Ashwagandha (Winter Cherry)

Ashwagandha (Winter Cherry) Benefits

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) root is a herb of the ages. It is the 'ginseng' of Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medicine of India and is considered an 'adaptogen', a term used to describe herbs that improve physical energy and athletic ability, increase immunity to colds and infections and increase sexual capacity and fertility.

One reason for the reputation of ashwagandha as a general energy-promoting, disease-preventing tonic may be its effect on the immune system. A number of studies have shown significant increases in white blood cell counts and other measures of strengthened immunity in rodents given ashwagandha or certain chemicals extracted from the herb. Ashwagandha may also have a mild sedative effect on the central nervous system and in animal studies it has been shown to be a muscle relaxant. It is commonly used to increase vitality, particularly when recovering from chronic illnesses and pain management for arthritic conditions. Ashwagandha may also help regulate blood sugar which aids in suppressing sugar cravings. Research shows ashwagandha may be a promising alternative for cancer treatment and prevention. Ashwagandha seems to show positive effects on the endocrine, cardiac, and central nervous systems. It is one herb that could help your body produce its own thyroid hormones.

Ashwagandha is used to restore male libido, cure impotence and increase male fertility. It is widely used in southern Asia as a male sexuality tonic.

Preliminary studies indicate that the herb helps to reduce the negative effects of stress, slow tumour growth, treat anxiety and insomnia, and reduce cholesterol in addition to increasing sexual performance.

Ashwagandha is generally safe at the doses recommended on the packaging. In high doses it may have steroidal activity similar to Creatine.

Research on ashwagandha has concluded that extracts of the plant has a direct spermatogenic influence on the seminiferous tubules of immature rats presumably by exerting a testosterone-like effect 1. It is could also a potential source of hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic agents2.

Because ashwagandha has traditionally been used to treat various diseases associated with nerve tissue damage related to the destructive molecules known as free radicals, some researchers have speculated that the herb may have antioxidant properties. Free-radical damage plays a role in normal ageing and in such neurological conditions as epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

_1. J Ethnopharmacol 2001 Apr;75(1):1-4 - The effect of aqueous extracts of Cynomorium coccineum and Withania somnifera on testicular development in immature Wistar rats. - Abdel-Magied EM, Abdel-Rahman HA, Harraz FM. 2. Indian J Exp Biol 2000 Jun;38(6):607-9 -- Hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic effect of winter cherry (Withania somnifera, Dunal) root. -- Andallu B, Radhika B. -- Department of Home Science, Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur 515001, India. _

Ashwagandha (Winter Cherry) Herb Notes / Side Effects

Latin Names

Withania somnifera, Physalis flexuosa

Common Names

Ashwagandha, Winter Cherry, Ashgandh, Achuvagandi, Amikkira-gadday, Amkulang-kalang, Amukkira-kilzhangu, Amukran-kizhangu, Asagandha, Asana, Asgandh, Asundha, Asvagandhi, Fatarfoda, Hirimaddina-gadday, Hirre-gadday, Penneroo-gadda, Pevette, Sogade-beru

Suggested Properties

Strengthens immune system, antioxidant, rejuventaing. abortifacient, adaptogen, antibiotic, aphrodisiac, astringent, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-anxiety, anti-tumor, immuno-modulating, diuretic; narcotic, sedative, tonic.


Increase immunity to colds & infections, vitality, male fertility and libido. Combats impotence and helps regulate blood sugar.

Indicated for

Insomnia Slows tumor growth Anxiety Reduces Cholesterol

May increase the effects of barbiturates, use in combination with sedatives should be avoided. As a central nervous system depressant, or tranquilizer, the herb should be used in moderation.

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Kunal 's avatar  Kunal 22/08/2015 19:57

Hey i just wanted to know wether Ashwagandha increase height? i don't suffer from aniexty or anything. I have heard from many people that it increases your bone density and stuff.Does it actually do anything? and if yes then how many pills should i take?

lora 's avatar  lora 29/11/2010 15:15

hello iam lora, i have a fibrous tumor , and this herb after taking for a month , has caused it to disappear some, also i sleep much better now, and i dont get depressed and sad.... i had been taking depression meds for years, 6yrs ago i decided i want to stop taking them so i did, and i started herbal meds, and i been much happier, there are a ton of them out there that target depression, but the best i found was ashwaganda, its the best .... i do applecidar vinegar also for other major health properties skin hair etc.... ashwaganda is supreme cause it does a lot of things others dont do for you... pleas try this you will be glad you did

34 people liked this.
mama 's avatar  mama 06/02/2013 01:52

can ashwagandha be taken if i am on antidepressants

32 people liked this.
Vikram 's avatar  Vikram 28/12/2011 13:07

can i take it as a supplement for body building

23 people liked this.
Barb 's avatar  Barb 25/11/2012 19:20

Does anyone know if it can be used by someone with a heart problem please

21 people liked this.
Katsqueek 's avatar  Katsqueek 06/10/2011 23:20

my naturpath doctor recomended me to take this because i had a test done that showed my cortisol levels were to high at night. ( Im a night person and can sleep better in the early morn/ early afternoon time. I see ashwagandha has many benefits. But i am uncomfortable with side effects. Especially feeling like something is controlling me. It says on this site its a mild sedative and calms you. so does that mean I will feel 'out of it' and over medicated? as if i was on a tranqulizer/ anti-anxiety med? I never took those because i dont want to feel like im on something. What if i take this pill or 1/2 and i cant wake up or it just makes me feel spacey during the day?

16 people liked this.
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