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Botanical name: Withania somnifera
Other common names: Withania, Indian ginseng, Winter cherry
Part used: Root
Actions: Adaptogenic, Tonic, Sedative
Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years as a rejuvenating tonic. It helps the body adapt to physical and mental stress.
It increases vitality, but also encourages rest and relaxation. Ashwagandha can improve mental alertness and memory retention.
Uses and preparations
Ashwagandha is a nurturing tonic that relaxes rather than stimulates the body making it useful for recovery after illness or extreme stress.
A mild sedative, it can help calm the body to give a deeper more restful sleep.
Good for disease prevention in the elderly, for those who push themselves hard, such as athletes and over-achievers and weak, thin, ‘always sick’ children.
Decoction: Simmer Ashwagandha root in water for up to 20 minutes. This will create an Ashwagandha tea that can be drunk hot or cold and can be stored in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
Milk decoction: simmer gently 1-2 tsp of Withania root in 1 cup water for 20min. Add 1 cup of milk and heat without boiling. Add honey and a grating of nutmeg to taste.
Tincture: Make a 1:5 tincture of Ashwagandha and 45% alcohol for convenience if taking a number of herbs at once.
Soups and smoothies: Soaking Ashwagandha root in warm water and then blending it into soups or smoothies is an easy way to enjoy the benefits of this nurturing root.
Also available as ashwagandha powder.
Withania somnifera is generally well tolerated and there are no known side effects. Caution: May potentiate the effects of the drug thyroxine - need to monitor.
All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. Please seek professional advice before commencing any treatment.