Withania somnifera – Ayurvedic Herb








According to paipalada samhitha ashvaganda root is given as nasya to achieve conception.

In brihatrayees -charaka vaghbata  – haya ganda or hayahvaya

Susrutha and vagbata – vajiganda

Susrutha  -Thuranga  ganda

Susrutha and vaghbata are not mention any gana. Sharankadara mention sukrala property of ashvagandha along with musali and satavary.

On review of literature, brihatreyas intact have emphasized Ashwagandha as vrishya. bhrihatrayees intact have emphasized it as a vajeekarana drug.

From medival period onwards aswaganda emerged as a general tonic and aphrodisiac agent.




In the literature we do not come across the descriptions regarding two kinds of ashwaganda but there are two plants available in the trade viz. withania somnifera and withania coagulance.

Withania somnifera is denoted as pennerugaddha and

Withania coagulance is denoted as Dommadolugadda. In telugu but both the name is commonly used as vernacular to ashwaganda.

There is another drug described in dhanvantari nighandu along with ashvagandha with synonym like medaswi, sthoulya dhava, Bali, mamsi and rukmini this is considered as big variety of ashvagandha(withania coagulance) by sri singaraja kamashastry (1932). the cultivated land of ashvagandha  which is thin and lean is mainly bought from nagori district of Madhya Pradesh, hence the name nagori variety.

The presently cultivated varieties are Ws-27-7, Ws- 23 -55, Ws- 27-58, Ws -10 – 28 etc.



o   Ashwagandha                   –        its roots smell like of horse

o   Ashvakanda                –        roots have horse smell.

o   Ashwavarohaka          –        It is vrishya in nature.

o   Kanjuka                        –        it increases sukra.

o   Kamaroopini               –        he increases lipid.

o   Ganda patree               –        leaves have smell of horse.

o   thuragi                          –        has smell of horse

o   Putradha                      –        have vrishaya action

o   Baladha                        –        it is also balya

o   Maruthagni                 –        good vatahara

o   Vajeekari                      –        have good effect on reproductive system

o   Varaha karni               –        the leaves are of shape ear of a pig.

o   Vrisha                           –        it has a good effect on reproductive

o   Hayahvaya                   –        the plant smell like horse.

o   Balya                            –        it is balya




English            –                  winter cherry

Hindi               –                  puneer , Asgand

Sanskrit          –                  Ashwagandha

Malayalam      –                  Amukuram

Tamil               –                  Amukkirag

Kannada         –                  Ashvagandhi

Bengal             –                  ashvaganda

Gujrathi          –                  Asundha

Punjabi           –                  asgand

Telugu             –                  Pulivendram

Urudu             –                  asgandh

Marathi               –                  Aasandh, dargunj



  • Root
  • Leaf
  • Alkali
  • Seeds
  • Fruits



Powdered drug is greyish with pungent odour and acid taste. It is charecterised by presence of large no. of starch

Many biochemically beterogenous alkaloids in roots. Alkaloids has hypo potensive action, brady cardiac root also have starch , reducing sugar, hentracontane , glycosides, withaniol.

Leaves contain withanolids other alkaloids are somniferine, somnine , somniferinine.



The active components found in aswaganda extract possess anti oxidant antianxity , anti- bacterial and aphrodisiac properties hence its benefits in dealing with stress, sleep disorders mental problem , infection and improving the general health.




  • Rasa               :    Madura, Tiktha, kashaya
  • Guna              :    Laghu , snigdha
  • Veerya           :    Ushna
  • Vipaka           :    Madhura
  • Doshagnatha:    Vata – kapha  shamaka




  • Vata  kapha hara
  • Balya
  • Rasayana
  • Sukrala
  • Vrishya
  • Shodhara
  • Brimhana
  • Vajeekarana
  • Garbhashaya shodhahara
  • Praja sthapana
  • Nabhi balya
  • Masthishka  shamaja
  • Deepana
  • Anulomana
  • Krimigna
  • Hridya
  • Raktha sodhaka
  • Vedana sthapana




  • Shopha
  • Svithra
  • Nidra nasha
  • Klaibya
  • Vandyata
  • Kshaya
  • Vatavyadi
  • Udara roga
  • Nidra nasha
  • Rasayana
  • Shosha
  • Cancer
  • Anaemia
  • Aging
  • Immune disfunction
  • Neurological disease
  • Memory loss



–         Ashwaganda is traditionally avoided in lymphatic congestion during cold and flu

–         In symptoms of ama condition it is avoided

–         Caution should be used  with clients on anti covulsants  and barbiturates.




Hypotensive , brady cardiac, respiratory  stimulant , anti bacterial , hypothermic , immunosuppressive  Anti tumour, adaptogenic, anti stress , anti convulsant , psychotrophic , Antioxidant , anti spasmodic, analgesic , antipyretic , anti viral, anti arthritic sedative, cardiotropic, anticoagulant, antiageing  cyto protective.




Grandi –mada kalka is warmed and applied in cyst


Internal use

swasa – aswaganda kshara with madhu and grita (charaka)

Shosha   -20 tola of dugda and 20 tola of jala and 2 tola of aswaganda choorna mix with sugar candi every day(susrutha)

Kshaya – aswaganda choorna , pippali, sugar, equal quantity with madhu and grita.

Vata vyadi – aswagandha kalka and 4 time quada and 4 time dugda are processed in griha siddhi method (charaka datta)

udara roga – moola choorna along with gomootra.

Vandhyatwa – ashvaganda kwada, dugda, grita process in sneha siddhi  and this grida is given internally.

Mal nutrition : aswaganda choorna  + anupana ; dugda, taila ,grida

Udararaga – aswaganda choorna + gomutra(shodha)

Garbha  dharana – aswaganda kwada  + grida , given in rtu kala.

Rasayana – aswaganda choorna , sirisha with madu and grita, dugda( raja marthanda)

Nidra nasa – A – choorna + grida + sugarcandi(Vangasena)




Steward stated that the root was occasionally eomployed by local people of Punjab and sind to effect abortion  pammel also mentioned that the plant has abortificient property.

–         In wad and kalat, a fomentation of leaves was used to cure eye sores , boils and swellings of the hand and pets by causing the boils to ripen and burst.

–         The leaves were used for killing lice in Las bela and in the pab bills.

–         In kotra the flowers were used for  apply on sores.

–         The sotos used a decoction of the root for cold an oinment of leaves for bed sores and an infusion of bark for asthama .

–         The the xosas used the plant for disinfecting anthrax infected meat. The fresh juice of leaf was applied by the xosas to anthrax pestules.

–         In the foot hills of western garhwal in Himalayan region the root powder of withania somnifera is used in pulmonary tuberculosis

–         The drug is used in insanity and epilepsy in dibrugarh district of Assam.





Root is the tap root type, tapering towards lower end. diameter varies  from 8 -18 mm. It is smooth and uniform in appearance and bears lateral rollets, surface is dark brown, internally  it is cream coloured fracture is short and starchy.

Odour is pinjent taste –bitter and acrid  in transverse section cork cells are delimited from the outermost layer of the secondary cortex by a single layer of phellogon, cork cells are large and suberised and contain some stratch grains

The outermost portion of the periderm is light brown broken at palces and is composed of dead cells.



–         Adaptogen

Researchers found that rats are treated with an extract of          aswagandha showed better stress tolerance (archana and namasivayam 1999)

–         Anti inflammatory  An extract of arial part of aswaganda had excellent anti inflammatory effect in rats subjected to having option pellets surgically implanted in their skin(al –hindawi etal 1992)

–         Highly anti pyretic analgesic acting in albino rats on intraperitoneal use(CCRIMH)

–         Useful in acute rheumatoid arthritis but no substantial use in chronic state osteo arthritis and peri arthritis of shoulder.

–         Relief of symtoms of anxiety level and neuroticism seen (R.H. Singetal)

–         Sr . cholesterol and nail calcium decreased in the treated group (appuranjan etal)

–         In a double blind study , powdered root tablets in a dose of 1 g  t.d..s were given to healthy individuals with milk for an year resulting into haemoglobin  , RBC and hair melanin raise compare to control group.




  • Choorna             –        3-6g
  • Arishta                –        15 -20ml
  • Grita                    –        3-5ml
  • Capsule               –        350 -400 mg
  • Syrup                  –        5 -10 ml
  • Avaleha              –        3 -6 g
  • Kshara                  –         1-2g




  • Ashwagandharista
  • Ashwagandha grita
  • Ashwagandha choorna
  • Ashwagandha avaleha
  • Shoubagya sudipaka
  • Sukumara grita
  • Maharasanadi yoga




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