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Withania (Withania somnifera) is known as the "promotor of learning and memory retrieval" and has also been used for inflammations, psoriasis, asthma, rheumatic pains, wasting, senile debility, and to promote conception. To explore the characteristics, medicinal uses and prescribing considerations of this herb in more detail, check out the reference indicated.
- Common Names: Ashwagandha, Asagandh, Indian ginseng, Winter cherry
- Family: Solanaceae
- Habitat: Withania somnifera is native to India, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.
- Parts Used: Root, leaves, berries
- Constituents: steroidal lactones, alkaloids, iron
- Medicinal Actions: antitumour, cytotoxic, antianaemic, aphrodisiac, adaptogen, immunomodulator, anti-inflammatory, demulcent, emollient, depurative, sedative, hypotensive, enhances cognition, antiepileptic, antihelmintic, emmenagogue, cardiac tonic, vulnerary
Withania has been used in Ayurveda and Unani as an aphrodisiac, tonic, depurative, Antihelmintic, and an emmenagogue. The herb is known as the "promotor of learning and memory retrieval" and has also been used for inflammations, psoriasis, asthma, rheumatic pains, wasting, senile debility, and to promote conception.
- To Increase Vitality
- ulcers and scabies, poor healing
- Mimics GABA like effects and has been shown to promote the new formation of dendrites and neural repair.
- Prevents gastric ulcers and decreases joint inflammation.
The information provided is intended to augment the treatment from a naturopathic doctor or other trained medical professional. Although most herbs are generally safe, it is recommended that you avoid self-prescribing especially when there is an underlying ongoing medical condition, if you are on any prescription medications or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Formulations and Preparation
- Infusion - 1/2 tsp daily, powdered leaves in water for anemia
- Decoction - 3-6g daily
- Fluid extract - 6-12mL liquid extract (1:2) daily
- Generally regarded as safe.
- Side-effects are generally not seen.
- Contraindicated in pregnancy (emmenagogue, abortifacient), but considered a non-toxic herb.
- Drug-Herb Interactions.
- Barbiturates - Potentiates (speculative)
- Benzodiazepine and Opiate Withdrawal - Used as an adjuvant (empirical)
- Godfrey Anthony, Saunders Paul, Barlow Kerry, Gowan Matt (2011) Principles and Practices of Naturopathic Botanical Medicine, Advanced Botanical Medicine. V3 CCNM Press, Toronto.
- Stargrove Mitchell Bebell, Treasure Jonathan, McKee Dwight L (2008) Herb, Nutrient and Drug Interactions: Clinical Implications and Therapeutic Strategies.
- Brinker Francis (1997) Herbal Contraindications and Drug Interactions: Plus Herbal Adjuncts With Medicines, 4th Edition Eclectic Medical Publications.