Since time immemorial, Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera is one of the herbs which have been used by people. It can be found in North America and several other regions around the globe. But ashwagandha is native to some areas of Asia. The plant comes from the Solanaceae family and typically found as a shrub with a stem in the middle and radial branches. Its flowers are tiny and have whitish green color while the ripe fruits are dark red in color. The plant consists of tuberous roots which are lengthy and color brown. Also, the fruit of this plant contains milk coagulating properties which are utilized for culinary purposes in some places. In the process of cheese making, some individuals use it as a substitute for rennet. But the most common usage of this plant is for medicinal purposes. Since Ashwagandha is one of the important herbs, it has been used in India’s practice of traditional medicine called Ayurveda. It is also believed that this plant can be used as an herbal remedy in some other areas.
In the case of ginseng, ashwagandha is also thought as an adaptogen which provides relief from trauma and fatigue. It contains rejuvenating properties and is among the most well-known ayurvedic herbs which is used in an extensive range of tonics.
• The most significant use of ashwagandha is as an energy tonic which helps the user to fight against stress and fatigue.
• This herb contains sedative properties which can be helpful in combating insomnia. Some other herbs are used to combine with ashwagandha for the treatment of sleep problems.
• It is believed to enhance the immune system and provide stamina and energy, thus, decreasing the possibility of becoming ill. More often than not, this herb is prescribed by herbal practitioners for people with weak immune systems.
• In men, it is said to increase their sexual potency. Also, ashwagandha is used for the treatment of fertility problems among men. It is even used to treat arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. In some places, crushed leaves of this plant which are applied topically can be used to treat inflammation.
• Several people use ashwagandha to treat intestinal parasites. It is also assumed to aid in the formation and repair of tissues as well as to combat the process of aging.
• Furthermore, the herb is known to be beneficial for diabetic patients since it has the ability to improve one’s sensitivity to insulin. This herb can also be used for effective treatment of type 2 diabetes.
• As stated by some studies, ashwagandha can be useful in the treatment of drug withdrawal, Parkinson’s disease, some types of cancer such as breast and bone cancer as well as tuberculosis.
Although ashwagandha is considered safe to use, if high doses are used for a prolonged period of time, this can lead to some potential side effects. The most frequent side effects are drowsiness, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. If consumed in high doses, this can result to flatulence, gastrointestinal problems and digestive problems.