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Withania somnifera - Ashwagandha

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Withania somnifera is a herb which is being used in ayurvedic medicines since our ancient times. It plays a major role in the regulation of vata dosha which is one of the fundamental bioelement.


Weight loss, Rheumatism, Joint pain, Sexual debility, Thyroid, Inflammation, Pimples, Diarrhea, Sore throats, Increases strength, Rejuvinative, Insomnia, Weakness, Aphrodisiac.

Parts Used

Dried folaige.

Chemical Composition

The ashwagandha consists of alkaloids and steroidal lactones. Withanine is the main alkaloid, where as somniferine, somnine, somniferinine, withananine, pseudo-withanine, tropine, pseudo tropine, choline, cuscohygrine, isopelletierine, anaferine, anahydrine[1]

Common names

Language Common name
Kannada ಅಂಗಾರ ಬೇರು Angara beru, ಅಶ್ವಗಂಧ Ashwagandha
Hindi Asgandh, Ashwagandha
Malayalam Amukkuram, Pevetti
Tamil Amukkira
Telugu Ashwagandha
Marathi Ashwagandha, Askanda
Gujarathi Aksand, Asvagandha
Punjabi NA
Kashmiri NA
Sanskrit Ashvagandha
English Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng



Reference: Dravya - Substance, Rasa - Taste, Guna - Qualities, Veerya - Potency, Vipaka - Post-digesion effect, Karma - Pharmacological activity, Prabhava - Therepeutics.



Tikta (Bitter), Kashaya (Astringent)


Laghu (Light), Ruksha (Dry), Tikshna (Sharp)


Ushna (Hot)


Katu (Pungent)


Kapha, Vata






Kind Shape Feature
Simple The leaves are alternate, simple, margins entire to slightly wavy, broadly ovate, obovate or oblong, 30-80 mm long and 20-50 mm broad



Type Size Color and composition Stamen More information
Bisexual 2-5 mm long Yellow 5 The 1-7 inconspicuous bisexual flowers appear at the leaf nodes on 2-5 mm long stalks, Flowering season is July-September


Type Size Mass Appearance Seeds More information
Oblong 5-8 mm The fruit is a hairless spherical berry Orange-red to red when ripe and enclosed by the enlarged calyx - Fruiting season is July-September

Other features

List of Ayurvedic medicine in which the herb is used


Where to get the saplings

Mode of Propagation

Seeds, Cuttings.

How to plant/cultivate

A fairly easily grown plant, it requires a warm sheltered position in full sun and a well-drained moderately fertile soil[5]

Commonly seen growing in areas

Open places, Cold areas.

Photo Gallery


External Links