Latin Name
Withania somnifera
Other Common Names
Ashwagandha, Withania, Indian ginseng, Winter cherry
Herbal Actions (Column)
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What is Ashwagandha?

There are few herbs as useful for supporting the health of the adrenal glands as ashwagandha.
This traditional ayurvedic herb is useful for alleviating a wide range of stress-related symptoms including adrenal fatigue, convalescence, and exhaustion.
Compared to other adaptogenic herbs, ashwagandha falls more on the sedative or relaxing end of the spectrum. It’s non-stimulating, and can even be used to support sleep — though it’s not explicitly considered a sedative.
Ashwagandha is extremely popular among herbalists due to its wide range of benefits, high level of safety, and affordable cost. For best results, ashwagandha should be used alongside other herbs with more specific actions and lifestyle and dietary changes.
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Herbal Actions/Properties of Ashwagandha

  • Adaptogen
  • Mild sedative
  • Tonic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Immunomodulator
  • Anti-anaemic
  • Antitumor
  • Nervine
  • Thyroid modulator

What is Ashwagandha Used For?

The primary use of ashwagandha is for supporting the adrenals — however, the herb can be used whenever there’s convalescence, frequent illness, or where stress is considered a major cause of the symptom picture.
Other uses for the herb are for supporting fertility, sleep, and athletic performance.

Folklore & History of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has a strong history of use in India via the Ayurvedic medical system. here the herb was used as a panacea. Health practitioners often included this herb in formulas used for treating many different medical conditions or symptoms.

Ashwagandha Side-Effects & Safety

Ashwagandha is exceptionally safe as a herb. There are no reported cases of overdose or severe side-effects from this herb, even in large doses.
This herb is popular during pregnancy in India — however, always consult your health practitioner before using this herb if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Due to issues with lead contamination in India and China, it’s recommended you avoid ashwagandha that’s been grown in these regions.

How Much Ashwagandha Do I Use?

Ashwagandha supplements can vary a lot in strength. Most herbalists will use a 1:2 extract at a dose of 5 – 12 mL per day.
Always follow the directions on the label for best results unless advised differently from an experienced health practitioner.
APA Reference