Monday, June 20, 2011

Ashwagandha – Indian Ginseng - Monograph

Common Name – Ashwagandha also known as Indian Ginseng

Botanical Name - Withania Somnifera

Parts Used – Root

Active Constituents – Alkaloids, steroidal Lactones and acyl steryl glucosides

The main alkaloid is called withanine and the main steroidal lactones are known as withanoloids.

Withanoloids are very similar in appearance and action to Ginsenosides which are the active chemical in ginseng. This is what makes the use of Ashwagandha so similar to that of ginseng that it has been referred to as Indian ginseng.

So what is Ashwagandha good for?

Ashwagandha is known to be a tonic herb as well as a adagtogen which can help the body deal with stress as well as help to promote wellness.

Ashwagandha has been noted as helpful for a long list of ailments.

Chronis fatigue, bone weakness, muscle weakness and tension, loose teeth, thirst, impotency, emaciation, constipation, senility, rheumatism, nervous exhaustion, memory loss, neurodegenerative disorders and spermatorrhoea.

"Studies indicate ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antistress, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, hemopoetic, and rejuvenating properties. It also appears to exert a positive influence on the endocrine, cardiopulmonary, and central nervous systems. The mechanisms of action for these properties are not fully understood. Toxicity studies reveal that Ashwagandha appears to be a safe compound"

"Withania somnifera Dunal (Ashwagandha): potential plant source of a promising drug for cancer chemotherapy and radiosensitization."

"Studies on immunomodulatory activity of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) extracts in experimental immune inflammation"


Ashwagandha can be taken in capsule of tincture for as directed on the package.

Tea form – one cup three times a day

How do you make Ashwagandha tea? Boil one tablespoon of dry root in three cups of water for fifteen minutes and let cool. Strain out the used herb and drink one cup three times a day.


Safety of the herb during pregnancy and lactation are unknown. It has been safely used by children in India.

No drug interactions are known for sure but if you take prescription medication you should ask your doctor or herbalist.


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