Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera is one of the immensely used herb in Ayurvedic practice due to its various beneficial uses and high rejuvinating potential. It is a small shrub 1-2mtrs high and bears small, round, red coloured fruit enclosed in a pod. It is named Ashwagandha in sanskrit because the roots smell like horse and the other reason is that it generates strength in the body equivalent to horse. The roots of Ashwagandha, also called “Indian Ginseng” helps in boosting immunity power of the body.
Ashwagandha due to its hot potency pacifies kapha and vata dosha, and so is used in vata vyadhi, it is a good anti-inflammatory drug and also provides nourishment to adjoining tissues and other organs. It reduces pain and swelling in vata disorders.
One of its active principle somniferin induces sleep and thus helps in mental relaxation. It is a good nervine tonic, it strengthens and nourishes nerve tissues and serves physical and mental relaxation. Improves mental ability, helps in gaining and retaining memory and improves mental concentration. Due to its anti-stress property ashwagandha is used in hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes and arthritis.
Ashwagandha increases digestive fire,increases appetite and also works efficiently in deworming of body. Thus it reduces pain in abdomen and other complaints due to worm infestation. Ashwagandharishtha increases appetite and improves digestion.
Ashwagandha is an eminent heart tonic, it purifies blood and also increases muscular power of heart muscles. Ashwagandha bark decoction is effective in rheumatoid arthritis.
Ashwagandha increases muscule endurance and builds up stamina. It also revitalizes body and decreases muscle fatigue. When taken with milk and ghee acts as a good energy source. In mal-nourished children milk and ghee medicated with ashwagandha if taken regularly gives good results. Ashwagandha due to its madhur rasa nourishes rasa dhatu and other following dhatus thus provides over all nourishment to the baby. Massage with ashwagandha oil helps in stamina building by improving muscle power, so it can also be used in sports person to relieve pain and increase muscle tone.
Ashwagandha is effective in long term asthma, cough. Ash of ashwagandha+honey+ghee is licked at short intervals during bout of cough. It is also used in Tuberculosis, anaemia, whooping cough and piles.
Ashwagandha is an efficient male and female aphrodisiac. It not only increases sperm count but also helps in ejaculation of semen. Medicated ashwagandha ghee also increases virility.
Backache caused after delivery can be well treated by combination of Ashwagandha powder+ ghee + milk +sugar. It is also used in Leucorrhoea in women due to uterine inflammation. It is a good uterine tonic, it is also useful in oter gynaecological ailments.Ashwagandha tab or ashwagandharishta can be used as uterine tonic.
Ashwagandha acts as diuretic and therefore is used in recurrent urinary tract infections.
It is a very good antioxidant, antistress, anti-inflammatory miracle drug which is also good rejuvinator which prolongs ageing.