Ashwaganda Profile

Ashwaganda
(Withania somnifera)

Ashwaganda is a member of the nightshade family, however it should be noted that that like other Nightshades, Ashwaganda lacks the poisonous attributes. Typically found and cultivated in India, Ashwaganda has been popularly applied to those with overworked and often hyper-tense lives. Ashwaganda is India's native answer to Ginseng and it is currently being applied in Ayurvedic medicine to treat hypertension and stress related ailments. Recent studies have attempted to populate its use as a preliminary treatment for male infertility and impotence problems.

Constituents
Mainly consisting of withanolides, glycosides and several different alkaloids.

Parts Used
Eastern and Western herbal medicine use the dried root. Most notably, the dry, cut root. Berries of this plant are mildly toxic to the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. No major studies have released the benefits of the leaf.

Typical preparations
Tea decoction from the root, liquid herbal extract, herbal capsules (non-standardized) Dried crushed or powdered roots can be applied to food or directly consumed.

Summary
Not much research has been carried out for this particular botanical and to date there have not been any released notes on possible medicinal contraindications, side effects or potential health hazards. This particular root has been used successfully for the last 3,000 years and the empirical evidence of the ages speaks for itself. It comes highly recommended in times of severe strife and stress-induced discomfort. However Ashwaganda should not be consumed for long periods of time and is better reserved for the "times of need".

Precautions
Botanical safety guidelines in the US and Germany have suggested that Ashwaganda may be a mild abortifacient and it is not recommended for pregnant women.