Ashwagandha Health Benefits and Uses – What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an erect branching shrub that attains a height of between 30 and 150 cm, covered in a woolly pubescence.
The ovate leaves are up to 10 cm long and 2.5–5 cm wide, margins entire, arranged in an alternate fashion.
The flowers are green or yellow, borne in axillary fascicles, giving rise to red globose fruits when mature. The roots are fleshy and cylindrical, the epidermis light brown and medulla white.
Ashwagandha is found throughout the drier parts of India, into West Asia and northern Africa.
The Botanical Name of Ashwagandha is Withania somnifera
- Withania somnifera
- Winter Cherry
Health benefits, Indications and uses
- repeated miscarriage
- memory loss
- multiple sclerosis
- immune dysfunction
- Caution should be used with patients on certain medicines such as anticonvulsants, barbiturates and benzodiazepines due to its GABA-nergic and sedative properties.
- Ashwagandha is traditionally avoided in lymphatic congestion, during colds and flu, or symptoms of Ama
- Churna form 3 -15 gm twice or thrice a day
- Kwatha form1:4, 60–120 ml twice or thrice a day
Medical Research facts about Ashwagandha
- In vitro: antifungal (Choudhary et al 1995), antibacterial (Arora et al 2004), anti-angiogenic (Mohan et al 2004), cholinergic (Schliebs et al1997), GABA-nergic (Mehta et al 1991)
- In vivo: adaptogenic (Bhattacharya & Muruganandam 2003), anti-oxidant (Archana & Namasivayam1999), anti-inflammatory (al Hindawi et al 1989), neuroprotective (Parihar & Hemnani 2003), neuroregenerative (Kuboyama et al 2005), immunostimulant (Davis & Kuttan 1999, Dhuley 1998b, Ziauddin et al 1996), anti-oxidant (Bhattacharya et al 1997, Dhuley 1998a), hypoglycaemic (Hemalatha et al 2004), anti-ischaemic (Chaudhary et al 2003), cardioprotective (Gupta et al 2004, Mohanty et al 2004), anti-angiogenic (Mohan et al 2004), chemoprotective (Davis & Kuttan 1998, Diwanay et al 2004, Jena et al 2003, Kuttan 1996), myeloprotective (Davis & Kuttan 1999), radioprotective (Mathur et al 2004), antitumour (Christina et al 2004, Devi 1996, Devi et al 1995, Kaur et al 2004, Leyon & Kuttan 2004, Menon et al 1997, Sharad et al 1996), antiwithdrawal (Kulkarni & Ninan 1997)
- Human trials: Ashwagandha demonstrated hypoglycaemic and hypolipidaemic effects in non-insulindependent diabetic and hypercholesterolaemic patients (Andallu & Radhika 2000); a herbal formulation containing Withania somnifera root, Boswellia serrata stem, Curcuma longa rhizome and zinc (Articulin-F) was found to promote a significant drop in severity of pain and disability in osteoarthritic patients, with minimal side-effects (Kulkarni et al 1991); a proprietary formulation (Immu–25) containing Ashwagandha was found to promote a significant decrease in viral loads and an increase in CD4 counts