Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha)

Organic, Root, Powder, 100 Gr from India (SKU 4477)

Nutritional Value Per 100g: Energy 1008KJ / 240kcal; Protein 3,33g; Fat 0,3g; Of which saturated fat <0,1g; Carbohydrates 46,6g; Of which sugars 10,7g; Fibre 18,64g; Sodium <0,1mg

Allergen Statement: We hereby certify that Ashwagandha powder we sell does not contain any substances causing allergies or intolerances as ingredients or by possibility of cross contamination. The list of allergens which are likely to cause adverse reactions in susceptible individuals is provided in Annex IIIa of Directive 2007/68/EC. Please note that this statement is based on the information provided by the manufacturer of the product.


Family: Solanaceae (Nightshade family)

Ashwagandha has a long history of use in India where it grows in altitudes up to 5500 feet, and where there are rainy seasons divided by dry ones. It has been used both in Folk medicine and in Ayurveda, the system of traditional medicine native to India.[1][4] In Ayurveda it is considered a "Rayasana" herb which is said to improve overall health and increase longevity and vitality, to provide defense against disease and adverse environmental factors and to slow the aging process. In studies Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce anxiety and have positive effect on mood.

It's most commonly used name "Ashwagandha" means "horse's smell" in Sanskrit and refers to the smell of the herb however in Ayurvedi texts it is also said to give the strength and sexual vigor of a horse to a man. Some refer to Ashwagandha as "Indian Ginseng" since its use in Ayurvedic medicine resembles how Ginseng (Panax ginseng) is used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Other names: Ashwagandha, Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry, Ajagandha, Kanaje Hindi, Samm Al Ferakh.

Withania somnifera is a herb that has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda and folk medicine in India. "It is most commonly used to treat inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, fever, tumors, and a wide range of infectious diseases."[4] It is also used as an "aphrodisiac, anti-inflammatory, liver-tonic".[6] "It has been used in rheumatism, consumption and debility". The specific name "somnifera" refers to its sedative qualities and literally means "sleep inducer".

Recent studies have shown that Ashwagandha contains compounds known as withanolides that are steroidal in molecular construction and are similar to compounds found in Panax ginseng. It is for this reason that Ashwagandha has earned the nickname "Indian Ginseng" by some. Not surprisingly, Ashwagandha also shares many qualities with Panax ginseng and has been shown to "increase energy levels, improve overall health, improve the body's resistance to stress and stimulate the immune system".[5][6][7] It has also been shown to "help support good cognitive performance and memory while also calming the mind".[6][7][8]

Its rejuvenating properties are now being confirmed by scientific studies. According to a double-blind clinical trial on males between 50-59 years old "A significant improvement in hemoglobin, red blood cell count, hair melanin, and seated stature was observed" and "71.4 percent reported improvement in sexual performance".[6]

Ashwagandha, one of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs in the Western world may help improve memory and brain health. Ashwagandha is also used as an "adaptogen" to help the body cope with daily stress, and as a general tonic.

Withania somnifera is an evergreen, erect, woody shrub in the Solanaceae (Nightshade family) that reaches up to 170 cm in height. Its leaves are simple, petiolate, ovate and glabrous and the whole body of the plant is covered in star shaped hairs. It grows in the subtropical parts of India and also in parts of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Spain, Afghanistan and many parts of Africa. Its fruit which are berry like and bright red are usually harvested in the fall and its flowers are greenish or bright yellow in color.

Ashwagandha contains several alkaloids and steroidal lactones. The most common alkaloids are withanine, anaferin, anahygrine, cuscohygrine, pseudotropine, somniferinine, somniferiene, tropanol, pseudo-tropine, 3-a-gloyloxytropane and choline. Ashwagandha also contains steroidal lactones including withaferin A and withanolides (A-Y). Much of Ashwagandha's pharmacological properties has been attributed to two withaloides, withaferin A and withanolide D.[1][6]

Ashwagandha must not be given to pre-pubertal children. Do not take during pregnancy. Although formal scientific safety studies have not been completed, Ashwagandha appears to be safe when taken in normal doses. However, because some of the constituents of Ashwagandha can make you drowsy, it should not be combined with sedative drugs. The herb may also have some steroid-like activity at high dosages.

[1] Withania somnifera, Wikipedia
[2] Herbal Medicine and Botanical Medical Fads, Frank W. Hoffmann, Martin Manning
[3] The 5-minute Herb and Dietary Supplement Consult, Adriane Fugh-Berman
[4] The New Anti-aging Revolution, Ronald Klatz, Robert Klatz, Robert Goldman
[5] Document: NL E116-0-RE(6) Document: Withania somnifera, Alternative Medicine Review
[7] The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Department of Indian Systems of Medicine & Homoeopathy
[8] Document: NL-E76-0-REF Ashwagandha
[9] Withanolides, Ichikawa H, Takada Y, Shishodia S, Jayaprakasam B, Nair MG, Aggarwal BB.
[10] Anticarcinogenic activity of Withania somnifera Dunal against Dalton's Ascitic Lymphoma
[11] Rayasana, Harbans Singh Puri

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