Introduction of Ashwagandha:winter cherry or withania.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Ashwagandha, its English name, Latin name, Common Names, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Withania somnifera Dunal., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Ashwagandha, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Ashwagandha(winter cherry).

Withania somnifera:plant photo English Name: Ashwagandha.
 Latin Name: Withania somnifera Dunal, Withania coagulans Dunal.
 Common Names: Aswagandha,winter cherry,withania.
 Property and flavor: 

 Brief introduction: The small evergreen undershrub grows in the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.It has showy greenish or yellow flowers.The dried roots, fruits or berries, and oval leaves are used medicinally.

 Botanical source: The common herbal classics defined the herb Ashwagandha as the fruit of species (1). Withania somnifera Dunal. It is a plant species of the Withania genus, the Solanaceae family (the nightshade, or potato family). The dried root, fruits or berries, and oval leaves are used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Withania somnifera Dunal.

 Withania somnifera:growing plant Botanical description: Withania somnifera is a perennial plant, it grows up to 1.5 meters high, stems are mostly dichotomous and densely pilose, leaves are broadly ovate or oval, 6~10 cm long, pointed at the apex, wedge-shaped downward at the base, slightly wavy throughout, sparsely pilose on both sides, dense hairs on the veins, 4~6 pairs of lateral veins; Petiole is 1~2 cm long; Flowers are in clusters of 3~6; Pedicel is 2 mm long, densely pilose; Calyx is bell-shaped, densely pilose, 2.5~3 mm in length and diameter, calyx teeth is triangular, less than 1 mm in length; Corolla is narrow bell-shaped, crown tube hair is sparse, crown brim hair is dense, 4~4.5 mm long, lobes are ovate-triangular; Stamens are slightly protruding, corolla lobes bent, connective prominent; Persistent calyx is ovoid, membranous, 1~1.2 cm long, 9 mm in diameter, pilose, with 10 inconspicuous longitudinal ribs; Berry is globose, 8 mm in diameter; Fruit stalk is as long as 5 mm; Seeds are pale brown, about 2.8 mm long, reticulate concave; The flowering and fruiting period is October; The seeds are flat kidney-shaped, light brown, about 2.8 mm long and 2 mm wide, and the surface is reticulated and concave.

 Withania somnifera:fruiting plant Ecological environment: The plant has a wide distribution throughout drier climates areas of the world, and especially from South Africa and South Asia, so it has another name South Africa Withania.

 Growth characteristics: The plant prefers warm and humid climate, sunny and not shaded. It can grow in areas which altitude is below 1,000 meters above sea level. Better choose where there is sufficient sunshine, deep soil layer, loose fertile sandy soil for cultivation.

 Withania somnifera:fruiting plant Pharmacological actions: ①.anti-inflammatory; ②.sedative; ③.antistress; ④.adaptogenic; ⑤.relieve liver toxicity; ⑥.counter arthritis; ⑦.reverse cognitive deficits; ⑧.antibacterial and antifungal activity.

 Medicinal efficacy: The herb is traditionally used as a rejuvenating tonic in boosting strength, stamina, vigor, and sexual energy. It is recommended for more specific ailments such as nausea, bronchitis, tuberculosis, arthritis and inflammatory conditions, tumors, anemia, fluid retention as a diuretic, externally for skin ulcerations and swelling. It is also recommended as an adaptogen, antistress proponent, antioxidant and agent for promoting drowsiness-free relaxation and sedation, boost immunity, etc.

 But firm conclusions about the significance of its anti-inflammatory, sedative and antistress properties for humans are difficulty to draw, and No human trials have been done to verify its adaptogenic and anti-stress effects, liver protection, counter arthritis and reverse cognitive deficits, antibacterial and antifungal activity, etc.

 Administration of Ashwagandha(winter cherry): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Ashwagandha(winter cherry)
Herbal classic books: The common recommended daily dosage is 2 to 3 grams of the winter cherry root powder, three times a day.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: Winter cherry is relatively safe to use, but animal experiments state it produced marked renal lesions in test rats, if you decide to use winter cherry, keep in mind the plant's potential to cause sedation and other similar effects.

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