Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Indian Winter Cherry, Indian Ginseng
Rasa: Katu (pungent), Tikta (bitter), Kashaya (astringent)
Guna: Snigdha (oiliness, unctuousness), Laghu (lightness)
Veerya: Ushna, hot potency
Balances Tridosha, especially Vata and Kapha
One the best herbs for calming Vata
Ashwagandha is definitely one of the most useful herbs in Ayurveda. It is an important rejuvenator and adaptogen, it is anti-stress and neuroregenerative. It has significant anti-cancer properties. In Ayurveda, it is used as a Rasayana to gain a more youthful and happy state, physically and mentally.
The herb strengthens the adrenals, calms the mind and promotes good sleep. It strengthens mind function and memory. It improves reproductive system health and it possesses potent antioxidants. Studies show it has an antidepressant effect that is comparable to the drug imipramine, and it has a calming effect comparable to the drug Lorazepam. *
It is regarded as a general tonic for the body, stimulant, analgesic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, thermogenic, anthelmintic, diuretic, narcotic, and aphrodisiac.
The herb has been studied extensively for its positive effect on neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. Studies show that Ashwangandha “slows, stops, reverses or removes neuritic atrophy and synaptic loss.” *
Studies also show the herb improves mitochondrial health and energy levels.
* Narendra Singh, Mohit Bhalla, Prashanti de Jager, Marilena Gilca, An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda, Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2011; 8(5 Suppl): 208-213