Withania somnifera commonly known as ginseng or Ashwagandha is a wonderful herb with a wide variety of therapeutic effects. It is a native plant of India, which grows mostly in a dry region. Every part of this plant has clinical importance pharmacologically. Bioactive compounds such as alkaloids, flavonoids, steroidal lactones are used in the prevention and treatment of diseases as well. This stress booster herb is in use since ancient times in Indian medicine healthcare system to treat stress and anxiety.

Ashwagandha is been used singly or in combination against various ailments in the form of powder, tablets or capsules, etc.

It has shown significant results in anti-stress, anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, etc. activities. Regular consumption in healthy individuals as a tonic help in the increase of weight and improves health.


Ashwagandha is one of the most vital herbs in the traditional system of medicine as an alternative medicine for natural healing. It is a shrub, botanically known as Withania somnifera belongs to the family Solanaceae and cultivated extensively throughout India.   Somnifera means sleep-inducing and because the root smells like horse urine it is called Ashwagandha (‘Ashwa’ means Horse and ‘Gandha’ means Smell). The root contains a wide variety of alkaloids and steroids, which have various therapeutical properties.

Ashwagandha helps to improve immunity, strength, and stamina in the body due to its anti-oxidant property. It is used in the treatment of sleeping disorders, hormonal disturbances, arthritis, etc. It is primarily used as an adaptogen.


It is a medium under shrub, 40-150 cm in height. The plant is completely covered by silvery grey hair.

Leaves- Alternate, simple, waved margins, 5-20mm long petioles, stellate tomentose, greyish.

Root- Woody roots that smell like horse urine

Flowers- Small, greenish

Inflorescence- Cymes

Seed- Many, reniform with yellow color.


Found throughout India. It grows in dry areas and on the Himalayas under 1600 m-1800 m.

It grows as a weed along the roadside, now cultivated in different parts of the country due to its Medicinal and Nutraceutical importance.


Kingdom – Plantae

Division- Magnoliophyta

Class- Magnoliopsida

Species- Somnifera

Family- Solanaceae

Order- Solanales


Hindi- Asgandha

English – Gensang

Sanskrit – Ashwagandha

Telugu – Penneru gadda

Kannada –Ashvagandhi

Gujarati – Aasandha

Tamil – Amukura

Malayalam – Amukkura

Marathi- Asandh

Bengali –Asvagandha


Rasa (Taste)

Katu (Pungent), Kshahaya (Astringent), Tikta (Bitter)

Guna (Characteristics)

Laghu (Light), Snigdha (Unctous)

Virya (Potency)

Ushna (Hot)

Vipaka (Final taste after digestion)

Katu (Pungent)


Balya (strength), Rasayana (Rejuvinating)


Balances Tridosha – Mainly balances Kapha and Vata.


Alkaloids – isopelletierine, anaferin, anahygrine, etc.

Steroids- steroidal lactones – withanolides, withaferins






Root Powder- 3-6 grams


  • Ashwagandha is used in heart patients for improving strength.
  • Ashwagandha is used as a diuretic
  • Ashwagandha is very useful in sleep disorders like insomnia (sleeplessness)
  • Ashwagandha reduces blood sugar level
  • Ashwagandha supplements are used to lower cortisol levels in stressed individuals.
  • It is used in the treatment of depression. It helps to boost brain functions
  • Ashwagandha supplements are used in the treatment of male fertility
  • Ashwagandha powder is applied to the joints to get relief from pain and inflammation
  • Leaves are used as herbal tea in Anemia and blood loss
  • Flowers are used as diuretics and aphrodisiacs.
  • Ashwagandha is used in the treatment of anxiety, memory loss, and hysteria.


  • Analgesic effect- Aqueous extract of Ashwagandha showed a significant increase in pain threshold time compared to baseline and placebo

  • Anti-stress activity- The consumption of WSE significantly reduced stress without side effects.

  • Anti-stress and anti-anxiety activity-  Ashwagandha showed a significant result in reducing stress and anxiety in a clinical study

  • Anti-cancer- showed a significant result in reducing lung tumors in animal studies.

  • Neuroprotective activity- it enhanced signaling via 5-ht2 receptors which ultimately increase in NSO and nitric oxide.

  • Sedation and sleep- Promote sleep due to having a signaling effect via GAB receptor


Ashwagandha improves overall health as it is good for every organ of our body. Useful parts of the plant are consumed in the form of powder, tablet, or capsule. It is used as a supplement and medicine as well.

Ashwagandha works mainly on brain cells, helps in inducing sleep in insomnia, boosts immunity, treats diabetes, fights cancer, and reduces debility and weakness. Taking Ashwagandha daily ensures virility and long life.


  • Dr.J.L.N Shastri & Dr.Tanuja M.Nesari A text book of dravyaguna vijnyana vol II,chaukambha orientalia, Varanasi.first edition2018, Tpg 670.
  • Bhavaprakasha of bhavamisra commentary by Dr. Bulusu Sitaram,chaukhambha orientalia, Varanasi reprint edition 2015, Tpg 742
  • https://examine.com/supplements/ashwagandha/research/
  • https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/HubSpot/customer-code-creating-a-company-customers-love-113085298

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