Ashwagandha or Indian winter cherry is considered one of the most important herbs in ayurvedic system of medicines. As because of its vast area of application, ayurvedic physicians have used it extensively in curing people from their ailments. Due to its properties it has gained lots of respect in the eyes of herbal healers.
Ashwagandha is biologically known as Withania somnifera. It is a shrub, normally found everywhere in India especially in northwestern part of the sub continent, but is now a days cultivated in fields because of its great commercial demand. Plant size varies from 1-5 ft. Plant part used is root. It derives its named "ashwagandha" because of two reasons. First reason is that its root smells like horse and the other reason is that it vitalizes body to provide strength just like a horse possess.
Ashwagandha is ushan virya in potency, has laghu (light) and tickt (penetrating) properties. Contains tickt, katu and madhur rasa. Due these combinations of superior properties, ashwagandha acts in numerous diseases with great results. As it is ushan virya in potency, it acts as vata suppressant. There fore relieves from all the illness caused by vata dominance. Also because of its hot potency, it opposes the rise of kapha therefore it also acts in suppressing increased and unbalanced kapha dosha. Root is found to contain biochemical like cuseohygrine, anahygrine, tropine, and anaferine etc. it also contains glycosides, withenolide with starches and amino acid. Ashwagandha is an herb with many uses.
Following are its indications:
· It is considered as most important adaptogens in ayurvedic system of medicine.
· It works in suppressing pains of any sort. It possess this property due to its ushan virya potency, which helps in eradicating vata that is the reason of initiation of pain in body.
· Good results have been seen in diseases like Amavata (rheumatoid arthritis), sandhi gata vata (Osteoarthritis), vatarakt (gout), gridhasi (sciatica) and other vata dominant diseases.
· Works as anti-inflammatory substance therefore helps in reducing swellings and restoring blood supply.
· Its local application also has tremendous results in lymphadenopathy, goiter and on any body part which is supposed to have inflammation and pain
· Possess great healing properties therefore has great effects in healing wounds and injuries
· It relieves stress due to presence of vata suppressant properties which helps in nurturing nervous system
· Helps in promoting calmness and mental satisfaction in mind due to its good penetrating powers, which helps to counter negative adaptogens.
· It helps in relieving from the feel of numbness and burning sensation in extremities.
· Helps in providing nourishment to the brain for its better function and greater ability to work.
· It is often given in a person who regularly suffers from vertigo, uncautiousness, and depression as it helps in curbing mental and physical weakness.
· Improves mental ability, helps in gaining retaining power and improves mental concentration
· Increases muscular endurance and helps in building up of stamina.
· Revitalizes body and decreases untimely fatigue caused due weak body strength accumulation of negative energies in the body.
· Works as a rasayan i.e. a substance that helps in preventing early aging and rejuvenates whole body to provide youth.
· It works as powerful immune booster that helps in fighting any foreign invasion in the body.
· Its antioxidant properties helps in avoiding symptoms of early aging
· A powerful aphrodisiac thereby helps in enhancing the sexual powers and long lasting endurance
· It also helps in increasing sperm count and also the quality of sperms.
· It gives good results in leucorrhoea, as it possesses the properties that suppress kapha.
· It is considered as one of the most commonly used herb in relieving hypertension with excellent results.
· It has also been found excellent supplement that helps in proving strength to heart muscles and keeps heart working normal
· It also possess the properties which helps it to behave as an diuretic therefore is very helpful in treating urinary tract infections (UTI)
· Wonderful remedy in increasing physical endurance is used extensively in physically weak people or people who are recovering from long illness as in case tuberculosis or surgeries.
· Good results have also been seen in upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) and in asthmatic condition with wonderful results.