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Ashwagandha Therapeutic Uses and Precautions

Ashwagandha, a relative of the tomato, has been used for natural cures and home remedies for more than 4000 years in India. It is also commonly referred to as Indian ginseng, winter cherry, asana, pevette and Ashgandh. In Sanskrit, Ashwagandha literally means ‘horse smell’ as it carries a pungent odor similar to that of a sweaty horse. It has been use for herbal treatment of the immune system, as a memory stimulant, an anti-inflammatory agent and heralded as a healthy food ingredient.

ashwagandha Ashwagandha Therapeutic Uses and Precautions

Scientific Name

Withania Somnifera


Commonly grown in Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan, Ashwagandha grows as a shrub that produces yellow flowers and berries.

Ashwagandha Typical Preparations

The root, leaves and berries of the Ashwagandha bush are used in herbal treatments. The root is often turned into a powdered format before used. However, the leaves, the berries and the root can also be dried for later use, while some prefer to chew the Ashwagandha berries.

Often taken with milk or ghee, ashwagandha can be taken in tea form, as a pill or capsule, a tincture or taken as a whole, raw herb.

Common Uses

Ashwagandha is used for a variety of anti-aging treatments, including:

  • Strengthening bone marrow and semen
  • Treating memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Preventing hair from graying
  • Relieve stress and anxiety
  • Relieve fatigue

It is further useful for:

It is believed that ashwagandha is also effective in treating AIDS, HIV, multiple sclerosis, anemia and general immune system deficiencies.

Considered to be an effective herb in restoring male potency, Ashwagandha is heavily used in Arab, Indian, Pakistani and Persian herbal practices. It is believed that Ashwagandha reconnects brain circuits responsible for impotency and that results can be seen in as little as 48 hours after using the herb.

Certain African tribes also regularly use Ashwagandha to treat inflammations.

Ashwagandha may prevent the proliferation of cancer cells and aid in the treatment of insomnia, ulcers, asthma, alcoholism, paralysis and blood pressure irregularities.

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Should not be consumed by pregnant or nursing women. People with symptoms of congestion should also avoid ashwagandha.

As with most herbal remedies, it is important to use them for treatment of a serious ailment only under the supervision of a knowledgeable, trained herbalist. If taking pharmaceutical medications along with herbal treatment, your medical doctor should be notified. As most herbs are perfectly safe and effective to use, some may not interact well with certain prescription or over the counter medications.