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Ashwagandha Use, Health Benefits, and Side Effects

Introduction to Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha contains chemicals that may aid in brain relaxation, swelling reduction, blood pressure reduction, and immune system modulation.

Because ashwagandha is traditionally used as an adaptogen, it is used to treat a variety of stress-related conditions. Adaptogens are thought to aid the body’s resistance to physical and mental stress.

What is the Botanical Name of Ashwagandha?

Withania somnifera
Withania= Named in honour of Withan, Somnifera = somni (Latin) = Sleep, fera (Latin ) = I bear. The roots are used for inducing sleep.

What is the Family of Ashwagandha?

Solanaceae

अश्वगन्धा – अश्वस्येवगन्धोऽस्याः अथवा अश्वस्येवगन्धः उत्साहः यस्यसेवनेनसा ।

The roots have smell of Horse and root improves sexual potential like that of horse-Ashwagandha.

Dravyaparichaya:

कन्दिनीवाजिगन्धास्यात् क्षुपापर्पोटिवत्फला । वनजावृत्तपर्णीचकन्दोवाजीकरःस्मृतः।। (शिवदत्त)

The root of Aswagandha has the smell of a Horse, the fruits are similar to Parpoti (P. minima Linn.). The leaves are ovate (Vruttaparni) and the Kanda has the Vajikarana effect.

Main synonyms of Ashwagandha:

Plant:

a. Herb: Shupa

b. Emits horse’s smell: Ashvagandha, Vajigandha, Hayagandha

I. Leaves:

a. Resemble pigs ears: Varahakarni

वराहकर्णि – वराहकर्णवत्पत्राण्यस्याः ।

b. Resembles ear of cow: Gokarni

II. Root:

a. Emits horse’s smell: Ashvakanda

अश्वकन्दा – अश्वस्यगन्धयुक्तः ।

b. Smell is similar to kustha: Kusthagandhini

III. Fruit:

Similar to that of Parpoti (P.minima ): Parpotivatphala

IV. Action:

i. Promotes sexual potency like that of horse :

Ashwagandha – अश्वगन्धा – अश्वस्येवगन्धोऽस्याः अथवा अश्वस्येवगन्धः उत्साहः यस्यसेवनेनसा ।

Ashvavarohika – अश्वावरोहिका – अश्वमवरोहयति अधः करोतिपुंस्त्वशक्तौ इति ।

Vrusha – वृषा – वृषवत् शुक्रवर्धनीवाजीकरीच ।

Hayahva – हयाह्ना – अश्वनाम्ना प्रख्याता ।

ii. It is Shukravardhaka : Putrada

पुत्रदा – पुत्रददाति शुक्रवर्धकत्वात् ।

iii. Retains semen : Kanchuka

कञ्चुक – कञ्चतेबध्नातिशुक्रंदीप्तिकरञ्च ।

iv. Promotes complexion: Kamarupini कामरूपिणि – बलंददातिबलवर्धनीत्यर्थः ।

v. Promotes strength: Balada

बलदा – बलंददातिबलवर्धनीत्यर्थः ।

vi. Useful in vatavikara: Marutaghni मारुतघ्नी – मारुतंवातविकारं हन्ति ।

Regional Names of Ashwagandha:

  • Hindi- Asgandh
  • Bengali- Ashvagandha
  • Gujarati- Asgandha
  • Kannada- Angarberu
  • Hiremaddina- gida
  • Malayalam- Amukkuram
  • Marathi-Asagandha, Askagandha
  • Tamil- Amukkaramkizangu
  • Telugu- Pennerugadda

Classification of Dravya (Gana) as in Charaka and Sushruta:

Charaka: Balya, Bruhmaniya, Madhuraskandha

Sushruta: —-

External Morphology of Ashwagandha:

A branched erect undershrub, branches usually clothed with stellate hairy tomentum.

Leaves are ovate, more or less minutely stellately pubescent. The base is acute.

Flowers are greenish or lurid yellow, usually about 5 together in sessile or nearly sessile umbellate cymes.

Fruit is a berry, red, and smooth, enclosed in the inflated calyx. The seeds are yellow and somewhat scurfy.

Substitute of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is used as a substitute for Kakoli and Kshirakakoli of Ashtavarga, which are identified as Lilium podophyllum D. Don and Fritillaria roylei Hook. as per Ayurvedic Formulary of India, Part-I, published by Govt. of India. (CCRAS Database Volume III)

Useful Parts: Moola (Root)

Important Phytoconstituents Ashwagandha:

Alkaloids and Withanolides. (A.P.I Volume I)

Rasa Panchaka of Ashwagandha:

  • Rasa: Tikta, Katu, Madhura
  • Guna: Laghu, Snigdha
  • Virya: Ushna
  • Vipaka: Madhura
  • Karma: Rasayana, Vajikarana, Balya

Action on Dosha, Dhatu, and Mala:

By Madhura rasa and ushna virya- Vatashamaka. By tikta rasa and ushna virya-Kapha shamaka.

Dhatu: Dhatuvardhaka specially Shukradhatu.

Mala: Mutrala

Pharmacological Activity of Ashwagandha:

Hypotensive, Bradycardiac and Respiratory stimulant, Antibacterial, Hypothermic, Immunosuppressive, Immunostimulatory, Immunomodulatory Adaptogenic, Antitumour, Radiosensitising, Antistress, Anticonvulsant, Psychotropic CNS depressant, Antioxidant, Antiinflammatory, Antispasmodic, Analgesic, Antipyretic Antiviral, Antiarthritic, Sedative, Cardiotropic, Cardioprotective, Anticoagulant, Antiageing, Cytoprotective. (CCRAS Vol. III)

Prayogarhavyadhi (Therapeutic Benefits of Ashwagandha):

List of ashwagandha benefits for Health:

  • Shotha
  • Kshaya
  • Dourbalya
  • Vataroga

Amayikaprayoga and Matra of Ashwagandha (Therapeutic Administration and Dose):

Internal uses of Ashwagandha

i. Vatavyadhi: Aswagandha ghruta (V.M 22/73)

ii. Udara and krimi: Aswagandha with gomutra (C.D 37/48)

iii. Mutraghata: Aswagandha kwatha (S.B.M 4/54)

iv. Rasayana: Aswagandha taken with dugdha, ghruta, taila or ushnajala for ardhamasa promotes the development of the body. (A.H.U 39/158)

v. Kshaya, Shosha: Churna of Aswagandha, Tila and Masha with Ajaghruta and Madhu (Su. U 41/40)

Dose: 3-6 g of the drug in powder form (A.P.I Volume I)

Vishista Yoga of Ashwagandha (Names of Important Formulations):

Classical References of Ashwagandha:

Synonyms:

गन्धान्ता वाजिनामादिश्वगन्धा हयाह्वया । वराहकर्णीवरदाबलदाकुष्ठगन्धिनी । ( भा. प्र . ) Guna Karma:
अश्वगन्धाऽनिलश्लेष्मश्वित्रशोथक्षयापहा । बल्यारसायनीतिक्ताकषायोष्णाऽतिशुक्रला । (भा.प्र.) अश्वगन्धाकषायोष्णातिक्तवातकफापहा । विषव्रणकफान् हन्तिकान्तिवीर्यबलप्रदा ।। (ध.नि.)

Frequently Aske Questions

What are ashwagandha’s side effects?

Side effects of ashwagandha include stomach upset, nausea, and drowsiness. Avoid ashwagandha if you are pregnant or have an autoimmune disorder due to its side effects. To avoid side effects, take ashwagandha for no more than three months.

Is ashwagandha good for men?

According to studies, men who took ashwagandha supplements had significantly higher levels of testosterone, better sperm quality, and antioxidant levels.

Does ashwagandha help you get hard?

Initially, it was thought that ashwagandha could help treat erectile dysfunction due to its known effects on testosterone levels. However, there were no significant benefits to using ashwagandha root powder in men with certain types of erectile dysfunction.

Is ashwagandha good for females?

Ashwagandha is a potent herb with numerous benefits for women. It can boost vitality, strength, and energy. Furthermore, ashwagandha can aid in hormone balance, stress and anxiety reduction, and overall health and well-being.

Can I take ashwagandha at night?

yes, You can take it with Milk.

What is ashwagandha used to treat?

It is used to treat pain and inflammation, as well as to treat insomnia and improve nutrition, among other things.

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