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Aswagandha (Withania somnifera)

Aswagandha- Withania somnifera

Aswagandha, commonly known as ‘Winter cherry’ is a branched erect under shrub which is found in drier regions of India. The name ‘Aswagandha’ indicates that it’s root has the smell of horse and also improves sexual potency of the person who consumes it. The word ‘Withania’ indicates a scientist’s name Withan and ‘somnifera’ means it produce sleep.  Aswagandha is a most commonly used herb as rejuvenative. It is used in the treatment of various other diseases.

 

Dr.Gupta’sIAFA conducted various studies in Cloves to find out the therapeutic actions of the herb. Our experts have successfully proven the activities like Sedative, Hypnotic, Antiseptic, Antimitotic, Antitumor, Antioxidant, Rejuvenative and Antiallergic property of Aswagandha. It has been also  found out that withanone extracted from leaves of Aswagandha have protective function on brain cells. Alcoholic leaf extracts of this plant prevents neurodegenerative disorders. Methanolic extract of Aswagandha is proven to be effective in treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder.

Action of Aswagandha- Withania somnifera in Allergies

IAFA experts are putting continuous efforts to prove the antiallergic property of Aswagandha. The plant contains somniferine, somniferinine, withanine, nicotine, withaniol, withasomnine, tropine, withanolide, analygrine, anaferine, starch etc. Thus it is used as an anti allergic agent. It also pacifies aggravated Kapha and Vata doshas. So its root powder is used against allergic reactions due to Kapha and Vata dosha. 

Vernacular Names and Botanical Classification

Botanical NameWithania somnifera
FamilySolanaceae 
Native Names
Sanskrit NameAswagandha 
Hindi NameAswagandh
English Name Winter cherry
Malayalam Name Amukkuram
Kannada Name Hiremaddina gida
Marathi Name Askandha

Ayurveda reference of Aswagandha- Withania somnifera

Morphology of Aswagandha- Withania somnifera

  • A branched erect under shrub.
  • Leaves 5-10, ovatc, subacute, entire.
  • Flowers greenish or lurid yellow.
  • Fruit -berry,  red, smooth.

Geographical distribution of Aswagandha- Withania somnifera

Plant is found in drier regions of India, and it is wild grown almost throughout the country. 

Phytoconstituents of Aswagandha- Withania somnifera

The plant contains somniferine, somniferinine, withanine, nicotine, withaniol, withasomnine, tropine, withanolide, analygrine, anaferine, starch etc.

Parts used of Aswagandha- Withania somnifera

  • Root 

Dosage of Aswagandha- Withania somnifera

  • Powder(churna)- 3-5 g

Medicinal Properties of Aswagandha- Withania somnifera

  • Kasa hara – relieves cough
  • Sophahara – relieves swelling 
  • Swasahara – relieves asthma 
  • Rasayana – rejuvenative 
  • Krimighna – useful in worm infestations 
  • Kandughan- relieves itching 
  • Vishaghna – useful in poisoning 
  • Vranahara – useful in wounds 

Home remedies of Aswagandha- Withania somnifera

From ancient times itself Ayurveda is widely used in India. Aswagandha a commonly seen and  easily available herb. Due to its high medicinal value it is used in treating many diseases like,

  • As Rejuvenative (Rasayana) – Aswagandha is taken with milk or ghee or oil or warm water.
  • In Emaciation (Sosha) – Aswagandha is prepared with ghee and taken in morning everyday. 
  • In Dyspnoea (Swasa) – Alkali is prepared from Aswagandha and is taken with honey and ghee. 
  • In Insomnia (Nidranasa) – Aswagandha powder is mixed with sugar and ghee and taken.
  • For Conception (Garbhadharanartha) – Aswagandha is made into a decoction and then prepared with ghee. It is taken by women will help in conception. 
  • In Cough (Kasa) – Aswagandha is made into an alkali and taken with honey and ghee. 
  • In Impotency (Klaibya) – Ghee prepared with Aswagandha decoction is taken.
  • To increase weight (Balya) – Aswagandha powder is taken with either milk or ghee.

Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Allergist

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