Ashwagandha Βιθανία Withania somnifera
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that has been used for treating a number of conditions in ancient India under the Ayurvedic treatment science. It has also found significant mention in Unani and African traditional medicine. Also known as Indian ginseng, winter cherry and poison gooseberry, it is a native of India and Nepal.
Its name is derived from the smell it emanates, i.e. Ashwa (horse) and gandha (bad smell) – meaning it has a horse-like smell. This herb has the ability to improve brain function, help cope with stress, and enhance the immune system. It is also used for increasing libido, treating infertility in men and women, and regulating menstrual cycle. The herb is also effective in countering the signs of aging of the mind.
It has excellent analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties for which it is applied to wounds for quick healing; it is also effective in reducing backache and reversing Hemiplegia (one-side paralysis).
Other major uses of Ashwagandha are in the treatment for asthma, tuberculosis, tumours, insomnia, leukoderma (white patches on the skin), arthritis, high blood pressure, chronic liver problems and hiccups.