Botanical Name: Withania coagulans
Species: W. coagulans
Synonyms: Puneeria coagulans Stocks
Common Names: Sanskrit: Rishyagandha, Tamil: Panneer ilai chedi, Hindi: Paneer phool
Withania coagulans is native to Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Indian subcontinent. Within the genus Withania, W. somnifera (Ashwagandha) and W. coagulans (Paneer booti/Ashutosh booti) are economically significant, and are cultivated in several regions for their use in Ayurveda. It is claimed to help control diabetes.
Withania coagulans . is a dense, hairy, erect, grayish-tomentose herb or under-shrub, grows up to a height of 1.5 meter. Its all parts are covered with whitish, stellate trichomes.Branching is extensive; leaves are simple, alternate or sub-opposite, ovate, entire, basis cunate, 10 cm long. The roots are stout, long tuberous, fleshy, whitish-brown. The flowers are greenish-yellow and found in few flowered clusters in axils; pedicels up to 4 mm long. Calyx is 5 mm long and stellately tomentose; teeth 2.5 mm long, linear, acute and form a deltoid base. Corolla is 8 mm long, divided rather more than ½ – way down; lobes lanceolate, acute and pubescent outside. Filaments are 3 mm long, slender, glabrous and anthers are broadly elliptic (almost orbicular), 1.25 mm long. Ovary and style are glabrous.
The fruit is red-yellow berry, smooth, 6 mm in diameter, enclosed in the inflated calyx which reaches more than 25 mm diameter and is globose, slightly 5-angled, pointed with the connivent calyx-teeth and scurfy- pubescent outside. Seeds are 2.5 mm in diameter, yellow and somewhat scurfy.
Withania coagulans is grown on sub-marginal waste lands and low fertility areas. Plant grows well in red, sandy, black and loamy soil with pH 6.5- 8.0 with good water drainage. It can be cultivated upto an altitudes of 1000 meter. The plant prefers a sub-tropical climate. The semitropical areas receiving 500-750 mm rainfall are suitable for cultivation of this crop. The crop requires dry season during the growing period. Temperature between 20° C to 35° C is most suitable for its cultivation. Late winter rains are conducive for the proper development of the plant roots.
Propagation: Through seeds.
*The drug is rejuvenating agent; mainly used in Ayurvedic and Unani preparations.
*The plant has anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, fungicidal, anthelmintic, anti-convulsant, anti-stress, immunomodulatory and anti-pyretic properties.
*It is also used in insomnia, weakness, ulcers and painful swellings as aphrodisiac and in leucoderma.
*The paste prepared out of its leaves is used for curing inflammation of tubercular glands and that of its roots for curing skin diseases, bronchitis, ulcer and dyspepsia and eye diseases.
*The fruits and seeds of Ashwagandha are diuretic in nature.
*The leaves are reported to contain anthelmintic and febrifuge properties.
- An infusion of the bark is given for asthma.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.