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Herb of the Month


Ashwagandha (Winter Cherry)

Botanical Name :- Withania somnifera
Indian Name :- Ashwagandha


Ashwagandha is a small shrub with minute star-shaper hairs. It has egg shaped; hairy leaves up to 10 cm long. It has small pale green flowers in clusters of about 25 and has a smooth spherical red fruit with yellow seeds. Ashwagandha is indigenous to India and is also found in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Ashwagandha is a versatile root, which is bitter, astringent and heating. This root works on the reproductive nervous and respiratory systems of the body. In medicine it is used as a tonic, aphrodisiac, rejuvenator, sedative and nervine.

Traditional Ayurvedic Uses:

Ashwagandha has many significant benefits, but is best known for its powerful adaptogenic properties, meaning that it helps mind and body adapt better to stress.

  • It nourishes the nerves and improves nerve function to help you maintain calm during stressful situations. 

  • It is also good for people who do physical labor or exercise a lot, to help the body adapt to physical stress.

  • It is a powerful Rasayana, meaning that it acts as an overall tonic for greater vitality and longevity.

  • It nourishes all the bodily tissues (Dhatus), including the joints and nerves.

  • It is also a powerful Madhya Rasayana, which means that it enhances all three aspects of mind power (Dhi -- comprehension; Dhriti -- memory; and Smriti -- recollection).

  • Ashwagandha nourishes the crucial mind-body connection and psychoneuro immune response (called PNI). It helps coordinate the mind and senses, as well, which is essential for good quality sleep.

  • It balances the mind (Prana Vata). This is essential for happiness in the face of mental or emotional stress.

  • It increases the quality and quantity of Ojas, the master coordinator between the body and consciousness. It helps pure consciousness slide into the physiology.

  • It has a Sothara effect -- which means it helps clear impurities (Ama) from the various channels of the body.

  • Ashwagandha enhances virility and has aphrodisiac properties.

  • It is also well known for its powerful immune enhancing benefits.

  • It is considered among the best of all substances for balancing Vata. It also pacifies Kapha at the same time, which is a rare combination.

As with almost all single herbs, there is one small caution. Ashwagandha should always be used with other herbs to balance out possible heating effects.

Attributed Medicinal Properties / Healing Properties :

Weakness and fatigue : (click here for more details)

Ashwagandha increases the count of white blood cells and prepares the body to produce antigens against various infections and allergies. It is also considered as a tonic for the heart and lungs as its regular intake controls the blood pressure and regulates the heartbeat. It has a strong nourishing and protective effect on the nervous system. It works as anti-inflammatory substance therefore helps in reducing swellings and restoring blood supply. Thus it works as powerful immune booster that helps in fighting any foreign invasion in the body. Ashwagandha revitalizes body and decreases untimely fatigue caused due weak body strength accumulation of negative energies in the body.

Sexual weakness :
(click here for more details)

Its antioxidant properties helps in avoiding symptoms of early aging thus helps in enhancing the sexual powers and long lasting endurance. It also helps in increasing sperm count and also the quality of sperms. It gives good results in leucorrhoea, as it possesses the properties that suppress kapha.
Aphrodisiac: Two to four grams of root with milk or ghee can be taken as an aphrodisiac to enhance libido. The is beneficial for the treatment of spermatorrhoea or involuntary ejaculations. Thus thereby helps in enhancing the sexual powers and long lasting endurance.

Stress: (click here for more details)

Investigation both clinical and experimental have observed that Ashwagandha acts as an anti-stress and adaptogenic herb.

Cold & Cough: (click here for more details)

Ashwagandha is beneficial in the treatment of chest diseases such as cold and cough. The root can be taken either in the form of powder in 3 gram doses or in the form of decoction. Berries and seed s can also be taken for chest complaints with beneficial result.

Digestive Disorder: (click here for more details)

The root of the plant is used for treating digestive disorders like dyspepsia and loss of appetite. It corrects the disorderly processes of nutrition and restores the normalcy in the system.

Rheumatism: (click here for more details)

The root is effective in the treatment of rheumatic affections. It should be taken in 3 gram doses in treating this condition.

Tuberculosis:

The root finds its efficiency in treatment of tuberculosis. A decoction of the root is used with long pepper and honey. This decoction is also beneficial in the treatment of scrofula, that is, tuberculosis of lymph glands, especially in the neck.

Insomnia: (click here for more details)

The root is also narcotic, inducing deep sleep and hence beneficial in treating insomnia.

Women's Diseases: (click here for more details)

The herb helps to cure female sterility. Powder of the roots in 6gram doses can be taken with milk for 5 to 6 successive nights after menstruation.

Skin Disorders: (click here for more details)

The leaves of the plant are beneficial in treating several skin disorders. Fomentation of the leaves is good for boils and swollen hands and feet. A paste of the leaves is locally applied to kill lice infesting the body and on carbuncles (painful swelling inside the skin) and syphilitic sores. An ointment prepared by boiling the leaves in fat such as ghee can be applied in case of bedsores and wounds. A paste made of it roots and; leaves is also a useful application over carbuncles, ulcers and swelling.

Sore Eyes:

For sore eyes a fermentation of the leaves can be applied to get relief.

Ashwagandha an effective Brain Tonic:

Ashwagandha as " Rasayana " and "Balya". Roots of winter Cherry are highly acclaimed tonic for brain and nervous system in Ayurveda. It helps in providing nourishment to the brain for its better function and greater ability to work.

Other uses:

 It has an excellent healing properties therefore has great effects in healing wounds and injuries.

Studies on Ashwagandha :

Studies on this herb have proved that aging can be slowed; haemoglobin and calcium levels can be increased and the sexual performance be enhanced. {The European Journal of Herbal Medicines. 1998, Vol. 4, Issue 2:17-22}

A double-blind study in India, on children aged 8-12, studied the effects of 2 g of this root daily, for sixty days. Body weight, mean red blood cells, haemoglobin and grip strength were significantly improved.

Ayurvedic Supplements that contains Ashwagandha :

 Packs  

Chyawanprash Special

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Keshri kalp Royal

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Stress Guard
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Ashwagandha Capsules  
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Anti-stress massage oil
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Ashwagandha Powder - 1 Kg.
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