Common Names

Ashwagandha root, Ashwaganda, Ajagandha, Indian ginseng, Winter cherry

Botanical Name

Withania somnifera

Family

Solanaceae

Medicinal Uses

Aphrodisiac, Ayurvedic, Hypertension, Libido, Liver, Longevity Tonics, Lupus, Rheumatoid_arthritis, Stress. Withania somnifera

Properties

Abortifacient, Adaptogens, Anodyne, Anti-inflammatory, AntiViral, Aphrodisiac, Diuretic, Febrifuge, Hepatic, Hypotensive, Sedative, Stress, Tonic.

Parts Used

Root, leaves

Constituents

Withanolides, glycosides, alkaloids.

Habitat

Ashwagandha grows in India, Africa and widely cultivated around the world.

Side Effects

Ashwagandha is high iron content and should never be taken by women during pregnancy. This herb may also have a mild depressant effect and should not be taken with sedatives or alcohol.

How to Prepare

Decoction and Tea: Boil one teaspoon of dried root in 1 cup of water, then bring to a simmer for 20 to 45 minutes. Drink two to three cups a day. Powder the root (with a coffee grinder if possible or a vitamix) and blend with more flavorful herbs, such as cinnamon and ginger to make a tasty tea and combine with milk or almond milk for a more traditional Indian drink.

Tincture: Tincture the dried roots and take 1/4 teaspoon, three times a day.

Ghee and Honey: The powdered root can be mixed with ghee or honey.

To Dry: Cut your fresh root into pieces and dry, preferably with a dehydrator. The pieces become very hard when dried well. The paste formed when roots are crushed with water is applied to reduce joint inflammation.