadi Curna

Ashwagandhad Rasayana

Ashwagandhaghrita: aches, weakness, vata disorders, non-healing ulcers and wounds




Fair Use Source: Ayurvedic Herbal Handbook

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera winter cherry)

Source: Bazaar of India

Withania somnifera is classified in Ayurveda as a rasayana, a group of plant-derived drugs that promote physical and mental health, augment resistance against disease and diverse adverse environmental factors, revitalise the body in debilitated conditions and increase longevity.

Studies indicate that Withania somnifera possesses anti-inflammatory, antistress, antioxidative and rejuvenating properties.

It also appears to exert a positive influence on the endocrine, cardiopulmonary, and central nervous systems.

Study results show that it helps in the maintenance of myocardial (heart muscle) antioxidant status and contributes to the significant restoration of most of the altered haemodynamic parameters in heart disease7.

Ashwagandha and stress

The American heart association classifies “stress” as a “contributing risk factor” for heart disease.

Ashwagandha is an herb that enhances resistance to stress, increases stamina and promotes general wellbeing. It has a rejuvenating effect on the body. It imparts a sense of wellbeing and helps one cope with stress.

According to an Ashwagandha Monograph published in Alternative Medicine Review (2004), clinical trials and animal research support the use of Ashwagandha for treating anxiety, cognitive and neurological disorders.

Other commonly used herbs like Lasuna (garlic) and Haridra (turmeric) are potent vessel relaxants and also reduce the

atherogenic (hardening of arteries) properties of cholesterol.


1. Ornish D, Brown SE, Scherwitz LW, Billings JH, Armstrong WT, Ports TA, McLanahan, SM, Kirkeeide RL, Brand RJ, Gould KL. Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? The Lifestyle Heart Trial. Lancet. 1990 Jul 21;336(8708):129-33.

2. Kumar DS, Prabhakar YS. On the ethnomedical significance of the Arjun tree, Terminalia Terminalia arjuna. (Roxb.) Wight & Arnot. J Ethnopharmacol. 1987 Jul;20(2):173-90.

3. Terminalia arjuna. Altern Med Rev. 1999 Dec;4 (6):436-7.

4. Dwivedi S, Jauhari R. Beneficial effects of Terminalia Terminalia arjunain coronary artery disease. Indian Heart J. 1997 Sep-Oct;49(5):507-10.

5. Bharani A, Ganguli A, Mathur LK, Jamra Y, Raman PG. Efficacy of Terminalia Terminalia arjunain chronic stable angina: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study comparing Terminalia Terminalia arjunawith isosorbide mononitrate. Indian Heart J. 2002 Mar-Apr;54(2):170-5.

6. Gupta R, Singhal S, Goyle A, Sharma VN. Antioxidant and hypocholesterolaemic effects of Terminalia Terminalia arjunatree-bark powder: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. J Assoc Physicians India. 2001 Feb;49:231-5.

7. Mohanty I, Arya DS, Dinda A, Talwar KK, Joshi S, Gupta SK. Mechanisms of cardioprotective effect of Withania somnifera in experimentally induced myocardial infarction. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2004 Apr;94(4):184-90

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Withanolides - much talked natural product

Author: Dr Amrit Pal Singh, MD (Alternative Medicine), Medical Executive, Ind -Swift Ltd Super Speciality Divison. Email [email protected]

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a reputed drug of Ayurveda. It finds application in Ayurvedic formulation for impotency and arthritis. Withania somnifera is an erect evergreen shrub that grows to about 1.5 meters in height in drier regions of India. It has been used for as sedative, diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties agent Modern studies have thrown light on immunomodulatory and anti carcinogenic activity of the plant and it has been rightly called as 'Indian ginseng'.

Withania somnifera contains alkaloids and a special group of compounds called withanolides, which are considered to be the active principles of the drug. Chemically, withanolides are a group of naturally occurring oxygenated ergostane type steroids having lactone in side chain and 2-en-1-one system in ring A. The withanolides are present in the whole of the plant, but maximum presence have been recorded from the leaves. Withaferin-A is the important withanolide isolated so far.

Withaferin- A has shown potent tumor-inhibiting activity in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma, Sarcoma 180, Sarcoma Black (SBL), and E 0771 mammary adenocarcinoma in animal models. Besides it, Withaferin-A has significant anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory activities. Other withanolides have demonstrated immuno-modulator, cardio-vascular and antifungal activity. 3-B-hydroxy, 2-3 dihydrowithanolide has a significant protective effect in rats against carbon tetrachloride induced hepatic damage.

The standardization of Withania somnifera is based on withanolide content and the drug should contain 1.5% w/w of withanolide. Withanolides are present in other members of Solaneace like Physalis minima, Nicandra physaloides, Physalis philadelphica, Solanum torvum, Datura innoxia and Datura metel L.The withanolides present in other plant include Withametelin, withacoagin, coagulin, and withasomidienone, 3-dihydro-3-methoxywithaphysacarpin (1), and two known compounds, withaphysacarpin, 24,25-dihydrowithanolide D, Withanicandrin, Withaphysalin- A and Withaphysalin -B.

References : 1. Tripathi, A.K. Shukla, Y.N. & Kumar, S. (1996). Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): a status report 1996î J.Med Arom Plant Sci; 18:46 -52. 2. Asthana, R and Raina, M.K., (1989). Pharmacology of Withania somnifera- a review. Ind. Drugs; 26: 1-7. 3. Subhir, S. et-al., (1978). Pharmacological investigation on the leaves of Withania somnifera. Ind. J. Pharmacol; 17:44-52. 4. Antitumor and radiosensitizing effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on a transplantable mouse tumor, Sarcoma-180. In: Indian J Exp Biol (1993 Jul) 31(7): 607-11. 5. Gupta, A. P., R. K. Verma, et al. (1996). Quantitative determination of withaferin. A in different plant parts of Withania somnifera by TLC densitometry. Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Sciences 18(4): 788-790. {a} Central Inst. Med. Aromatic Plants, Lucknow 226 015, India. 6. Ziauddin, M., N. Phansalkar, et al. (1996). Studies on the immunomodulatory effects of Ashwagandha. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 50(2): 69-76. {a} Interdisciplinary School Health Sciences, University Pune, Pune 411 007, India.

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Latin: Convolvulus spp., Withania somnifera Sanskrit: Ashwagandha

WHAT IT DOES: Ashwagandha root is bitter in taste, warming in action, and a strong rasayana tonic for longevity. It calms and strengthens the nervous system (Vata); reduces stress; strengthens immunity and vitality; supports adrenal function; increases sexual energy; and improves cognition and memory, nourishes thyroid.


SAFETY ISSUES: Not to be used during pregnancy. Do not use Withania somnifera with barbiturates due to potentiation effects. The Nepalese Convolvulus arvensis variety has no known safety issues (Todd FG et al., 1995).

STARTING DOSAGE: ∑ Dried powder: two grams two to three times per day ∑ 4:1 concentrated powder extract: one gram two to three times per day ∑ 1:5 tincture: 20-40 drops two to three times per day

There are two different plants known by the Sanskrit name ashwagandha. Both are effective. It is almost certain that the Himalayan mountain variety, a Convolvulus spp. plant found in Nepal, is the original one described in Sanskrit texts, and that Withaniaa somnifera was discovered and used later by doctors in India. In our clinic we use both of these plants to strengthen the immunity and vital force of weakened patients showing signs of anxiety or nervousness. Ginseng root, commonly used as a tonic, would not be a good choice in such case due to its excitatory action.

The Convolvulus variety of ashwagandha root is a perennial bushy plant with white roots that is usually found in tropical areas. It commonly grows at the base of wheat, spiraling around the stems, and Dr. Mana and I located specimens within minutes when we searched wheat farms in Nepal. The root is an aphrodisiac, and can be used to treat any nervous system disease. It is used to treat nervous exhaustion, poor memory, muscle weakness and impotence. If a person is very weak, the strength of ashwagandha root seems to penetrate into the core of one's being.

Withania somnifera has now taken over the common name of ashwagandha root throughout the world. Also an excellent plant, it seems to impart overall energy to the system, with a marked calming effect. It is commonly called the ginseng of India. The traditional way of preparing it for nerve diseases (Vataja) is to mix it into an approximate 50/50 ratio with ghee, and take one teaspoon two to three times per day. This tonic can be given to feeble children to increase their weight. It imparts a sense of well being and strength, as well as improved memory. In the interest of comparison, I have taken both forms of the herb. They are very similar in their calming effects, but the Nepalese variety has a much stronger aphrodisiac effect similar to that of Muira puama balsam.

Research highlights

• A true adaptogen, investigators have demonstrated ashwagandha root's effectiveness in animal models against a wide variety of biological, physical and chemical stressors (Pandley et al., eds, 1996; Rege et al., 1999; Archana et al., 1999; Dhuley, 1998).

• Pharmacological studies show it can prevent immunosuppression caused by exposure to strong chemical agents, and may be valuable in restoring immunity after exposure to or treatment with such drugs (Ziauddin M et al., 1996). It also provides protection against some side effects of chemotherapy (Pandley et al., eds, 1996).

• The alcohol extract of ashwagandha root has significant anti-inflammatory action in both acute and chronic types of inflammation, as demonstrated in rabbit, guinea pig, rat and frog animal models (Pandley et al., eds, 1996).

• Citing a total of 31 studies, the Indian Central Council for Research on Ayurveda and Siddha tells us that ashwaganda root exerts its most powerful pharmacological influence on the reproductive system, neuropharmacological disorders, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, bacteria, fungi, inflammation and gastric acidity (Pandley et al., eds, 1996).

• Some preliminary evidence points to a positive action on the thryoid gland.

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Latin Name English Name Sanskrit Names Hindi Name

Withania somnifera Dunal (Solanaceae)

Winter Cherry 	Ashvagandha, Hayahvaya, Vajigandha 	Asgandh

History | Habitat | Morphology Description (Habit) | Principal Constituents Indications | Product Range | ;Reference History Withania somnifera In Ayurveda, Asvagandha, which means “smelling like a horse or mare” in Sanskrit, was used as an aphrodisiac and geriatric tonic and treatment of rheumatism, cough, consumption, etc. The Greek physician Theophrastus, described this plant, which was recorded in the Arabic 'Kaknaj-el-manoum'. Rheede called it 'peVetti' and stated that a vulnerary ointment was prepared from the leaves. In the late 1880s, Dr. Trebut investigated its reputation for hypnotic properties. P.L. Simmonds1 stated that the plant was used at the Civil Hospital, Alger, as a sedative and hypnotic.


It is tomentose under-shrub. The taproot is well developed, stout and fleshy. The leaves are ovate, sub-acute and pubescent. Flowers are greenish or lirud yellow. Corolla is divided rather more than ½ way down. Berry is red enclosed in the inflated calyx. The seed are reniform and yellow.

Morphology Description (Habit) W.somnifera is an erect, evergreen, tomentose shrub. The roots are stout, fleshy and whitish brown; the leaves are simple ovate, glabrous; the flowers are inconspicuous, greenish or lurid-yellow, in axillary, umbellate cymes; the berries are globose, orange-red when mature, enclosed in the persistent calyx and have yellow, reniform seeds.

Principal Constituents Biochemically heterogeneous alkaloids including cuscohygrine, anahygrine, tropine, pseudotropine, anaferine. The plant has steroidal lactones - withanolides, withaferin, which are estrogenic compounds.

Indications Aswagandha is used in asthma and as a uterine sedative. The total alkaloids showed relaxant and antispasmodic effects against several spasmogens on intestinal, uterine, bronchial, tracheal and blood-vascular muscles.

Product Range Abana (HeartCare), Geriforte (GeriCare / StressCare), Mentat (MindCare), Mentat syrup, Reosto, Tentex forte (VigorCare for Men), Anti-Stress Massage Oil, Nourishing Baby Oil, Nourishing Skin Cream, Anxocare, Galactin Vet, Geriforte Aqua, Geriforte Vet, Immunol, Speman forte Vet, Tentex forte Vet, Ashvagandha.


  Amer. J. Pharm. Feb. 1891.

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Previous Ashwagandha, org (1/2 lb.)


Item Number : 6082 Price: $10.95 Quantity :

USDA Organic

Certified Organic Ashwagandha powder (Withania somnifera)

A traditional rejuvenative for vata & kapha that promotes vitality & strength.*

  Increases energy and vitality*
  General adaptogen for combating stress*
  Assists in calming the mind and promotes restful sleep*
  Supports proper function of the adrenals*

Ayurvedic Energetics:

  Rasa (taste): bitter, astringent, sweet
  Virya (action): heating
  Vipaka (post-digestive effect): sweet
  Doshas (constitutions): Balancing for vata and kapha, may aggravate pitta in excess

Commentary: Ashwagandha is one of the most highly regarded and commonly used adaptogens in the Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia. Maximizing the body's ability to resist stress, it enables the body to reserve and sustain vital energy throughout the day while promoting sound, restful sleep at night. It is considered one of the best herbs for calming vata and for revitalizing the male reproductive system. Used by both men and women, it maintains proper nourishment of the tissues, particularly muscle and bone, while supporting proper function of the adrenals. This potent herb is used to promote muscle strength and to support comfortable joint movement. It is also used to maintain potency and a healthy libido, for it is said to bestow upon its user the vitality and strength of a horse. As a rejuvenative, Ashwagandha is particularly useful to seniors and for anyone that would benefit from a nourishing, natural source of energy.*

For a 1 lb bag click here For five lbs or more in bulk click here

Herbal tablets that contain Ashwagandha include: Ashwagandha, Healthy Vata, I Sleep Soundly, Joint Support, Men's Support, Mental Clarity, Stress Ease, Tranquil Mind

Other products that contain Ashwagandha include: Ashwagandha/Bala Oil, Breast Balm, Chyavanprash, Joint Balm, Shirodhara Oil, and Vata Massage Oil

This product is organically grown and processed in accordance with the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP).

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Latin: Withania somnifera Ashwagandha Plant Ashwagandha Plant

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera),is one of the most highly prized herbs in the tradition of Ayurveda.Use of the root can be traced back 2000 years and is traditionally considered a rejuvenating or life extending agent. Ashwagandha Flower Ashwagandha Flower

An Ashwagandha flower with perfect symmetry. Mature fruit and seeds Mature fruit and seeds

The photo here shows the mature fruits with the seeds. These fruits will be collected at the time of harvest in order to collect seeds for sowing the next crop. Farmer with fresh Ashwagandha roots Farmer with fresh Ashwagandha roots

Monish is a farmer from North Karnataka in South India. He grows organic Ashwagandha, as well as Andrographis, Tulsi and Amla. Here he is showing a freshly harvested Ashwagandha root. Drying Ashwagandha Drying Ashwagandha

After washing they are laid out to dry. This is a drying tunnel nearby Bangalore in South India. Once the roots are dried to below 8% moisture they are either taken for powdering for use in capsules. Ashwagandha farmer with the final product Ashwagandha farmer with the final product

Here Malarayappa is displaying the final Pukka Herbs product in which his organic Ashwagandha is used. Washing Ashwagandha Washing Ashwagandha

Once the roots are dry they are taken to a small processing unit nearby where the roots are removed from the stems,and graded into different sizes, before being thoroughly washed. Freshly harvested Ashwagandha roots Freshly harvested Ashwagandha roots

The useable part of the Ashwagandha plant is the root. If Ashwagandha plants are given space and left to grow to their full size the roots can become very big. Such large roots can be very fibrous however and are difficult to powder. Harvesting organic Ashwagandha Harvesting organic Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha thrives in the dry climate and alkaline soils of Northern Karnataka. The photo here shows an organic certified farm in Gadag District. Separating stem from root Separating stem from root

Some farmers prefer to snap off the root by hand… Separating stem from root Separating stem from root

Others prefer to cut the root using a knife.

Ashwagandha Primary Processing Ashwagandha Primary Processing

When the Ashwagandha roots are ready for harvest they are pulled out of the ground by hand and laid out in long rows for drying in the sun. Dried Ashwagandha Roots Dried Ashwagandha Roots

Ashwagandha roots after sorting, washing and drying.

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Withania somnifera From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Withania somnifera Ashvagandha plant at Talkatora garden, Delhi Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Eudicots (unranked): Asterids Order: Solanales Family: Solanaceae Genus: Withania Species: W. somnifera Binomial name Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal[1] Synonyms

Physalis somnifera

Withania somnifera, also known as Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, Winter cherry, Ajagandha, Kanaje Hindi, Amukkara in Tamil and Samm Al Ferakh, is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Many closely related species like Withania coagulans (Dunal) – Paneer dodi, Ashutosh booti (Sanskrit, Hindi) [2] are morphologically very similar to the species. Contents

  1 Description
  2 Claimed medicinal uses
      2.1 Ayurveda
      2.2 Naturopathy
      2.3 Side effects
      2.4 Recent Research
  3 Other
  4 Active constituents
      4.1 Withaferin-A
  5 Pharmacological effects in vitro
  6 Pathology
  7 Climatic conditions for growth
  8 Sub-species and related species
  9 References
  10 External links

[edit] Description

It grows as a short shrub (35–75 cm) with a central stem from which branch extend radially in a star pattern (stellate) and covered with a dense matte of wooly hairs (tomentose).[3] The flowers are small and green, while the ripe fruit is orange-red and has milk-coagulating properties.[3] The plant also has long brown tuberous roots that are used for medicinal purposes. It is cultivated in many of the drier regions of India such as Manasa, Neemuch, and Jawad tehsils of the Mandsaur District of Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Sind, and Rajasthan.[3] [edit] Claimed medicinal uses [edit] Ayurveda

In Ayurveda, the roots of W. somnifera are used to prepare medicinal Ashwagandha. It is claimed to possess aphrodisiac, sedative, rejuvenative and life prolonging properties[citation needed]. It is traditionally used to treat the following symptoms and conditions, although there are few scientific studies of the health benefits of Ashwagandha:[3][4]

  chronic fatigue[3][4]
  bone weakness[3][4]
  muscle weakness and tension[3][4]
  loose teeth[3][4]
  premature ageing[3][4]
  nervous exhaustion[3][4]
  memory loss[3][4]
  neurodegenerative disorders[5]

The berries can be used as a substitute for rennet, to coagulate milk in cheese making.[3] The berries and leaves are traditionally used a topical treatment for tumors and tubercular glands, carbuncles and ulcers.[3][7][8]

While Ashwagandha is claimed to have a wide variety of health benefits, there have been few clinical trials to test these claims. Studies completed so far support that W. somnifera may possibly be beneficial for:

  easing drug withdrawal symptoms[9]
  reducing anxiety [10]
  reducing arthritis pain in the knee [11][12]

In addition, there are registered clinical trials in progress to determine if W. sominifera is useful for treating:

  Parkinsons Disease[14]
  Bone Cancer[15]
  Bipolar disorder[16]
  improve the well-being of the elderly and breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy[19][20]

[edit] Naturopathy

In a randomized control trial examining the use of naturopathic care for anxiety,[21] a “naturopathic care” group who received W. somnifera (along with “dietary counseling, deep breathing relaxation techniques, a standard multi-vitamin”) showed significant improvements in anxiety (as measured by the Beck Anxiety Inventory) compared to a psychotherapy group (who received “psychotherapy, and matched deep breathing relaxation techniques, and placebo”) after 8 weeks. No attempt was made to examine the differing contributions of W. somnifera, dietary counselling and a “standard multi-vitamin” in the first group, or psychotherapy in the second group, toward the outcomes for each group. [edit] Side effects

In at least two published clinical trials of Withania somnifera, the side effects experienced by W. somnifera treated individuals were not significantly different than the side effects experienced by placebo treated individuals. If taken in excess it can cause liver failure. [10][11] However, there has been one report that Withania somnifera can stimulate the thyroid and lead to thyrotoxicosis in some people.[22] [edit] Recent Research

Shown to increase semen quality and reduce oxidative stress.[23]

Potential preventive or therapeutic drug for stress induced neurological disorders[24]

Withania somnifera extract protects from the structural changes induced by morphine withdrawal[25] [edit] Other

Ashwagandha in Sanskrit means “horse's smell,” probably originating from the odor of its root which resembles that of a sweaty horse. In Tamil, it is called Amukkrang Kilangu (அமுக்கராங்கிழங்கு) and is used in several medicines. The species name somnifera means “sleep-inducing” in Latin, indicating that to it are attributed sedating properties.Some herbalists refer to ashwagandha as Indian ginseng, since it is used in ayurvedic medicine in a way similar to that ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Seven American and four Japanese firms have filed for grant of patents on formulations containing extracts of the herb Ashwagandha. It is also found in Nepal

Phytochemical investigations of multiple shoot cultures of selected accessions AGB002 and AGB025 of Withania somnifera. established in vitro utilizing shoot tip apices cultured on Murashige and Skoog's medium supplemented with BAP (1 mg/L) have been carried out. This has led to isolation of four glycowithanolides viz. Withanoside IV (WSG-3), Withanoside VI (WSG-3A), Physagulin D (WSG-P) and Withastraronolide (WSC-O).The structures of these have been confirmed on the basis of spectroscopic data. Multiple shoot cultures could be an alternative renewable resource for production of these biologically active molecules[26] [edit] Active constituents Withaferin A

The main constituents of ashwagandha are alkaloids and steroidal lactones. Among the various alkaloids, withanine is the main constituent. The other alkaloids are somniferine, somnine, somniferinine, withananine, pseudo-withanine, tropine, pseudo-tropine, cuscohygrine, anferine and anhydrine. Two acyl steryl glucosides, sitoindoside VII and sitoindoside VIII, have been isolated from root. The leaves contain steroidal lactones, which are commonly called withanolides. The withanolides have C28 steroidal nucleus with C9 side chain and a six-membered lactone ring. [edit] Withaferin-A

Withaferin-A (WA) is a bioactive compound derived from Withania somnifera, which inhibits Notch-1 signaling and downregulates prosurvival pathways, such as Akt/NF-κB/Bcl-2, in three colon cancer cell lines (HCT-116, SW-480, and SW-620)[27] Recent research in mice suggests that Withaferin-A may have anti-metastatic activity.[28] [edit] Pharmacological effects in vitro

Ashwagandha is reported to have anti-carcinogenic effects in animal and cell cultures by decreasing the expression of nuclear factor-kappaB, suppressing intercellular tumor necrosis factor, and potentiating apoptotic signalling in cancerous cell lines.[29] [edit] Pathology

Withania somnifera is prone to several pests and diseases. Leaf spot disease of Withania somnifera caused by Alternaria alternata is the most prevalent disease. It is most severe in Indian plains of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Dr. Pratap Kumar Pati research group from Guru Nanak Dev University Punjab, India, recently reported in an article of Indian journal of microbiology, on the biodeterioration of its pharmacutically active components during leaf spot disease. [30] They have studied the post infectional biochemical changes and the activities of various enzymes, with the disease progression. Further, they have successfully developed a molecular detection system for the pathogen. [edit] Climatic conditions for growth

Grown as late rainy season (kharif) crop. The semi-tropical areas receiving 500 to 750 mm rainfall are suitable for its cultivation as rainfed crop. If one or two winter rains are received, the root development improves.

The crop requires relatively dry season during its growing period. It can tolerate a temperature range of 20 to 38 °C and even low temperature as low as 10 °C. The plant grows from sea level to an altitude of 1500 meters above sea level. [edit] Sub-species and related species

There are two sub-species of Withania somnifera - W. somnifera (ashwagandha) Kaul and W. somnifera Dunal. The sub-species Withania ashwagandha Kaul has been named after Indian botanist Kailas Nath Kaul, who was the pioneer of modern scientific research on the plant. [31] There are 23 species of the Withania genus that occur in the dry parts of India, North Africa, Middle East, and the Mediterranean.[3] [edit] References

  ^ "Ashwagandha(Withania Somnifera) information from NPGS/GRIN". Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  ^ "Withania coagulans".
  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Mirjalili MH, Moyano E, Bonfill M, Cusido RM, Palazón J (2009). "Steroidal lactones from Withania somnifera, an ancient plant for novel medicine". Molecules 14 (7): 2373–93. doi:10.3390/molecules14072373. PMID 19633611.
  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Scartezzini P, Speroni E (July 2000). "Review on some plants of Indian traditional medicine with antioxidant activity". J Ethnopharmacol 71 (1-2): 23–43. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(00)00213-0. PMID 10904144.
  ^ Scientific basis for the use of Indian ayurvedic medicinal plants in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders: 1. Ashwagandha Murthy M.R.V., Ranjekar P.K., Ramassamy C., Deshpande M. Central Nervous System Agents in Medicinal Chemistry 2010 10:3 (238-246)
  ^ Shoeb Ahmad, Abdul Hannan, S Z Rahman, Shema Wasi, Role of Withania somnifera in the management of abnormal nocturnal emission. UniMed Kulliyat Vol 2 (1) 2006: 45-4
  ^ L. D. Kapoor (2001). Handbook of Ayurvedic medicinal plants. Boca Raton: CRC Press. ISBN 0-8493-2929-9.
  ^ Lu L, Liu Y, Zhu W, et al. (2009). "Traditional medicine in the treatment of drug addiction". Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 35 (1): 1–11. doi:10.1080/00952990802455469. PMID 19152199.
  ^ a b Cooley K, Szczurko O, Perri D, et al. (2009). "Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974". PLoS ONE 4 (8): e6628. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006628. PMC 2729375. PMID 19718255.
  ^ a b Chopra A, Lavin P, Patwardhan B, Chitre D (October 2004). "A 32-week randomized, placebo-controlled clinical evaluation of RA-11, an Ayurvedic drug, on osteoarthritis of the knees". J Clin Rheumatol 10 (5): 236–45. doi:10.1097/01.rhu.0000138087.47382.6d. PMID 17043520.
  ^ Kulkarni RR, Patki PS, Jog VP, Gandage SG, Patwardhan B (1991). "Treatment of osteoarthritis with a herbomineral formulation: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study". J Ethnopharmacol 33 (1-2): 91–5. doi:10.1016/0378-8741(91)90167-C. PMID 1943180.
  ^ India, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, CTRI/2008/091/000089, http://www.ctri.in/Clinicaltrials/ViewTrial.jsp?trialno=175
  ^ Pakistan, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, ISRCTN31871098, http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial.aspx?TrialID=ISRCTN31871098
  ^ India, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, NCT00689195, http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial.aspx?TrialID=NCT00689195
  ^ USA, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, NCT00761761, http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial.aspx?TrialID=NCT00761761
  ^ India, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, CTRI/2008/091/000053, http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial.aspx?TrialID=CTRI/2008/091/000053
  ^ India, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, CTRI/2008/091/000054, http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial.aspx?TrialID=CTRI/2008/091/000053
  ^ India, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, CTRI/2008/091/000052, http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial.aspx?TrialID=CTRI/2008/091/000052
  ^ India, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, CTRI/2008/091/000047, http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial.aspx?TrialID=CTRI/2008/091/000047
  ^ Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974.Cooley K., Szczurko O., Perri D., Mills E.J., Bernhardt B., Zhou Q., Seely D. PloS one 2009 4:8 (e6628)
  ^ van der Hooft CS, Hoekstra A, Winter A, de Smet PA, Stricker BH (November 2005). "[Thyrotoxicosis following the use of ashwagandha]" (in Dutch). Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde 149 (47): 2637–8. PMID 16355578.
  ^ Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile malesAhmad M.K., Mahdi A.A., Shukla K.K., Islam N., Rajender S., Madhukar D., Shankhwar S.N., Ahmad S.
  ^ Neuroprotective effects of withania somnifera dunal.: A possible mechanism Bhatnagar M., Sharma D., Salvi M. Neurochemical Research 2009 34:11 (1975-1983)
  ^ Withania somnifera prevents morphine withdrawal-induced decrease in spine density in nucleus accumbens shell of rats: A confocal laser scanning microscopy studyKasture S., Vinci S., Ibba F., Puddu A., Marongiu M., Murali B., Pisanu A., Lecca D., Zernig G., Acquas E. Neurotoxicity Research 2009 16:4 (343-355)
  ^ Glycowithanolides accumulation in in vitro shoot cultures of Indian ginseng (Withania somnifera dunal)Ahuja A., Kaur D., Sharada M., Kumar A., Suri K.A., Dutt P. Natural Product Communications 2009 4:4 (479-482)
  ^ Koduru S., Kumar R., Srinivasan S., Evers M.B., Damodaran C. (2010). 9. pp. 202–210. Notch-1 inhibition by withaferin-A: A therapeutic target against colon carcinogenesis.
  ^ Thaiparambil, JT.; Bender, L.; Ganesh, T.; Kline, E.; Patel, P.; Liu, Y.; Tighiouart, M.; Vertino, PM. et al. (Jan 2011). "Withaferin A inhibits breast cancer invasion and metastasis at sub-cytotoxic doses by inducing vimentin disassembly and serine 56 phosphorylation.". Int J Cancer. doi:10.1002/ijc.25938. PMID 21538350.
  ^ Ichikawa H, Takada Y, Shishodia S, Jayaprakasam B, Nair MG, Aggarwal BB (June 2006). "Withanolides potentiate apoptosis, inhibit invasion, and abolish osteoclastogenesis through suppression of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation and NF-kappaB-regulated gene expression". Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 5 (6): 1434–45. doi:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-06-0096. PMID 16818501.
  ^ Pati, Pratap Kumar; Pati, P.K., Sharma, M., Salar, R.K., Sharma, A., Gupta, A.P., and Singh, B. (2009). "Studies on leaf spot disease of Withania somnifera and its impact on secondary metabolites. Indian Journal of Microbiology. 48:". Indian Journal of Microbiology (Springer India) 48: 432–437. doi:10.1007/s12088-008-0053-y. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  ^ Kaul K. N. 1956. The origin, distribution and cultivation of Ashwangandha, the so called Withania somnifera of Indian literature. Symposium on the utilisation of Indian Medicinal Plants; Lucknow CSIR.pp.07-08

[edit] External links

  Caldecott, Todd (2006). Ayurveda: The Divine Science of Life. Elsevier/Mosby. ISBN 0723434107. Contains a detailed monograph on Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) as well as a discussion of health benefits and usage in clinical practice. Available online at http://www.toddcaldecott.com/index.php/herbs/learning-herbs/395-ashwagandha

Categories: Solanaceae

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Withania_somnifera - This page was last modified on 15 July 2011 at 19:37.

Working With Ashwagandha

Withania somnifera Solanaceae

Sources: Gogte, Nadkarni, Kapoor, Paranjpe

Some applications:


As lepa good for: swellings, atonia, swollen cervical glands, obstinate ulcers


N/S: as powder good for: strengthens senses, brain tonic, sedative, fainting, giddiness, insomnia

As a liquid when mixed with powder of licorice and juice of amalaki good for eyesight

C/S: as powder good for: cardiac tonic, alterative, edema

As decoction good for rheumatoid arthritis

Decoction of milk good for anemia caused edema

M-S/S: as liquid with ghritam, milk, sugar good for rasayana

As decoction good for geriatrics as restorative

As lehyam powder with sugar candy and ghritam good for lumbago, pain in small of back, loins

Rs/S: as powder good for cough, asthma, expectorant,

As lehyam its ash with honey and ghritam good for asthma, puerperal backache

U/S: as powder good for diuretic, oliguria or anuria

Rp/S: as powder good for: aphrodisiac, semen disorders, leukorrhea from endometritis

As lehyam with ghritam and honey good for aphrodisiac

As decoction in milk with licorice good for lactagogue

As lehyam powder with sugar, honey, pippali, ghritam taken with milk good for spermatorrhea, sexual debility

In/S: as powder good for skin diseases, vitiligo

As ash powder of root for blisters and other skin disorders

As powder mixed well with oil good for skin diseases

Some Preparations:

Ashwagandhadi Curna

Ashwagandhad Rasayana

Ashwagandhaghrita: aches, weakness, vata disorders, non-healing ulcers and wounds




Sanskrit Name: Bala syn.: odanika, bhadra, samanga, baladhya, vatika, sanasa, mahasamanga, kharayashtika, shitapaki, viryabala

Common Name: indian country mallow

Botanical Name: Sida cordifolia Malvaceae (old name for water lily used by Theophratus; heart-shaped; leaves)

Brief Botanical Description: small shrub (up to 5’) growing well in plains of India and in damp climate

Parts Used: roots, leaves, stems, seeds

Constituents: K = fatty oil, phytosterol, mucins, potassium nitrate, resin, resin acids, (no tannins or glucosides); trace amt. of alkaloid; the hydrochloride of alkaloid occurs in colorless needles, freely soluble in water but sparingly soluble in absolute alcohol. Alkaloid mainly ephedrine. The seeds contain four times more than stem, root, leaves

Affect on Vata, Pitta, Kapha: - - +

Guna / Attributes: laghu, snigdha, picchila; light, oily, sticky

Rasa / Tastes: Madhura; sweet

Virya / Energy: Shita; cooling

Vipaka / Post-Digestive Effect: Madhura; sweet

Pharmacological Actions: nervine tonic, rasayana, mild antibacterial, stimulant (sex), sedative, hemostatic, anabolic, aphrodisiac, spermatogenetic, lactogenic, cardiac, m. diuretic, demulcent, K = vata, pitta samaka, bandana sthapana (maintains tone of ligaments), shothahara, balya, vata hara, snehan, anulomana, grahi, hrdya, rakta pitta samaka, sukrala, balya brighan, ojas vardhaka; roots are cooling, astringent, stomachic, tonic, aromatic, bitter, febrifuge, demulcent, diuretic. The alkaloid has slight sympathomimetic action similar to ephedrine. Thus use as cardiac stimulant in Ayurvedic medicine.

Indications: general debility, arthritis, TB with cavitation, cracking joints, diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, memory problems, depression, anxiety, muscle debility, migraine, pain nerve, pressure, tinitis, ileocecal valve p, child debility, receding gums, premature ejaculation bleeding disorders, prolapse–rectal, inguinal, uterine, vata in asthi, hiccough, ischemia of diaphragm, premenstrual tension or PMS, aspermatogenesis, small breasts, lactation, bleeding piles, nose, hemorrhagic condition; alterative; K = rheumatism, gonorrhea, spermatorrhea, gonorrhea, febrile diseases, Leaves are mucilaginous = demulcent in fever; given as a vegetable to patients suffering from bleeding piles; urinary diseases, disorders of blood and bile, bleeding piles, hematuria, cystitis, leukorrhea, chronic dysentery, nervous diseases as insanity, facial paralysis, and in asthma as cardiac tonic. As alterative root bark if useful in rheumatism; in elepantiasis a paste made with juice of palmyra palm is locally used; the juice of the roots is applied as a sedative over wounds and ulcers.

Contraindications / Cautions: none but don't take at night as it gives energy

Affinity: shukra, asthi, rakta, rasa, mamsa; purisha vs; madhyam marga, duodenum, respiratory system « Amalaki Emblica officinalis Phyllanthus emblica Indian Gooseberry Amla Ayurvedic Herbs Arjuna - Terminalia arjuna »


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