Monday, April 28, 2014

Ashwagandha





Scientific Name :  Withania Somnifera

Other names: Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, winter cherry

Description:

The Ashwagandha plant is a hardy small woody shrub that grows to about 150 centimeters. It has a central stem with branches that are covered in wool-like hairs and extend radially in a star pattern.  It displays small flowers with central yellow section and light green petals.  The small bright red berry-like fruit has a
distinctive red seeds in it.

The roots of Ashwagandha looks like a big carrot with one long thick structure or it can also look like a subsystem of intertwined roots. The word Aswhagandha in Sanskrit means 'smell of a horse' because the root smells like one. This tree is cultivated in India.


Parts Use: Fruit, Seed, Root


Medicinal properties and uses:


Ashwagandha root is considered similar  to 'ginseng' because the health benefits it give resembles that of ginseng. It promotes physical and mental health, rejuvenation and longevity. It also allows the body to cope
with stress and increase the energy level.

Scientists labeled this herb as non-specific tonic (enhances physical fitness) and “adaptogen” because it
adapts to fit certain health needs within the body and finds what’s wrong with and attempts to fix it. It is important in prolonged stress.


It enhances memory and improve brain function.
It promotes sound sleep - Ashwagandha has a calming effect.

Decrease high cholesterol levels, blood pressure and hypertension
Diuretic
Anti-epileptic
Anti-tumor
Anti-fungal
Pain relief/Arthritis/Anti-inflammatory
Regulates blood sugar
Reduces depression and anxiety
Combats stress
Gastrointestinal disorders
Skin infections
Stabilizes moods and encourage adrenal recovery.


Precaution:

Ashwagandha is generally considered safe, however, it may induce abortion when taken in very large doses and it may also cause infertility in women.

Readers are advised to consult a physician or health care provider before taking any herbs/medications.