Common name Ashwagandha, Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry
Latin name Withania Somnifera
Parts used Roots
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. It has a strong affect on the adrenal system. However it also has affinities for the Immune and nervous system.
Ashwagandha is a complex plant with a variety of energetic states. It is relaxing, constricting, and dampening. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is considered a Yang tonic, inducing heat. It is indicated for the kapha and vatta doshas, they having a propensity towards, stagnation and tension respectively. Ashwagandha Flower Essence promotes strength, stamina, vitality, endurance and emotional resilience.
Ashwagandha is Bitter, Astringent, and Sweet.
Ashwagandha is indicated for a variety of conditions. As an adaptogen it helps to relax the body and minimize chronic stress. Due to its nervine affinities it helps to overcome anxiety, schizophrenia, depression and mood swings. Additionally as it is a powerful immune stimulant, it is indicated for a variety of cancer treatments.
Ashwagandha should be avoided by persons with autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis, lupus and Crohn’s Disease.
The use of Ashwagandha has been described in sacred Ayurvedic texts dating back 3,000 to 4,000 years. It was considered a rasayana herb, which means it has been historically used as a rejuvenating tonic. This herb has been appreciated by many cultures. It is said that Alexander the Great and his army would prepare wine with Ashwagandha, which they used to support energy and vigor. There is also a legend that Apollo found this herb and gave it to his son Asclepius, a most celebrated hero of health and well-being in ancient Greek mythology.
The species is widely distributed in the northwestern Indian states extending into Pakistan and on into Afghanistan. To the southeast of India, it occurs in Sri Lanka. In China, it is reported to grow in the western provinces of Gansu and Yunnan. Ashwagandha prefers light, sandy soil with an acidity level between 7.5 and 8 pH. Its natural habitat is located around 2,000 feet above sea level, but it will grow in low lying areas with proper care.