Common Name: Winter cherry (Eng.)
Sanskrit Name: - Ashwagandha
Lt. Name: - Withania somnifera
Habitat and Botany : Ashwagandha is a small shrub that grows to 1.5 meters tall. It is related to the tomato and has small yellow flowers that turn to red fruits about the size of a raisin. This plant is native to India, parts of Africa and the Mediterranean.
Ashwagandha benefits / Medicinal Ashwagandha uses :
This herb is considered an adaptogen which is a nontoxic herb that works on a nonspecific basis to normalize physiological function, working on the HPA axis and the neuroendocrine system.
Ashwagandha is effective for insomnia but does not act as a sedative.its rejuvenative and nervine properties produce energy which in turn help the body to settle and sleep. Thus it helps the body to address a stress related condition rather than masking it with sedatives. A herb that rejuvenates the nervous system, erases insomnia and eases stress.
Ashwagandha has also been shown to lower blood pressure and is highly effective in stopping the formation of stress induced ulcers.
In arthritis, which involves joints that are painful, dry, swollen and inflamed, Ashwagandha would be the herb of choice.
One of the special properties of Ashwagandha is that it will enhance ojas. Ojas is the most subtle, refined level of the physical body and is the end result of healthy food which is properly digested. It is responsible for a healthy immune system, physical strength, lustrous complexion, clarity of mind and sense of Well being. It allows consciousness to flow within the body. With decreased ojas, we are less in touch with ourselves and more prone to diseases and having a feeling of disharmony. 'Ojakshaya' (decreased ojas) is a condition similar to AIDS/HIV
Research on Ashwagandha has concluded that extracts of the plant has a direct spermatogenic influence on the seminiferous tubules of immature rats presumably by exerting a testosterone-like effect.
Ashwagandha increases hemoglobin (red blood count) and hair melanin.It stabilizes blood sugar and lowers cholesterol.