Ashwagandha Names, Dosage & Phytochemistry

Ashwagandha or Indian Winter Cherry - Find Its Names, Phytochemistry, Dosage, Properties & Ayurvedic Formulations

Ashwagandha - the great Immunity Boosting, Stress normalizing, Nerves relaxing, Muscle building, tonic and aphrodisiac herb. It is one of the best to be used in Degenerative diseases. It is the ideal herb to maintain optimum health.

Names of Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera:

Sanskrit & Local Names of Indian Winter Cherry:

Varahakarni and Ashwagandha. The literal meaning of Aswagandha is - the sweat of the horse, the herb bestowing the power of horse. Horse is a symbol of physical prowess and of sexual power.

Local Names of Withania somnifera:

There are some common names and the misspellings. They are common - aswagandha, asgandha, winter cherry, Indian Ginseng.

English Name of Withania somnifera:

Winter Cherry, Indian Ginseng, Indian Winter Cherry. Ginseng is a good adaptogenic but is quite strong - not in its efficacy but due to its effect on stomach. It is hot and with stimulatory property. Some persons compare it with Withania somnifera for its properties and in clinical research. WS is found at par in efficacy.

Latin Name: Withania Somnifera, Physalis flexuosa.

Family: Solanaceae family.

Other Names of Ashwagandha:

  1. Achuvagandi
  2. Amikkira-gadday
  3. Amkulang-kalang
  4. Amukkira-kilzhangu
  5. Amukran-kizhangu
  6. Asundha
  7. Hirre-gadday
  8. Hirimaddina-gadday
  9. Peneeroo-gadda
  10. Sogade-beru
  11. Pevette
  12. Ajagandha
  13. Samm Al Ferakh
  14. Kanaje Hindi

Indian Winter Cherry is at Par With:

WS is one of the first class adaptogenic, tonic and rejuvenative herb. It is compared with world's best herbs in this class like Ginseng, Astragalus, Dang gui, Reishi mushroom and South American Suma (Pfaffia paniculata).

The chemical components of WS are similar to Ginseng and studies have demonstrated its superiority to this Chinese cousin in relieving stress.

Medicinally Used Parts of Withania somnifera:

Root is used mostly as powder and in decoction. Leaves.

Biochemistry of Withania somnifera:

The biochemical composition of WS has been widely studied and researched. Some 35 compoundshad been analyzed in the laboratory.

  1. Alkaloids: About 13 alkaloids are known as Isopelletierine, Anaferine, Cuseohygrine, Anahygrine, Tropine etc.
  2. Somniferin: It is a bitter alkaloid with some hypnotic activity.
  3. Steroidal Lactones: Withanolides, Withanoferins.
  4. Saponins: These are with an additional acyl group (Sitoindoside VII and VIII.
  5. Withanolides With Carbon At 27th Position: Sitoindoside IX and X.
  6. Iron.
  7. Others: resin, fat, coloring matters, a reducing sugar, phytosterol, Ipuranol and a mixture of saturated and unsaturated acids.

Dosage of Withania somnifera:

  1. Root powder:  2-5 gm. or half to one teaspoonful.
  2. Leaves powder:  2-5 gm. or half to one teaspoonful.
  3. Extract of Root: 250-500 mg (5:1), 200-300mg(10:1), two or three times daily.

Take Ashwagandha With:

  1. Milk or Water or Fruit Juice.
  2. Milk is indicated for debilated, weak persons or those with lower than normal body weight.
  3. Water or Fruit juice is good for obese and overweight individuals.

Withania somnifera In Africa:

WS is used traditionally in Africa for fevers and inflammatory conditions.

Ayurvedic Properties Of Withania somnifera:

  1. Light and unctuous qualities.
  2. Bitter, pungent and sweet in taste.
  3. Sweet in vipaka or post metabolic flavor. It is this property of WS that makes it valuable as a rejuvenative and tonic herb with nutrient value to tissues.
  4. Hot in active principle.

Ayurvedic Categories Of Withania somnifera:

  1. Balya i.e. Good for infusing energy in the system and as body building herb.
  2. As a part in Weight and muscle mass increasing herbs.
  3. As one in Madhura or Sweet taste herbs.

Ayurvedic & Herbal Formulations Of Withania somnifera:

  1. Aswagandhadi Powder
  2. Aswagandha Rasayana
  3. Aswagandha Ghritam
  4. Ashwagandharistam