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Ashwagandha - Winter Cherry (Withania Somnifera)

Ashwagandha - ashwagandha uses and health benefits

Description of Plant

Ashwagandha is short woody shrub which can grow up to 35-75 cm in height. From the central stem branches are extended radially. Leaves are 10- 12 cm long and dull green in color. Flowers are small and round in shape. Flowers are greenish- yellow, found in flowered clustered in axils and 4-6mm in diameter. Fruits are red berries enclosed in a green enlarged calyx. Roots are stout, long tuberous, fleshy, whitish brown and aromatic.

General Information

Ashwagandha is one of most potent herb in Ayurvedic healing system. It is composed of two Sanskrit words (Ashwa – horse and Gandha – smell because its roots smell like horse urine). This describes that herb provides the strength of a stallion and traditionally prescribed to strengthen immune system of people after illness.

Many biochemically heterogenous alkaloids are present in roots of Ashwagandha. Whereas the leaves contain withanolids other alkaloids are somniferine, somnine, somniferinine. All these phytochemical compounds have various therapeutic properties.


Ashwagandha commonly occurs in all parts of India right from the northern tropics to southern India. It is also cultivated on a large scale for use as a natural health supplement. It is also found in Nepal, China and Yemen.


  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
  • Super division: Spermatophyta
  • Division: Magnoliophyta
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Subclass: Rosidae
  • Order: Solanales
  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Genus: Withania
  • Species: Somnifera


  • Latin Name - Withania somnifera
  • Sanskrit name – Ashwagandha, Balada, Kamrupini, Gandhpatri, Vajini
  • Hindi name - Asgandha, Asgandh
  • Telugu name - Penneru Gadda/ Dommadolu Gadda
  • Tamil name - Amukura, Askulang
  • Malayalam name – Amukkura
  • Marathi name – Asandh, Doragunj
  • Gujarathi name – Aasandha, Ghoda Aakun
  • Bengali Name - Asvagandha
  • Kannada Name - Ashvagandhi

Ashwagandha Ayurvedic Properties

Hindi / Sanskrit English
Rasa Katu, Tikta, Kashaya Taste Pungent, Bitter, Astringent
Guna Laghu, Snighdha Physical Property Light, Unctuous
Virya Ushna Potency Hot
Vipaka Katu Metabolic Property
(After Digestion)

Effects on Doshas

It balances tridosha, specially kapha and vata.

Classical Categorization

Charak Samhita Sushrut Samhita
  • Balya - Herbs which improve strength and immunity
  • Bhrimaneeya - Herbs which are good to improve body mass and nourishment.

Balya Gana

Ancient Verse about Withania Somnifera

Ancient verse of Withania somnifera

Bhavprakash nighantu, edition of 2010: verse 189-190, page no- 393-394.

Ashwagandha, Hyahriya, Vrahkarni, Varda, Balda, Kusthgandhini and Baji. Its two synonyms are Bajigandha abd Hyagandha. It is bitter and astringent in taste, hot in potency, energy provider and enhances the spermatogenesis. It is anti-aging, manages kapha, vata, leucoderma and inflammation. It manages the many problems associated with emaciation.


The Bhavprakash nighantu with elaborated Hindi commentary by Padmashri prof. K.C. Chunekar, edited by Dr. G.S. Pandey: verse 189-190, edition of 1998: page no- 393-394.

Health benefits of Ashwagandha

  • Ashwagandha is packed with the anti - oxidant properties which help to boosts the immune system. It combats against the various allergies. Hence develop strength and stamina in body.
  • It is known to be one of the best herb for sexual disorders like premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction, sexual weakness and infertility. Being aphrodisiac it helps to improve the libido and enhances sexual desire. In males it enhances sperm production and also improves the quality of sperms. In females it helps to manage the hormonal disturbances.
  • It is considered as the nervine tonic. It helps to pacify the nervous system. Use of this herb is quite good in the problems like anxiety, stress, depression etc. It is also useful to manage the insomnia and sleeping disorders in people.
  • It is wonderful herb which promotes healthy joints. Anti- inflammatory properties of herb helps to provide relief in the pain and swelling in joints. Use of this herb is quite good in the treatment of arthritis and osteoarthritis.
  • It supports the good heart heath due its cardiovascular properties. It helps in strengthening of heart muscles and maintains proper blood flow in body. Moreover it also helps to maintain the healthy blood pressures and good cholesterol levels in body.
  • Ashwagandha also helps to strengthen the respiratory system.
  • Anti-diabetic properties of Ashwagandha helps to reduce blood sugar levels in body.
  • Use of this herb is good to improve the thyroid health. Being an Adaptogenic herb in nature it helps to manage the both hypo and hyper thyroid complications. Moreover it is helpful to maintain the proper functioning of thyroid hormones.
  • This herb is also loaded with the anti-cancerous properties. These properties help to slow down the growth of cancer cells and enhances the growth of healthy cells.

Parts Used

  • Roots
  • Leaves


3-6 gram Ashwagandha powder.

To buy Ashwagandha Powder, please visit

Ayurvedic Products from Withania Somnifera

1. Ashwagandha Capsules

These capsules are prepared from the pure extracts of herb. This herbal product acts as the nervine tonic, enhances the physical and mental stamina.

2. Aller-G Care

Ashwagandha herb is also an important ingredient of Aller- G care capsules. These capsules are quite effective manage the all types of allergies and also useful in the asthma, sneezing, rhinitis, sinusitis, pollen allergy and dust allergy.

3. Dia-Beta Plus

This herbal product is quite beneficial for the treatment of diabetes. Ashwagandha herb is also used in the formulation of these capsules.

4. Hair Growth Formula

This herbal product also contains the Ashwagandha herb which is good for problems like hair loss, premature greying of hair and thinning of hair.

5. Joint Aid Plus

This herbal product is quite good to combat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, tonsillitis, psoriatic arthritis, neck pain, back pain, knee and shoulder pain. So the anti-inflammatory properties of Ashwagandha are used in formulation of this herbal product.

6. Male Support Formula

Aphrodisiac properties of Ashwagandha are used in the formulation of male support formula. This herbal product is good to all male health problems like erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, sexual weakness, infertility etc.

To buy these Ayurvedic Products, please visit

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Author Bio:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan


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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan


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