Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): a favourite

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is one of my favourite herbs for pretty much everything.

Ashwagandha is one of the most important herb of Ayurveda (the traditional system of medicine in India) used for millennia as a Rasayana for its wide ranging health benefits. The root of Ashwagandha is regarded as tonic, aphrodisiac, narcotic, diuretic, anthelmintic, astringent, thermogenic, and stimulant.

Ashwagandha enhances the function of the brain and nervous system and improves the memory. It improves the function of the reproductive system promoting a healthy sexual and reproductive balance. Being a powerful adaptogen, it enhances the body’s resilience to stress. Ashwagandha improves the body’s defense against disease by improving the cell-mediated immunity. It also possesses potent antioxidant properties that help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals.

Aswagandha is compared well with Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng) and Panax Ginseng (Chinese / Korean Ginseng) in its adaptogenic properties, and hence it is popularly known as Indian Ginseng. Ashwagandha has adaptogenic, calming anxiolytic , anti-stress, tonic, memory-enhancing, analgesic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Singh N et al. An overview on ashwagandha: a Rasayana (rejuvenator) of Ayurveda. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2011; 8(5 Suppl): 208-13.