Ashwagandha

Botanical name

Withania somnifera

Common Names

Indian ginseng, winter cherry

FAMILY

Solanaceae

Description

Ashwagandha is a herbaceous plant in the family Solanaceae that grows in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Spain, parts of the Middle East, Africa, and the Canary Islands. Primarily, the root is used as a food supplement and also medicinally. The seeds, shoots, juice and leaves have all been used traditionally as well.

Part supplied

The chopped root.

Food Use

The fruit is not pleasant tasting but is sometimes cooked in milk and eaten in India. Seeds are used in the Sudan to coagulate milk for cheese making. 

Recipes

Use 1 teaspoon of dried herb to one cup of boiling water to make a tasty tea. Infuse for 5-10 minutes. Sweeten with honey or lemon to taste.

Alternatively add half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of tincture to a cup of warm water for a quick alternative to tea.

The herb can be added as a flavouring to gin, vodka and other infusions.

Medicinal Use

This herb is often used as a food supplement to support energy levels. The root of the plant is nourishing and full of minerals and has been used as a nutritional boost for children with malnutrition. As a rich source of iron the powdered root is taken in milk mixed with molasses for iron deficient anaemia.

Key actions: Adaptogen, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumour, antispasmodic, immune amphoteric.

In clinic: A major herb in Ayurvedic medicine.  Used as a calming adaptogen, to enhance endocrine function, to re-regulate thyroid, testes and adrenal function.  Applications in treatment of anxiety, fatigue, chronic fatigue, immune deficiency, in cases of auto-immune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis and polymyositis.  Used in India as part of protocols for treatment of cancer (suppresses tumours and prevents depletion of white blood cells).  May help to reduce cholesterol.

If you are interested in the medicinal use of this herb please consult a herbalist. Herbs are generally used at medicinal strength, in blends, prescribed for each unique patient's condition.

Directions

Decoction: Half a teaspoon to 1 of herb (1 to 2 g) to a cup of cold water, bring to the boil and leave to sit for 15 minutes. Or steep 1 teaspoon bark in cold water overnight. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.

Tincture: Take 3 ml (1:3 in 45% tincture), 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.

Fluid extract: 1:2 Take 1.6 to 4.3 ml, 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.

Dried Herb: Maximum of 6 g per day may be taken as a powder or capsules.

Other Uses

Cosmetic Use

None known.

Other Uses

None known. 

Cautions

Contraindications

This herb is considered safe in food amounts. Do not take if you are allergic to this plant or other members of this plant's family (Solanaceae, the nightshade family). Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children. If in doubt, please ask us or your medical herbalist. Do not use the powder internally in cases of haemochromatosis (excess iron).  Avoid if hyperthyroid.  Avoid during pregnancy.

Side effects

High doses of Ashwaganda can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and upset within the gastrointestinal tract. Plant extracts cause few side effects when taken correctly but if a side effect is experienced please contact us.

Interactions with drugs

May enhance the effect of barbituates. 

Herbal remedies and supplements can interact with medicines. If you are taking medication please check with your medical practitioner, or call us, before taking herbs, supplements and medication together.

More Information

Articles

There are currently no articles related to this herb.

Recipes

Look in our recipes section for more uses of this herb.

Research

Read the latest PubMed research on this herb.

Add to BagWithania somnifera - Ashwaganda root 100g £13.75
Add to BagWithania somnifera - Ashwaganda root 500g £45.25
Add to BagWithania somnifera - Ashwaganda root 1kg £90.25

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