Ashwagandha Root (Withania somnifera) is also known as Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry, Ajagandha, Kanaje Hindi, Amukkara in Tamil and Samm Al Ferakh , is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family.
It is cultivated in many of the drier regions of India such as Madhya Pradesh, Sindh, The Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujerat but is also foundin Nepal, The Yemen and in China
Traditional Uses of Ashwagandha Root:-
In Ayurveda, the roots of Ashwagandha are used to prepare remedies claimed to possess aphrodisiac, sedative, rejuvenative and life prolonging properties. It is traditionally used, like Ginseng, to treat the following symptoms and conditions, although there are few scientific studies of the health benefits of Ashwagandha – Everything seems to be based on tradition and folklore but hundreds of years of continuous usage must have some credence.
It is used for chronic fatigue, dehydration, bone weakness, muscle weakness and tension, to tighten the gums around loose teeth, impotency, premature ageing, emaciation, debility, constipation, senility, rheumatism, nervous exhaustion, memory loss, neurodegenerative disorders.
There are registered clinical trials underway testing for efficacy in the following:-
Tuberculosis, Parkinsons Disease, Bone Cancer, Bipolar disorder, Diabetes, improve the well-being of the elderly and breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy – nothing conclusive has been established yet, however.
Its name, somnifera means “sleep-inducing” in Latin which is one of the purposes the herb has been and is still, today, put to.