Tag Archives: Withania somnifera

Ashwagandha

Botanical Name:Withania somanifera
Family : Solanaceae
Kingdom : Plantae
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta
Division : Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Subclass : Asteridae
Order : Solanales
Genus : Withania
Species : W. somanifera

INDIAN NAME:-  Amukkiran, Ghoda, Asor.  It is  also known as Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, Winter cherry, Ajagandha, Kanaje Hindi, Amukkuram in Malayalam and Samm Al Ferakh, is a plant in Solanaceae or nightshade family.

Habitat:Ashwagandha grows prolifically in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It is commercially cultivated in Madhya Pradesh (a state in India).
Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Cultivated Beds; South Wall By; West Wall By;

Description:
It grows as a stout shrub that reaches a height of 170 cm (5.6 ft). Like the tomato which belongs to the same family, it bears yellow flowers and red fruit, though its fruit is berry-like in size and shape.
its is asmall middle-sized under shrub, to the height of 1.4 m, stem and branches covered with minute star- shaped hairs.
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LEAVES : leaves up to 10 cm long, ovate, hairy like branched.

FLOWER :-flowers are pale green, small about 1 cm long, few flower borne, smooth red, enclosed in the inflated and membranous calyx.

Other species
There are over 20 other species of the Withania genus that occur in the dry parts of India, North Africa, Middle East, and the Mediterranean. These include Withania coagulens and Withania simonii, the roots of which are sometimes used interchangeably with those of Withania somnifera.Withania somnifera itself has been extensively domesticated from the wild form. In India, at least five different cultivars have been developed for increased root size and adaptation to different climates.

Cultivation :

A fairly easily grown plant, it requires a warm sheltered position in full sun and a well-drained moderately fertile soil. Prefers a dry stony soil. This species is not hardy in temperate climates but it can be grown as an annual, flowering and fruiting in its first year from seed.

Propagation:

Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. There is usually a high germination rate within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and plant them out after the last expected frost. Consider giving the plants some protection, such as a cloche, until they are established and growing away well.

Active constituents:-
The main constituents of ashwagandha are alkaloids and steroidal lactones. Among the various alkaloids, withanine is the main constituent. The other alkaloids are somniferine, somnine, somniferinine, withananine, pseudo-withanine, tropine, pseudo-tropine, cuscohygrine,anferine and anhydrine. Two acyl steryl glucoside viz. sitoindoside VII and sitoindoside VIII have been isolated from root. The leaves contain steroidal lactones, which are commonly called withanolides. The withanolides have C28 steroidal nucleus with C9 side chain, having six membered lactone ring.
Edible Uses
Edible Uses: Curdling agent.
The seeds are used to curdle plant milks in order to make vegetarian cheeses

Medicinal  Action & Uses:-

Abortifacient; Adaptogen; Antibiotic; Aphrodisiac; Astringent; Deobstruent; Diuretic; Narcotic; Sedative; Tonic.

Ashwagandha is one of the most widespread tranquillisers used in India, where it holds a position of importance similar to ginseng in China. It acts mainly on the reproductive and nervous systems, having a rejuvenative effect on the body, and is used to improve vitality and aid recovery after chronic illness. The plant is little known in the West. The whole plant, but especially the leaves and the root bark, are abortifacient, adaptogen, antibiotic, aphrodisiac, deobstruent, diuretic, narcotic, strongly sedative and tonic. Internally, it is used to tone the uterus after a miscarriage and also in treating post-partum difficulties. It is also used to treat nervous exhaustion, debility, insomnia, wasting diseases, failure to thrive in children, impotence, infertility, multiple sclerosis etc. Externally it has been applied as a poultice to boils, swellings and other painful parts. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. Some caution is advised in the use of this plant since it is toxic[K]. The fruit is diuretic. The seed is diuretic and hypnotic
.

ASHVAGANDHA IS USEFUL IN CONSUMPTION ND SEXUAL AND RHEUMATION. IT IS DIUTERIC.IT PROMOTES URINATION ACTS AS A NARCOTIC ND REMOVES FUNCTIONAL

OBSTRUCTION OF BODY .THE ROOT POWDER IS APPLIED LOCALLY ON ULCERS AND INFLAMMATIONS.
THE ANTIBIOTIC AND ANTIBIOTICAL ACTIVITY OF THE ROOTS AS WELL AS LEAVES HAS RECENTLY BEEN SHOWN EXPERIMENTALLY..
WITHANIA COAGULENSE OCCURS IN NORTH WESTERN INDIA.ITS FRUITS ARE USEFUL IN DIGESTIVE AND LIVER COMPLAINTS.

In Ayurveda ashwaganda is considered a rasayana herb. This herb is also considered an adaptogen which is an herb that works to normalize physiological function, working on the HPA axis and the neuroendocrine system.  In Ayurveda, the fresh roots are sometimes boiled in milk, prior to drying, in order to leach out undesirable constituents. The berries are used as a substitute for rennet, to coagulate milk in cheese making.

Ashwagandha in Sanskrit means “horse’s smell,” probably originating from the odor of its root which resembles that of sweaty horse. In Tamil language|Tamil, it is called Amukkrang Kilangu and is used in several medicines.

The species name somnifera means “sleep-inducing” in Latin, indicating that to it are attributed sedating properties, but it has been also used for sexual vitality and as an adaptogen. Some herbalists refer to ashwagandha as Indian ginseng, since it is used in ayurvedic medicine in a way similar to that ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Seven American and four Japanese firms have filed for grant of patents on formulations containing extracts of the herb Ashwagandha. Fruits, leaves and seeds of the Indian medicinal plant withania somnifera have been traditionally used for the Ayurvedic system as aphrodisiacs, diuretics and for treating memory loss. The Japanese patent applications are related to the use of the herb as a skin ointment and for promoting reproductive fertility. The U.S based company

Natreon has also obtained a patent for an Ashwagandha extract.

Another US establishment, the New England Deaconess Hospital, has taken a patent on an Ashwagandha formulation claimed to alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis. The product called “ashwagandha oil” is a combination of ashwagandha with almond oil and rose water designed to be used as a facial toner, and should not be consumed orally.
Practitioners of Ayurveduc medicine, the traditional medicine of India, regard this root as the Indian answer to ginseng for the male libido.  Some reference do not recommend on a daily basis but others do.   It is considered to reduce vata and kapha.  It is mainly used in the West as a restorative for the elderly and the chronically ill.  For such regenerative purposes, it can be taken as a milk decoction to which may be added raw sugar, honey, pippali and basmati rice.  As such, it inhibits aging and catalyzes the anabolic processes of the body.  It is a good food for weak pregnant women, it helps to stabilize the fetus.  It also regenerates the hormonal system, promotes healing of tissues, and can be used externally on wounds, sores, etc.  Five grams of the powder can be taken twice a day in warm milk or water, sweetened with raw sugar.

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By reducing overactivity and encouraging rest and relaxation, withania is useful in countering the debility that accompanies long-term stress.  Its high iron content makes it useful for anemia.  Withania has been widely researched in India.  Studies in 1965 indicated that the alkaloids are sedative, reduce blood pressure, and lower the heartbeat rate.  Research in 1970 showed that withanolides, which are similar to the body’s own steroid hormones, are anti-inflammatory.  They also inhibit the growth of cancer cells.  The herb may be of use in chronic inflammatory diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and as a cancer preventative.  Trials in 1980 indicated that withania increases hemoglobin levels, reduces graying of hair, and improves sexual performance.  It also helps recovery from chronic illness.

Traditional use: acne, adrenal disorders, age spots, anemia, anorexia, arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammatory diseases, convalescence, debility, depression, diabetes mellitus, diarrhea, edema, endometriosis, failing memory, fatigue, frigidity, hyperlipemia, hypertension, immunodeficiency, impotence, indigestion, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, poor attention span, ulcer

Pharmacological effects
Ashwagandha is reported to have anti-carcinogenic effects in animal and cell cultures by decreasing the expression of nuclear factor-kappaB, suppressing intercellular tumor necrosis factor, and potentiating apoptotic signalling in cancerous cell lines.

Pathology
Withania somnifera is prone to several pests and diseases. Leaf spot disease of Withania somnifera caused by Alternaria alternata is the most prevalent disease. It is most severe in Indian plains of Punjab, Hariyana and Himachal Pradesh. Dr. Pratap Kumar Pati research group from Guru Nanak Dev University

India, recently reported in an article of Indian journal of microbiology, on the biodeterioration of its pharmacutically active components during leaf spot disease.

Side effects
There are no listed side effects for Withania Somnifera in humans, but a study on its effects on rats found unfavorable issues in their hearts and adrenal glands in extremely high dosages taken for a duration of 180 days.Withania somnifera stimulates the thyroid leading to thyreotoxicosis in some humans  and in mice.

Other Uses

Repellent; Soap.

The fruit is rich in saponins and can be used as a soap substitute . The leaves are an insect repellent.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein ,  is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://green-source.blogspot.com/search/label/ASHVAGANDHA%20%7CAMUKKIRAN%20%7CGHODA%20%7C%20ASOR
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Withania_somnifera

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Withania+somnifera

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

Eleuthero

Botanical Name:Eleutherococcus senticosus (formerly Acanthopanax senticosus)
Family :Araliaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Apiales
Genus: Eleutherococcus
Species: E. senticosus

Habitat:It is native to Northeastern Asia. Eleuthero is a shrub that grows in Siberia, China, Korea, and Japan.In Chinese medicine it is known as cì wu jia
Common names: Siberian ginseng, Ci wu jia, Touch-me-not, Devil’s shrub,devil’s shrub, devil’s root, touch-me-not

Description :The herb grows in mixed and coniferous mountain forests, forming low undergrowth or is found in groups in thickets and edges. E. senticosus is sometimes found in oak groves at the foot of cliffs, very rarely in high forest riparian woodland. Its native habitat is East Asia, China, Japan and Russia. E. senticosus is broadly tolerant of soils, growing in sandy, loamy and heavy clay soils with acid, neutral or alkaline chemistry and including soils of low nutritional value. It can tolerate sun or dappled shade and some degree of pollution. E. senticosus is a decidious shrub growing to 2m at a slow rate. It is hardy to zone 3. It flowers in July in most habitats. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by insect.

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The dried root and other underground parts of the plant are used in herbal remedies for a variety of conditions. It is a distant relative of true (Panax) ginseng (which includes Asian ginseng and American ginseng), but it does not belong to the Panax group of herbs. Previously sold in the United States as “Siberian ginseng,” a 2002 United States law forbade the “ginseng” label, and the name “eleuthero” is now more commonly used.

Active Constituents:The constituents in eleuthero that have been most studied are the eleutherosides.1 Seven primary eleutherosides have been identified, with most of the research attention focusing on eleutherosides B and E.2 Eleuthero also contains complex polysaccharides (complex sugar molecules).3 These constituents may play a critical role in eleuthero’s ability to support immune function.

Eleuthero is an “adaptogen” (an agent that helps the body adapt to stress). It is thought to help support adrenal gland function when the body is challenged by stress

Medicinal Uses:
E. senticosus is an adaptogen which has a wide range of health benefits attributed to its use. Currently, most of the research to support the medicinal use of E. senticosus is in Russian or Korean. E. senticosus contains eleutherosides, triterpenoid saponins which are lipophilic and which can fit into hormone receptors. Supporters of E. senticosus as medicine claim it possesses a variety of medicinal properties, such as:

*increased endurance

*memory improvement

*anti-inflammatory

*immunogenic

*chemoprotective

*radiological protection

Eleutherococcus senticosis is more tonifying than the true Ginsengs (Panax sp.) It is neutral energetically and so is appropriate for daily use. Taken regularly, it enhances immune function, decreases cortisol levels and inflammatory response, and it promotes improved cognitive and physical performance. In human studies Eleuthero has been successfully used to treat bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy or radiation, angina, hypercholesterolemia, and neurasthenia with headache, insomnia, and poor appetite.

The major constituents of E. senticosus are Ciwujianoside A-E, Eleutheroside B (Syringin), Eleutherosides A-M, Friedelin and Isofraxidin.[2][unreliable source?] Most of the active constituents in E. senticosus are triterpenoid saponins. Though all terpenoid compounds have bioactivity in mammals, it is the triterpenes that are most important to the adaptogenic effect. The majority of known triterpenoid compounds in E. senticosus are found as saponin glycosides which refers to the attachment of various sugar molecules to the triterpene unit. These sugars are usually cleaved off in the gut by bacteria, allowing the aglycone (triterpene) to be absorbed. Saponin glycosides have the characteristic of reducing surface tension of water and will strip the lipids. This allows them insert into cell membranes (Attele et al., 1999) and modify the composition, influence membrane fluidity,[8] and potentially affect signaling by many ligands and cofactors.

Eleutherococcus senticosus has been shown to have significant antidepressant effects in rats

Although not as popular as Asian ginseng, eleuthero use dates back 2,000 years, according to Chinese medicine records. Referred to as ci wu jia in Chinese medicine, it was used to prevent respiratory tract infections, colds and flu. It was also believed to provide energy and vitality. In Russia, eleuthero was originally used by people in the Siberian Taiga region to increase performance and quality of life and to decrease infections.

In more modern times, eleuthero has been used to increase stamina and endurance in Soviet Olympic athletes. Russian explorers, divers, sailors, and miners also used eleuthero to prevent stress-related illness. After the Chernobyl accident, many Russian and Ukrainian citizens were given eleuthero to counteract the effects of radiation.

Eleuthero has been shown to enhance mental acuity and physical endurance without the letdown that comes with caffeinated products. Research has shown that eleuthero improves the use of oxygen by the exercising muscle.6 This means that a person is able to maintain aerobic exercise longer and recover from workouts more quickly. Preliminary research from Russia indicates it may be effective for this purpose. Other trials have been inconclusive8 or have shown no beneficial effect.

Eleuthero may also support the body by helping the liver detoxify harmful toxins. It has shown a protective action in animal studies against chemicals such as ethanol, sodium barbital, tetanus toxoid, and chemotherapeutic agents. According to a test tube study eleuthero also helps protect the body during radiation exposure. Preliminary research in Russia has suggested that eleuthero may help alleviate side effects and help the bone marrow recover more quickly in people undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer.

Eleuthero may be useful as a preventive measure during the cold and flu season. However, it has not yet been specifically studied for this purpose. Preliminary evidence also suggests that eleuthero may prove valuable in the long-term management of various diseases of the immune system, including HIV infection and chronic fatigue syndrome. Healthy people taking teaspoons (10 ml) of tincture three times daily have been shown to have increased numbers of the immune cells (T4 lymphocytes) that have been found to decrease during HIV-infection and AIDS.13 Further human clinical trials are needed to confirm that eleuthero may be helpful for this disease.

Dosages: Dried, powdered root and rhizomes, 2–3 grams per day, are commonly used.14 Alternatively, 300–400 mg per day of concentrated solid extract standardized on eleutherosides B and E can be used, as can alcohol-based extracts, 8–10 ml in two to three divided dosages. Historically, eleuthero is taken continuously for six to eight weeks, followed by a one- to two-week break before resuming.

Side Effects:Reported side effects have been minimal with use of eleuthero.15 Mild, transient diarrhea has been reported in a very small number of users. Eleuthero may cause insomnia in some people if taken too close to bedtime. Eleuthero is not recommended for people with uncontrolled high blood pressure. There are no known reasons to avoid eleuthero during pregnancy and breast-feeding. However, pregnant or breast-feeding women should be aware that some products may be adulterated with herbs that should not be taken in pregnancy, such as Asian ginseng. Only eleuthero from a trusted source should be used.

In one case report, a person taking eleuthero with digoxin developed dangerously high serum digoxin levels.16 Although a clear relationship could not be established, it is wise for someone taking digoxin to seek the advise of a doctor before taking eleuthero.

Drug interactions:
Certain medicines may interact with eleuthero. Refer to drug interactions for a list of those medicines.

*People with medicated high blood pressure should consult their doctor before taking E. senticosus as it may reduce their need for medication.

*E. senticosus may cause light sleep in some people, principally those who are “wired”. Users are recommended not to take it in the evening.

*E. senticosus will enhance the effectiveness of mycin class antibiotics.

*E. senticosus when purchased from non-GMP sources has occasionally been adulterated with Periploca graeca which can potentiate digoxin or similar drugs: however this is not an interaction of E. senticosus

You may click to learn more about Eleuthero->………………………….(1).(2)..(3)

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleutherococcus_senticosus
http://www.revolutionhealth.com/articles/eleuthero/hn-herb_eleuthero
http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3x_Siberian_Ginseng.asp

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Herbal Power of Ashwagandha

Herbal Power  of  Ashwagandha is standardized to contain the highest percentage of Withanolides (8%), the active compounds in Withania Somnifera that is responsible for the adaptogenic & tonic effects. Most Ashwagandha in the market contains <5% Withanolides.

Ashwagandha–Rejuvenating Tonifier

The name Ashwagandha is from the Sanskrit language and is a combination of the word ashva, meaning horse, and gandha, meaning smell. The root has a strong aroma that is described as “horse-like”. In Ayurvedic, Indian, and Unani medicine, ashwagandha is described as “Indian ginseng“.

Traditional Use of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has been used throughout India for thousands of years as a rejuvenating tonifier (rasayana in Ayurvedic herbalism). It was widely used to support vitality in people of all ages, including children, and to enhance reproductive function in both men and women. Traditionally, this herb has been used as an aphrodisiac, liver tonic, anti-inflammatory agent, and astringent. The results of clinical trials indicate that ashwagandha has anti-aging, immunomodulatory, antidepressive, and other therapeutic effects.

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Pharmacological Effects of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha contains several active constituents including alkaloids (isopelletierine, anaferine), steroidal lactones (withanolides, withaferins), and saponins. Withanolides serve as hormone precursors that can convert into human physiologic hormones as necessary. Preliminary animal evidence suggests ashwagandha may have a variety of pharmacological effects including analgesic, antipyretic, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects.

Ashwagandha– Powerful Adaptogen
The high stress levels of our society have a profound impact on well-being, impacting our bodies and health in ways that are continually being revealed by new research. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is widely used in modern Western herbalism as an adaptogen—a substance that can help our bodies healthfully adapt to physiological and psychological stress, thus increasing resistance to stressors. Adaptogenic botanicals are increasingly important in today’s society, where high stress levels negatively impact many different body systems. Many health practitioners believe adaptogens are just as important to our health as better-known nutrients and botanicals, such as antioxidants. Research suggests the mechanism of action of adaptogens may include modulation of the pituitary-hypothalamus-adrenal gland axis. They increase resistance against external stressors, have a balancing effect and stabilize normal body functions.

Ashwagandha: Anti-Stressor

Ashwagandha has been shown to increase stress resistance, improve memory-related performance, and protect against stress induced responses such as anxiety, and physiological imbalances, according to numerous animal studies and several human studies. Some researchers think ashwagandha has a so-called “anti-stressor” effect. Preliminary evidence suggests ashwagandha might suppress stress-induced increases of dopamine receptors in the corpus striatum of the brain. A comparison of the anxiety-reducing and antidepressive actions of ashwagandha with those of the benzodiazepine lorazepam was made in mice. Mice treated with both agents exhibited a reduction in brain concentrations of a marker of clinical anxiety. In addition, ashwagandha exhibited an antidepressive effect. The results of similar studies support the use of ashwagandha as an anti-stress adaptogen. In a rat model of chronic stress, the stress-reducing activities of extracts from ashwagandha were compared with those of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). Both agents reduced the number and severity of chronic stress–induced ulcers, reversed the chronic stress–induced inhibition of male sexual behavior, and inhibited the adverse effects of chronic stress on the retention of learned tasks. Well-controlled clinical studies are needed to further confirm ashwagandha’s benefits for humans.

Ashwagandha: Anti-Aging herb

The anti-aging effects of Ashwagandha were shown in a double-blind clinical trial in which 101 healthy men aged 50–59 years received a dosage of 3 grams Ashwagandha for 1 year. Specifically, significant improvements in hemoglobin, red blood cell counts, hair melanin concentrations, and serum cholesterol concentrations were observed.

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Source:/www.ayurvediccure.com

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Ashwagandha(Winter Cherry)

Botanical Name :Withania somniferum.
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Withania
Species: W. somnifera
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Name :Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, or winter cherry

Habitat:Ashwagandha plant is native to India.It is found in India and Africa.

Plant Description :   Ashwagandha is a short, tender perennial shrub growing 35 to 75 centimeters tall. with a central stem from which branches extend radially in a star pattern (stellate) and covered with a dense matte of wooly hairs (tomentose). The flowers are small and green, while the ripe fruit is orange-red and has milk-coagulating properties.. Florescence occurs in fall and spring.

You may click to see the pictures of Ashwagandha       (Winter cherry)

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The plant is cultivated as an annual crop and this herb can also be grown with in most home gardens. Ashwagandha plant is erect  with fleshy roots which is whitish brown in colour. Leaves are simple and ovate.

Uses of Ashwagandha products :

The roots of ashwagandha are used medicinally.

Having both energetic and synergetic actions, Ashwagandha is one of the most important drug in herbal preparations as described in classical Texts.
Ashwagandha enhance sexual power, prevent impotency, infertility, low sperm count or seminal debility

Ashwagandha acts against Arthritis and Rheumatism

When applied externally it acts against scabies, minor ulceration of skin applied as a poultice to boils.

In case of cancer, Ashwagandha acts as an adjuvant

Ashwagandha acts against insomnia, stress and stress oriented hypertension.

Ashwagandha is also very effective against intestinal ulcers

Ashwagandha is used to tone the uterus after miscarriage and treatment of post-partum difficulties.
According to Ayurveda, known as Indian “Ginseng,” Ashwagandha Root has been historically used for general debility, sexual debility, convalescence, old age, emaciation of children, memory loss, muscular exhaustion, overwork, tissue deficiency, fatigue, and nervous exhaustion. It also regenerates the hormonal system, aids in treating glandular swellings, promotes healing of tissues, ameliorates overwork and lack of sleep, and can be externally used on wounds. It is a galactagogue, and is additionally used to treat spermatorrhea and infertility, with a long standing tradition as an aphrodisiac. Also known as the “Winter Cherry,” it can be used to treat dry asthma, breathing problems, cough, skin problems, eye disorders, anemia, paralysis, and even shows promise in assisting the management of Multiple Sclerosis.

Ashwagandha has been used in connection with Immune function, osteoarthritis and stress.

The health applications for ashwagandha in traditional Indian and Ayurvedic medicine are extensive. Of particular note is its use against tumors, inflammation (including arthritis), and a wide range of infectious diseases. The shoots and seeds are also used as food and to thicken milk in India. Traditional uses of ashwagandha among tribal peoples in Africa include fevers and inflammatory conditions. Ashwagandha is frequently a constituent of Ayurvedic formulas, including a relatively common one known as shilajit.

Active constituents:
The constituents believed to be active in ashwagandha have been extensively studied. Compounds known as withanolides are believed to account for the multiple medicinal applications of ashwagandha. These molecules are steroidal and bear a resemblance, both in their action and appearance, to the active constituents of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) known as ginsenosides. Indeed, ashwagandha has been called “Indian ginseng” by some. Ashwagandha and its withanolides have been extensively researched in a variety of animal studies examining effects on immune function, inflammation, and even cancer. Ashwagandha stimulates the activation of immune system cells, such as lymphocytes. It has also been shown to inhibit inflammation and improve memory in animal experiments. Taken together, these actions may support the traditional reputation of ashwagandha as a tonic or adaptogen – an herb with multiple, nonspecific actions that counteract the effects of stress and generally promote wellness.

Some experts recommend 3 to 6 grams of the dried root, taken each day in capsule or tea form. To prepare a tea, 3/4 to 1 1/4 teaspoons (3 to 6 grams) of ashwagandha root are boiled for 15 minutes and cooled; 3 cups (750 ml) may be drunk daily. Alternatively, tincture 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon (2 to 4 ml) three times per day, is sometimes recommended.

With its ease of cultivation, there is hardly a reason that most people and certainly old age nursing homes does not have its own garden patch of ashwagandha as a hedge, so to speak, against the ravages of aging decrepitude. Given the fact that for better or worse, more people are living longer in the world than any other time in its history, trying to save enough money in long term retirement accounts for a comfortable old age and at the same time sensing real concerns at the thought of dwindling governmental entitlement benefits, it seems imperative that everyone grow their personal supply of ashwagandha and learn how to prepare and take it.

Besides over 3000 years of empirical experience, numerous studies on both animals and humans have attested to the anti-arthritis and mind calming properties of crude preparations of the herb. The combined alkaloids seem to exhibit calming, anti-convulsant and antispasmodic properties against many spasmogenic agents on the intestinal, uterine, bronchial, tracheal and blood-vascular muscles. It is described as similar but considerably weaker that papaverine and phenobarbitone. . Other constituents, namely the sitoindosides enhance pathogenic devouring phagocytes. Even anti-tumor properties have been found based on the use of the crude extract on mice both in living specimens as well as against cancer cells in the petri dish.

Ashwagandha is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a powder, decoction, medicated wine, mixed with clarified butter, combined with honey or sugar syrup or as a medicated oil. The most common form is as an alcoholic extract or capsules, of the powdered root.

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No significant side effects have been reported with ashwagandha so far. The herb has been used safely by children in India. Its safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding is unknown.

Precautions:The drug possesses properties that can abort a foetus and hence must be avoided by pregnent women.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resource:

http://www.sssbiotic.com

http://apmab.ap.nic.in/products.php?&start=0#

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Withania_somnifera

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