Other: winter cherry, ashvagandha
Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal
Plant Family: Solanaceae
Ashwagandha is a highly revered botanical used in Ayurveda and is praised for its adaptogenic and tonic properties. In many Asian countries all parts of the plant are utilized, and the tender leaves are eaten as a gentle nourishing herb.
Native to Africa, Southeast Asia and the Mediteranean, Withania somnifera is an undershrub with hairy branches, ovate leaves, yellow to greenish flowers, and bright red berries. It is in the Solanaceae or nightshade family, and related to vegetables such as potato, tomato, and eggplant.
Cultivation And Harvesting
Ashwagandha is native to India where it grows in the wild. It is also cultivated throughout the country for larger production needs.
History And Folklore
In Ayurveda, the root is used, often powdered and mixed with honey and ghee (clarified butter). It has been part of their repertoire for millenia. 'Ashwagandha' literally means 'smelling like a horse' which most likely refers to its actual scent.
In Ayurveda it is a helpful sleep aid and used to balance various conditions that arise from 'vata dosha' imbalances. It is believed to encourage youth and vitality. It is considered a grounding and nourishing herb and supportive to female well-being.
Flavor Notes And Energetics
Bitter, sweet, astringent in flavor and energetically warming (mildly).
Uses And Preparations
Dried roots cut and sifted for tea, powdered and added to formulas, tinctured, or encapsulated.
Specific: Not for use in pregnancy except under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.