Withania somnifera

Withania somnifera                                  Common name: Ashwaghanda

Family: Solanaceae

Part used: Root & leaf

Constituents: Steroidal lactones (withanolides, withaferins), sitoinosides, alkaloids, nutrients (iron)

Actions: General tonic, rejuvenating, nervous system tonic, sedative, adaptogen, immuno-modulator, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, astringent, anti-anemic, aphrodisiac, oxytocic

Medical uses: Is used to restore health to the nervous system and eases stress and mental exhaustion as it promotes mental clarity and improves memory and stamina. As a tonic for the elderly and to promote growth in children and enhance athletic performance, it also promotes recovery after illness and during convalescence and has great use in various chronic diseases involving inflammation. It will aid bone degeneration, rheumatism, joint pain and neuralgias and can be used topically for wounds and swelling.


  • Steroidal lactones: withanolides & withaferins are anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and immuno-stimulant.
  • Sitoinosides are adaptogenic and immuno-stimulant (increase WBC/neutrophils)
  • Alkaloids are sedative, decrease blood pressure, reduce heart rate and are antispasmodic.
  • Increase RBC, WBC and platelet counts.

Pharmacy: Powder: 1-2g QD. Decoction: 3-5g/cup QD. Tincture: (1:2, 25%), 5-13ml QD.

Contraindications: None known.

Toxicity: No adverse effects within recommended dosage. High doses may cause GI pain.

Interactions: If taken with tranquilizers may cause drowsiness and reduce coordination.

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