Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is also known as “Indian ginseng” or “Indian Winter Cherry.” It is an important ancient plant that has been used in the Ayurvedic and indigenous medical system for over 4000 years.
The roots, leaves, and fruits (berry) hold enormous medicinal value. It is one of the important ingredients of ayurvedic rejuvenate, which is used in various tonics and formulas.
Ashwagandha is the best rejuvenate that helps maintain proper nourishment to the tissues, particularly muscle and bones while supporting the proper function of the adrenals and reproductive system.
It is a shrub with yellow flowers and red fruit, its extract is typically obtained from the berries or roots to the plant. Ashwagandha is a Sanskrit word that translates to “smell of horse,” and is right to some extent.
Traditionally, it is believed that a person who consumes this herbal remedy will gain horse-like energy and strength. It is a shrub that grows at a height of (35–75 cm) with a middle stem from which branches extend radially in stellate (a star pattern).
It is covered with a dense lusterlessness of wooly hairs. The flowers are green and small, when the fruit is ripe, it is orange-red and has milk-coagulating properties. It has long brown tuberous roots that are important for medicinal purposes.
Other Common Names:
- Winter Cherry,
- Indian Winter Cherry,
- Indian Ginseng,
Plant Parts Used Medicinal Purpose
Ashwagandha roots, leaves, and seeds have medicinal properties and are used in the preparation of several medications.
- Sanskrit: Hayagandha, Vajigandha
- Assamese: Ashwagandha
- Bengali: Ashwagandha
- English: Withania somnifera
- Gujrati: Asgandha
- Hindi: Asgandh
- Kannada: Angarberu, Hiremaddina-gida
- Kashmiri: Asagandh
- Malayalam: Amukkuram
- Marathi: Asagandha, Askagandha
- Oriya: Aswagandha
- Punjabi: Asgandh
- Tamil: Amukkaramkizangu
- Telugu: Pennerugadda
- Urdu: Asgand
Properties & Action
- Rasa: Tikta, Kasaya
- Guna: Laghu
- Virya: Usana
- Vipaka: Madhura
- Karma: Rasayana, Vatakaphaja, Balya,
- Vajikara Dosha effect: VK
- Dhatu (tissue): Blood, muscle, fat, bone, nerve, reproductive
- Srota (channel): Reproductive, nervous, respiratory
- Balya: Increases strength
- Medhya: Promotes the intellect
- Ojasvardhanam: Increases ojas
- Nidrajnana: Promotes sleep
- Shukrala: Increases sperm production
- Shwasa: Benefits of breathing
- Shothahara: Prevents consumption and wasting diseases
- Rasayana: Rejuvenative
- Vatakaphahara: Reduces Kapha and vata
- Vrishya: Increases sexual potency
- Vedanasthapana: Reduces pain
Where Is Ashwagandha Plant Found?
The Ashwagandha plant grows in dried and sub-tropical places. It is an erect branching low-lying shrub that grows to a height of about 1.50 m. It is mainly found in dry regions of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.
Madhya Pradesh is the major Ashwagandha producing state throughout the country. Madhya Pradesh alone is a state that cultivates more than 5000 hectares and the rest of India is about 1500 tonnes; so annual growth with the requirement is about 7000 tonnes.
In Ayurveda Ashwagandha was used as traditional medicine for centuries, Ashwagandha powder is an herbal remedy obtained from the powdered root of the Ashwagandha shrub, scientifically it is known as Withania somnifera.
Ashwagandha is getting increased attention in light of medical studies providing evidence of its therapeutic properties. Below are some of the health benefits.
1. It improves the reproductive system
Consuming Ashwagandha can have been rejuvenating effect on Shukra dhatu that can help to alleviate asthenospermia (increasing sperm motility), oligospermia (increasing sperm count), poor sexual performance, and aids to reduce impotency. Due to its unique action (prabhava) it can boost sexual energy and sperm production. Ashwagandha oil can also be used externally as a massage for impotence.
2. Increase muscle growth
It is very beneficial for any imbalance of the muscles; it is helpful in reducing inflammation as well as strengthens muscle tone. Ashwagandha is a significant decoction (Rasayana) for mamsa dhatu and it is an anabolic muscle builder.
It is an important remedy for all muscle tissue it is used as a uterine tonic, lung tonic, heart tonic, as well as for growing muscle weight, for the tone in convalescents and slow-growing children as well as elderly.
3. It Increases Male Fertility
The roots of Ashwagandha are commonly used in Ayurveda, to boost physical and mental health, to provide defense against disease and antagonistic environmental factors, and pull in the aging process.
Besides this, it has also known for its aphrodisiac properties that can be helpful to treat male sexual dysfunction and infertility. Much research was done, and some do claim that it can increase semen volume, sperm motility, and sperm count.
A randomized placebo-controlled trial study was conducted to calculate the spermatogenic activity of Ashwagandha root extract in 46 oligospermia patients.
It was found that after 90 days of trial, there was about a 167% increase in sperm count and a 53% increase in semen volume besides this, they also found a 57% increase in sperm motility and overall improvement in regulation of serum hormone levels.
4. It improves the immunity system
We generally use a painkiller and anti-inflammatory in a condition such as swollen or painful arthritic conditions. Consuming Ashwagandha can boost our weak immune system and it can help us to protect from becoming addict to medications due to the way of living.
Besides this, it also improves white blood cell counts so it can be beneficial as both immunosuppressive and immune tonic abilities so it can be a ‘true’ adaptogen.
It is helpful in Auto-immune conditions, osteoarthritis, neutropenia, rheumatoid, cancer, and chronic connective tissue disorders.
5. It reduces insomnia anxiety
Ashwagandha is advantageous for people with insomnia but does not act as a tranquilizer. Due to its rejuvenated and nervine properties, it produces energy which in turn helps the body to resolve sleeping problems.
So it can be the best remedy that can help the body to denominate a stress-related disorder rather than cloaking it with sedatives. It is a powerful herb that rejuvenates the nervous system erases insomnia and eases stress.
6. It improves the nervous system
Consuming Ashwagandha can be very useful in all conditions that are caused by ‘stress’ as it has a specific bond for the majja dhatu and it helps in controlling the movement of vyana Vayu in the heart.
Its tropism activity improves the nervous system and enhances multiple sclerosis. So it relaxes annoyed nerves and toxifies the central nervous system to reinforce tolerance to stress.
7. It Is Good For Weight Loss
Ashwagandha herb is generally used in Ayurvedic medicine for weight loss. Due to its adaptogenic effects, it can be very helpful to promote weight loss. It is mostly used in combination with other weight loss-enhancing supplements.
Ashwagandha has adaptogen properties that can help to minimize stress-related instability that causes to be eaten more. It is an herb that can also help to boost metabolism and eliminate irregularities indigestion.
This ancient Ayurvedic herbaceous plant is believed to be beneficial for a person who either overeats or under eats due to environmental factors that caused stress.
Ashwagandha Side Effect
According to WebMd.Com
In Breastfeeding Pregnancy: It is not advisable to use Ashwagandha if you are pregnant as it might be unsafe during pregnancy. Some evidence has been found that Ashwagandha might cause miscarriages. Not much evidence is known about the use of Ashwagandha during breastfeeding. However, it is necessary to be on the safe side and avoids using.
For Diabetes patients: Consuming Ashwagandha might lower blood sugar levels. This might cause a problem if used along with medications used for diabetes; results may cause blood sugar levels to be too low. It is necessary to monitor diabetes regularly.
Before Surgery: Consuming Ashwagandha may slow down the central nervous system, so the doctors might worry to provide anesthesia and other medications during and after surgery this might increase problems. So take care and stop using Ashwagandha at least for 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Ashwagandha yields all the aforementioned advantages to health without any significant known side effects.
It is indeed a wonderful herb that has been proven effective throughout its long history of use in India spanning many millennia.