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Scientific Name

Withania somnifera/physalis somnifera





Also called asana, ayurvedic ginseng, , indian ginseng, and indian winter cherry

Ashwagandha is a small evergreen shrub that grows to be 4-5 feet tall. It is native is usual dry areas of india, the middle east, and africa.

Applicable parts used

Roots and berry


Translation of ‘horse’ or ‘stallion’ to symbolize its contribution to a healthy male libido.


Organs & systems affected

Respiratory system

Immune system




Flower essence

An ayurvedic healer of the mind, nervous system and hormonal function

Mechanism of action

Analgesic, adaptogenic, anticancer, anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, nervine, anxiolytic, hypotensive, immunologic, thyroid, sedative, stimulant (respiratory and thyroid)


Mildly and pleasantly sweet; warming

Plant constituents

Sterols, amino acids, alkaloids, steroidal lactones (withanolides, withaferins), and saponins, withanolides (similar to ginsenosides from ginseng) and withaferin

Traditional uses

Orally used for arthritis, mental imbalances and disorders (adhd, ocd), stress, insomnia, tumors, and chronic liver dysfunction, decreased cognitive function, decreasing inflammation, preventing the effects of aging, sexual dysfunction, cough, fatigue, high blood glucose and high blood lipids.

Topically, ashwagandha is used for treating ulcerations, backache, and hemiplegia.


Precaution & adverse reactions

Usually well-tolerated at typical doses. Large inappropriate doses may cause gastrointestinal (GI) upset, diarrhea, and vomiting.


This herb may interact with antidiabetic drugs, antihypertensive drugs, benzodiazepines, cns depressants, thyroid hormones, and immunosuppressants

Pregnancy and lactation

When used orally, high doses of ashwagandha may have abortifacient effects. Further research is needed. Avoid during pregnancy.


Herbal infusion: 1 or 2 teaspoons per cup. Steep 10 minutes . Consume as tolerated.

Tincture: 1 or 2 dropperfuls (or 20 drops), 3 to 6 times per day or as tolerated.

Condition specific:

· Anxiety: ashwagandha root 300 mg twice daily for 12 weeks in combination with dietary counseling, deep breathing exercise instruction, and a multivitamin or ashwagandha root powder granules 4 grams three times daily for 60 days

· Diabetes & hypercholesterolemia: ashwagandha 3 grams daily for 30 days

· Osteoarthritis: ashwagandha 450 mg, ayurvedic zinc complex 50 mg, the guggul resin from Indian frankincense 100 mg, and turmeric 50 mg (articulin-f) two capsules three times daily for 3 months has been used

Compatible pairings

Cooling herbs such as licorice

Disclaimer: the information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded throughout history. With the information provided on this website, we wish to begin the journey to educate the community based on research, african holistic health, and herbal science. This information, in no shape or form, is intended to diagnose, treat, cure, prevent disease, or make claims against products or companies. This information provided on this site is to make public information and information acquired from research studies easily available to you. Rooted vigor, llc is giving you the opportunity to draw your own conclusions and make your own decisions from the information provided. The information on this website may or may not have been evaluated by the fda. Seek advice from a medical practitioner as necessary.


Pursell, jj. The herbal apothecary: 100 medicinal herbs and how to use them. Timber press. Kindle edition.


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