Ashwaganda - Withania somnifera (in the Solanaceae or Nightshade family)
Parts used: Root.
Taste/smell: A complex of tastes and smells: bitter, flowery and earthy.
Dosage: Decoction: 1 tablespoon of the dry root per cup of water; or 1:1 fresh plant liquid extract: 10 - 60 drops 3 - 4 times per day in a little water.
Use: (a) Sedative, (b) Hypotensive, (c) Anti-inflammatory, (d) Immunomodulating, (e) Adaptogenic, (f) Tonic.
In India, Ashwaganda is thought to instill the vitality of a horse to the consumer.The adaptogenic and tonic effects are best suited to persons who are debilitated or exhausted while agitated or under stress. The leaves have traditionally been used to treat cancerous growths. The root is used in nervous exhaustion, stress induced health conditions, anemia with emaciation, impotence with aging or due to stress, chronic inflammation, depressed white blood cell count due to cytotoxic drugs, cognitive function deficits including those with aging and hypertension.
Contraindications: Ashwaganda should not be used in pregnancy.