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Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Image of Ashwagandha
Scientific Name : Withania somnifera
Family  : Solanaceae
Common Name : Ashwagandha, Dhuppa(beng), Indian ginseng, Winter cherry(Eng), Ajagandha, Kanaje Hindi and Samm Al Ferakh
Part Used : Root
Habit and Distribution : An erect perennial shrubby plant with ovate leaves, clusters of small yellow flowers and ovoid red fruits at the nodes and in the axils of leaves, tuberous roots. Ashwagandha grows prolifically in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It is commercially cultivated in Madhya Pradesh (a province in India).

Chemical constituents : The main constituent of alkaloids is withanine. The other alkaloids are somniferine, somnine, somniferinine, withananine, pseudo-withanine, tropine, pseudo-tropine, 3-a-gloyloxytropane, choline, cuscohygrine, isopelletierine, anaferine and anahydrine. The leaves contain steroidal lactones, which are commonly called withanolides.

Uses : Ashwagandha has been traditionally used for general debility, sexual debility and nerve exhaustion. Ashwagandha acts a good nutrient and hormonal function for thyroid, promote healing of tissues, improves physical endurance and support sound sleep. It is considered the primary adaptogenic Ayurvedic herb for its ability to build reserves for handling stressful conditions. Ashawagandha as an adaptogen. It was use in folk medicine against arthritis, asthma, cancer, candidiasis, colds, cough, cystitis, debility, diarrhea, fever, gynecopathy, hiccups, hypertension, inflammations, lumbago, nausea, piles, proctitis, psoriasis, rheumatism, ringworm, scabies, senility small pos, sores, syphilis, tuberculosis, tumors, typhoid and wounds.