Ashwagandha: A Medicinal Plant with Many Properties!

Withania Somnifera, also known as ashwagandha, Indian ginseng or oroval, is a species of plant in the Solanaceae family. In many parts of the world they call it by its ancient Sanskrit name Ashwagandha, which literally means “horse smell”, for its particular smell.

Description of the Withania Somnifera:

It is an erect shrub that typically reaches heights greater than 15 cm. Like the tomato, which is from the same family, its flower is yellow and the fruit is red, but with the size and shape of Berry.

  • Habitat of the Ashwagandha:

It grows mainly in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, although it can also be found in southern Europe, northeastern Africa and Macaronesia. In the Iberian Peninsula it is sporadically in the southern and Mediterranean area.


  • Properties of the Withania Somnifera:

The name of the species (Withania somnifera) refers to the sedative properties of the root of the plant. However, its main use in Āyurveda is similar to ginseng in traditional Chinese medicine: it works as an adaptogen.

“For this reason, in the West it is given the nickname of Indian ginseng. Recently they are attributing properties against Alzheimer’s”.


  • Taxonomy of the Withania Somnifera:

Withania somnifera was described by (Linnaeus) Dunal and published in Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis 13 (1): 453, in the year 1852.


  • Common Names of the Withania Somnifera:

Ashwagandha, male henbane, dream herb, greater nightshade, orobal, orobale, oroval, orovale, orval, orvala, orvale, soleno carrier of sleep, veleño, lethargic tomato lethargy, making blackberry dream.

Medicinal Uses of Ashwagandha:

Ashwagandha, the most important herb in Ayurveda is a gift of nature for humanity. We learned from his miraculous powers. It was very popular in ancient times for its beneficial properties. Now, it has become the latest fashion to reach the city.

  • Medicinal Uses in Ayurvedic Medicine

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has become one of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs used in the West. With all the benefits offered by this herb, it is not surprising! Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years as rasayana (rejuvenating) and as an adaptogenic herb, that is, its use helps the body resist physiological and psychological stress. The name Ashwagandha is translated as “breath of a horse” and refers to its unique aroma and the virility of a horse, which is an inference to the traditional use of ashwagandha as a support for the male reproductive system.

  • The Benefits of Ashwagandha:

Ashwagandha is used to tone, support and revitalize body functions. He has been revered over time due to his conflicting abilities of energy and calm at the same time. Stress can cause fatigue, sometimes manifested with “hyper” signs such as agitation and difficulty sleeping. It can support a healthy nervous system by providing a nourishing and energizing effect. When stress does not affect the nervous system so strongly, these “hyper” signals naturally disappear over time, allowing a calming effect. It makes this ashwagandha quality a primary supplement in the process of toning and rejuvenation. In addition to its dual energizing / calming effect, ashwagandha offers other benefits:

  • It is compatible with the health of the immune system
  • It is reassuring for mental processes
  • Promote healthy sleep patterns
  • Benefits the health of the reproductive system in men and women
  • Maintains energy levels, strength and vitality, even with physical activity
  • It is compatible with the health of your back and joints


  • Ashwagandha and Ayurveda, Traditional Uses:

Ashwagandha is used in Ayurveda to balance vata and kapha; but, in excess, it can disturb pitta by its hot, sticky and constructive nature, as well as worsen the mistress (accumulation of toxins).

Ashwagandha Side Effects:

The ashwagandha plant has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for India for thousands of years. The components found in ashwagandha roots, leaves and berries contain a variety of chemicals and nutrients, which will include several amino acids. It is considered one of the most beneficial and important herbs in the practice of Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine that uses natural components found in nature. This traditional medicine uses an approach that involves the mind, body and soul in their practices. Although ashwagandha is considered safe for regular use, there are some side effects that you should know before buying this supplement. While you may have heard that this herb is safe to consume and produces few or no side effects, it is best to consult a doctor before trying it; in particular, if you suffer from any condition or if you take medication. Ashwagandha can, in fact, have serious side effects and interact dangerously with its medications. According to Mark Stengler’s “Natural Medical Healing Therapies,” the side effects of ashwagandha are rare. They usually include gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea and vomiting. Digestive discomfort is more likely when high doses are consumed. Ashwagandha is not toxic, but herbs as food, although they provide relative safety, are not always suitable for all people.

  • Contraindications of Ashwagandha:

If you suffer from peptic ulcer, carefully analyze the use of this herb with your doctor before ingesting it. This herb can make your condition worse as it tends to irritate the gastrointestinal tract. You should also consult a doctor if you have thyroid disease since ashwagandha is able to stimulate the secretion or synthesis of thyroid hormone. Avoid this herb completely during pregnancy.


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