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Ashwangandha or Withania

 ashwangandha  withania

Sanskrit - Strength of a thousand horses.

 A medicinal herb which is a beacon of hope, as a de - stressor and restorer of lost vitality. An amazing tonic that counters loss of positivity especially in the elderly after a long illness.

Ashwagandha has been used for centuries and remains one of the most important herbs for treating TB, General Debility, Memory Loss, Rheumatism, Fatigue, and emaciation

Information is provided for educational purposes and this is not for medical diagnosis.
Considered one of the top 10 herbs to strengthen the immune system . Research has indicated that it has anti inflammatory, anti cancer, anti tumor properties.
ASHWAGANDHA refuses to be classified as offering 1 or 2 benefits.

Having be subjected to stringent and extensive tests findings have been remarkable.

  • It aids the recovery from chronic illnesses, increases haemoglobin levels and aids treatment of anemia.
  • A safe sedative it has been shown to have a positive effect on long terms stress.
  • This herb has become increasingly valuable in cases of brain fog, senile dementia and senile debility.
  • Whole plant extracts have been found to be effective against staphylococcal, salmonella and even E Coli infections.
  • This herb can be used externally as a poultice over painful joints, swellings, stings, bites burns and raw wounds.
  • Shown to lover cortisol levels significantly.
  • Also Lowers Blood sugar, Supports hormones and Thyroid.
  • Used traditionally to treat burns and hemorrhoids
  • Also asthma and syphilis.

Ashwagandha belongs to the Solanaceae family and must therefore be taken with care.


This is toxic to livestock ( animals will not eat this when grazing) it has been used for centuries by vets in rural areas to treat mastitis.

The name Somnifera indicates that it has sedative effects which is why it is beneficial to humans and veterinary medicine. Also known as Winter Cherry

and Indian Ginseng.

Ashwagandha is a slow restorative builder. Not a big energy high with the corresponding crash. Slowly day by day more strength and resilience is built up.

In Africa traditional medicine makes use of the leaves, stems, mature branches, roots and fruit.

In Europe and Asia mainly roots and leaves are use


 Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1/4 cup of Ashwangandha , roots, leaves, stems, flowers and berries.

Infuse for 5 - 10 minutes. Strain and sip slowly. Can be taken once or twice a day.

The alkaloids in the leaves and roots lower the blood pressure gently, also lowers the heart rate and brings a state of calm.

This can be made in a larger batch and kept in the refrigerator for use over several days.


Roots can be ground to a powder and added to smoothies or used in other recipes.
The powder can be used a a poultice.


  • Squeeze the ripe seed free of its protective husk onto a sheet of paper towel.
  • Once dry , anytime during spring to autumn, press the paper including the seed into moist sandy soil in a seed tray then sieve soil lightly over the top.
  • Water the tray from below so as not to disturb the growth.
  • Once the seedlings are big enough to handle, take them out of the tray and plant into compost filled pots and place in a protected area in good light.
  • Stand the pots in full sun for an increasing time each day until ready to plant out into the garden.


  • Plant out at least 1 m apart, in full sun in deep richly composted soil.
  • Make a good dam around the base of the plant.
  • Compost twice a year.
  • Long slow watering twice in summer will ensure good leaf and berry growth
  • A vigorous grower so can be pruned lightly in winter to shape. 
  • Save all pruning to use as cuttings.
  • Cuttings can be propagated in moist sandy soil in pots.

Harvesting and Processing:

  • Harvest all year round.
  • All parts of the plant are used including berries in their husks.
  • Ashwangandha can be used fresh or dried.

Ashwangandha has been used in Ayurveda medicine and Asian pharmacopoeias for centuries and remains one of the most important herbs. 

It is treasured in Africa where because of its easy spread it has become one of Africa's endemic medical plants. 

The benefits and uses  of this medicinal herb have been verified right back to early texts and there can be no doubt this is a herb worth growing and using. 

A simple tea remedy that can have many benefits.




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