Ashwagandha, the scientific or botanical name is Withania Somnifera means ” bringing sleep”. It is a perennial shrub know by many names including Indian ginseng, winter cherry, or the poison gooseberry, sometimes it is also known as “king of Ayurveda”. It belongs to the Solanaceae or Nightshade family.
The name derived from Sanskrit, with the combination of two words namely ‘Ashwa’ means horse and another word ‘gandha’, means smell as its roots have a very strong pungent odor similar to “smell of the horse”. Despite plant’s ability to convey horse-like strength and stamina.
It becomes a known solution for many physical and mental disorders. It holds a very important role in Ayurvedic Medicinal systems. It’s leaves, dried fruits, and roots all these have very effective and enrich Ayurvedic medicine and it is also rich in iron.
Ashwagandha Plant and its Uses
Botanical Name: Withania Somnifera
Common Name: Ashwagandha
Plant Family: Nightshade family
History: It is used in Ayurvedic Medicine.
Historically, the roots of ashwagandha have been used to treat:
- Skin conditions
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Nervous breakdowns
- Snake bites
- Memory loss
Chemical compounds of Ashwagandha
Steroidal lactones: Withanolides
Alkaloids: Isopellertierine and anferine
Saponins: Sitoindoside vii and viii
Plant Constituents of Ashwagandha Herb
- steroidal Lactones and
Ashwagandha for Anxiety
Recommended dosage is as follows:
- start with 1/8 teaspoon of day dried root powder
- start with 1ml- increase up to 6mL/day 1:2 fluid extract
The Ashwagandha herb is really a God-given gift to the Earth from which all parts can be individually used as it contains distinct curing abilities. It is typically small evergreen shrub grow upon 150 to 200 cm height, mostly found in dry area’s much rainfall is not required, grows well in sandy areas temperature between 20 degrees C to 30 degrees C. In India it is mostly grown in Madhya Pradesh and Utter Pradesh.
Leaves: It has a thick central stem with small branches which are fleshy and coated with hair feels like wool. Leaves are bitter in taste and grow up to 8-12cm, they are used in fever and certain types of swelling due to their astringent qualities.
Flowers: The flowers are small with light green petals. when they are ripe their color was changed into red color(seeds).The flowers have a range of medicinal benefits including purifying, detoxifying, astringent( solutions are used in the relief of such minor skin irritations), diuretic( causing increased passing of urine) and aphrodisiac qualities( substances that address fertility issues).
Fruits: These are known as berries and useful medicine for Joints and Loin pains(commonly originates from the kidney – like stones in kidneys).
Seeds: Ashwagandha seeds are said to be antinelminthics means they have the ability to kill the parasitic worms(roundworms and tapeworms)from the body.
Roots: Ashwagandha roots are most popular in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, roots are considered as Rasayana in Ayurveda – means they are used to nourish and rejuvenate the body at all levels. With dried root, we can also make tea and can have a sip throughout the day.
All parts of this plant are very useful in Ayurvedic medicine, 97% of the health problems are solved by this plant, but always consult your doctor before using any herb. As it is a natural medicine with no side effects seeing commonly but not recommended to the pregnant lady. Ashwagandha composition was checked on Animals and humans as well…and experiments are successful with case studies.
we have different properties in Ashwagandha the following are some:
- Adaptogenic property
- Cell building property
- Antioxidant property
- Memory Retrieving property
In botanical medicine, certain herbs are in a category of functional use called Adaptogenic – means that the herb has the influence of helping the body to resist damage from physical and mental stress.Stress and tension have a tendency to weaken our physical and mental strength. Ashwagandha herb will help to build the inner strength of the body. This herb has the power to cure many basic human problems like acne, inflammation, ulcers, relief of stress, sedation, treats bronchitis, diabetes, improves the respiratory system, improves digestion and also cures various parts of our body.
Cell building property (Rejuvenation)
when our present cells start to weaken and worse (deteriorate) it causes Aging factor consequently our skin loses elasticity and shine and slow down in their functionalities.This herb has the ability to help the body with restoring strength by creating new cells(rejuvenates new cell). This, in turn, reduces deterioration of the existing cells in the body.
The antioxidant is small molecules that prevent oxidation( -is the chemical reaction converts the electron substance to any oxidizing agent) in the nearby molecules. Our body needs antioxidants to reduce the death of the cells in our body.(Hindu University in Varanasi, India, have discovered powerful antioxidants in Ashwagandha plant). This herb has very powerful antioxidants which help us to build our immune system, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory(swelling).
Memory Retrieving property
Ashwagandha is a wonderful herb for those who face problems with amnesia(loss of memory)and dementia(mental illness). By consuming this herb, it strengthens the existing brain muscles which help in recovering memory power in a natural way.
What are the Side effects of Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is generally considered well-tolerated in small to medium doses. But there haven’t been enough long-term studies to examine possible side effects.
Pregnant women should avoid using Ashwagandha because it can cause early delivery.