Ashwagandha is an effective herbal medicine popular in India from ancient times. Ashwagandha is the Sanskrit name of the herb Withania somenifera, of the family Solanaceae. Commonly, it is called as Winter cherry, a small perennial plant with orange berry fruits. Apart from the ancient prescriptions, the modern studies also proved Ashwagandha as a promising anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-rheumatic, and anti asthmatic remedy.
Ashwagandha is a magic drug against various disorders. The systematic chemical analysis of the plant parts shows that the alkaloids are the active ingredients that attribute the medicinal property. Each disorder requires specific alkaloid in the herb to alleviate the condition. Even if it was not scientifically proven, the ancient practitioners were aware of this fact and hence, prescribed the same herb in different preparations, for different disorders.
The root of Ashwagandha was most popular as a medicine. The leaves and stem of the root is famous for hypnotic and anti-inflammatory property. The seeds of Ashwagandha are used as a diuretic in medicine, and coagulant in cheese making. The parts of the plant or the whole plant can be used in different forms such as dried, powdered, paste, decotion, and oil. The dried roots was powdered and added as ingredient in tea, to reduce cold and other immunogenic problems. The decotion of the root was prepared in both alcohol and aqueous base. The decotion of Ashwagandha can be mixed with various bases such as milk, honey, ghee, flour, and oil.
Ashwagandha is also the major ingredient of famous Ayurvedic preparations such as Ashwagandha rasayanam, Ashwagandha Ghritam, Ashwagandha – Vidari, Aswaganbdhadi Lepa, Aswagandharishtam, Chyavanaprasa Lehyam, Balarista, Godhumadyam ghritam, Mahakameswaro modaka and Saaraswatarishta. In the modern days, the alkaloids of the plant are eluded and the active ingredients of Ashwagandha are available in the form of pills, tonics and dietary supplements.
Ashwagandha is small shrub, seen in alkaline soil regions of Indian peninsula, Africa and now, cultivated in North America. The scientific name of the plant is Withania somenifera and ‘Ashwagandha’ is its name in Sanskrit. Among the local people of India and Africa, the small plant was very popular as an effective medicine. During the British reign in India, the importance of Ashwagandha was more studied and it was introduced to the West.
The natural medicinal system practiced among the people in India was a surprise to the foreign invaders. Ashwagandha was one of the herbs that received immense attention of the scientific crowd. It was a small herb seen in the country side, with a stringent ‘horse like smell’, as the name indicates. The native medicine practitioners were widely prescribing the herb as a whole or its parts, for various disorders, such as rheumatism, psoriasis, asthma, insomnia, psychiatric complaints and as an aphrodisiac. The property of the plant to acts as a remedy, against different disorders ranging from common cold to infertility, triggered the curiosity of the researchers, to explore on it.
The review of the medicinal literature
The review of the medicinal literature that practiced in India showed that the use of Withania somenifera was prevalent from around 3000 years. Ayurveda, the medicinal system of India, with long history, evidently demonstrate that the roots of the this plant as a rejuvenating tonic, good for respiratory complaints, skin diseases neurological problems and gynecological disorders. The Kamasutra, advocates this herb as a potent aphrodisiac.
The modern scientific analysis of the plant revealed the real facts about the plant. The chemical analysis elucidates that this palnt contains a series of active components such as somniferine, withananine, choline, anaferine, and 3-alpha-gloyloxy tropane. The clinical studies proved that these herbal alkaloids are rejuvenative and potent to alleviate many of the disease conditions. Now many researches are progressing on Ashwagandha, to develop it as a potential drug for neurological disorders, psychiatric problems, gynecological disorders, diabetes, and cancer. The scientific world is looking out on the folklore medicine as a wonder herb that has to be included in the daily diet, to prevent the modern lifestyle diseases.
Ashwagandha – a magical cure for AIDS?
Withania somenifera , the discovery of Indian traditional medicine, is a single stop remedy for many of the serious diseases. ‘Ashwagandha’ is the Sanskrit name of the perennial shrub that is commonly called as Winter cherry. Scientifically, it is called as Withania somenifera, from which, many medicinally potent alkaloids are extracted.
Ashwagandha is a common remedy in the Ayurveda for various diseases such as asthma, rheumatic complaints, neurological disorders, psychiatric disorders, and gynecological problems. It is also used as an aphrodisiac. Its medicinal properties are also utilized in other systems of medicine such as Unani and homeopathy. In Africa, the herb was used as a household remedy for fever and cough. In west, the aphrodisiac property of Ashwagandha gained attraction in the earlier stages. The detailed elucidation of the structural components and researches regarding its effect on each disease has revealed many promising facts about Withania somenifera .
The clinical trials of Ashwagandha have proved it as an effective anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic, anti depressant, and aphrodisiac. The significance of Withania somenifera is that it can act as a potent cure for most of the present lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, cholesterol, and heart attack. The efficacy of Ashwagandha to cure neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer have also reported. The most appreciated news about Ashwagandha is that it can play the key role as a modulator in immunological disorders. AIDS, the most notorious and devastating disease of the era is an immunological problem. Scientific world is looking forward to Withania somenifera as a potent remedy to improve the immunity of a person and hereby a magic cure and prevention for AIDS or at least for the better maintenance of the life of AIDS patients.
Ashwagandha – a single remedy for diseases
Ashwagandha is one of the most appreciated medicinal herbs in the world. Withania somenifera, according to scientific classification, is a commonly used medicine, from early days of civilization. Now, Withania somenifera is popular all over the world because of its scientifically proven medicinal properties. The insight into the importance of Ashwagandha, has gained much influence among the people, as many include Ashwagandha in the diet. The commercial viability has helped, Withania somenifera , from face of extinction since many are getting into the cultivation of Ashwagandha. Withania somenifera is basically a rejuvenating tonic, which helps a person to refresh, enhance vitality, energy, and acts as an immuno-stimulant. The ancient Eastern medicinal literatures evidently substantiate the use and importance of Withania somenifera in the treatment of various diseases.
Ashwagandha different preparations
The folklore is utilizing Withania somenifera different preparations, as natural remedy against, a variety of diseases such as weakness, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, cough, infertility, sexual disability, and insomnia. In addition to its anthelminthic property and efficiency to cure problems of old age, Withania somenifera was popular drug, used to stabilize the fetus of a pregnant woman. People used to chew the bark of Withania somenifera , and smoke its leaves to gain relief from tooth ache.
In general, the folklore has attributed a comprehensive and sequential action for Withania somenifera in the body. When the plant is consumed, the bitter taste will trigger the digestive system and cleanse the bowels, which result a vitalization of circulatory system. The native crowd was in the belief that the bitter taste of the medicine will change to sweet taste after chewing that will motivate the neurological system and eradicate the degenerative and psychiatric problems. The immune system will be totally rejuvenated in a week’s time, when the medicine is absorbed into blood and in a month, the aphrodisiac property of Withania somenifera will come in action.
This Plant as a promising remedy
The modern studies established that this plant as a promising remedy for many of the modern day anomalies such as diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension, cardiac problems, hormone imbalances, and neurodegenerative diseases. The anti-inflammatory property and immunogenic nature of this plant, projects it as a wonder drug against the most life threatening disorders, cancer and AIDS. This Plant is gaining much importance in the clinical world because of its characteristic potency to cure multiple diseases.
Clinically Proven Therapeutic Properties
Winter cherry or Ashwagandha, a popular drug from ancient days, have proven track record of treatment excellence. The small perennial shrub with winter fruits, called as Winter cherry was unnoticed in West. As a result of the new phase of information explosion, now, this plant gained its popularity in West also. The modern development in the chemical and clinical trials has helped to provide a scientific explanation to the properties of Withania somenifera, the scientific name of Ashwagandha.
The Indian medicinal system used to consider that this palnt as a highly valuable drug, which can cure a wide range of diseases ranging from anxiety to serious respiratory complaints. However, the scientific world cannot suggest a medicine, solely based on folklore information, without scientific clarification. The modern science has thoroughly investigated the properties of this plant, and concluded that the active components such as someniferin and withanoloids are the key factors behind the medicinal property of Ashwagandha.
The clinical trial has evidently proven Ashwagandha as anti-inflammatory, anti- asthmatic, antidepressant and aphrodisiac. The antibacterial property of Ashwagandha against a spectrum of bacteria including salmonella, without lysis of hemogenic cell is a big leap in the pharmacology. Its capability to dilate the blood vessels, and reduce cholesterol will in effect help to lower the cardiac risk of a patient. The memory boosting ability of Ashwagandha can be harnessed to use as an effective ingredient in neurostimulatory drugs. The GABA like activity of Withania somenifera is attributed as the reason to its anti anxiety property. Now, the thrust of clinical trial is to utilize its effectiveness for the tumor suppressing capability and immunostimulatory effects, with a vision to find a solution, for cancer and AIDS.
It can reduce anxiety and stress, help fight depression, boost fertility and testosterone in men and may even boost brain function.
Ashwagandha is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth short-term. The long–term safety of ashwagandha is not known.
Chronic stress has been associated with a number of illnesses, including obesity. Ashwagandha is a well-known adaptogen and known for reducing stress and anxiety in humans.
Although ashwagandha supplements (typically taken for anxiety or stress) are generally well-tolerated when taken short-term (weeks to a few months) .
This causes an increase in sexual desire and satisfaction. … Ashwagandha has become a common form of treatment for loss of libido and even for erectile dysfunction.