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Know About Withania Somnifera And Its Side Effect

Withania somnifera

Withania somnifera Image Source


Withania Somnifera is also known as Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry or winter cherry. It is one of the biggest plant species known for its medicinal use and Ayurveda impotence. It is also known as one of the most used Ayurveda used all around the world. It is widely used as a pain killer and safe for use with children. The term Somnifera is derived from a Latin word which means sleep-inducing where as Ashwagandha means smell of horse, the plant with the odor of horse. It is one of the most powerful medicinal plants known and has survived for more than 3000 years, because of its numerous advantages and virtues. One of the major effects of the plant is that it induces sleep, balances the nervous system and restores energy. By going back in history one can very well know the effect of the plant.


Kingdom:             Plantae

(unranked):        Angiosperms

(unranked):        Eudicots

(unranked):        Asterids

Order:                  Solanales

Family:                 Solanaceae

Genus:                Withania

Species:               W. Somnifera

Characteristic Features

  1. Short, tender perennial shrub of 35 – 75 meter tall.
  2. Branches are Tomentose grown radically from a central stem.
  3. The Colors of leaves are dull green and elliptic in shape.
  4. The lengths of leaves are 10 – 12 cm long.
  5. Flowers are also found and are small green and bell shaped.
  6. Fruits are also green and are of orange – red color.


It is originated in India, grown and cultivated in drier regions of India, namely Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and many other places. Apart from India it is also found in Nepal, Yemen and China. It is one of the ancestral plants, living through the centuries because of its usefulness and features.


It is composed of iron, antioxidants, tannins, glucose, potassium nitrate, alkaloids, fatty acids and many other substances. It also has somnine, somniferine, anferine, withanolides, flavonoids, lactones and acyl steryl glucoside.

Medical Use of Withania Somnifera or Ashwagandha

In Ayurveda leaves and roots of Ashwagandha are of the major importance. Some of the medical uses of Ashwagandha are listed below.

  1. Strength
    – Fortifies body
    – Reinforce muscles
    – Regain strength, vitality and energy
  2. Anti diseases
    – Improves Immunity System
    – Antioxidants help to prevent from cancer
    – Prevents Tumor
    – Prevents from Chronic diseases
    – Prevents asthma, fever, cold and cough
  3. Relaxation
    – Removes Stress
    – Protects heart and high blood pressure
    – Helps in Sleep
    – Reduce the effects of Stress
  4. Digestion
    – Removes Constipation
    – Protects from stomach and intestinal ulcers
    – Regulates digestive system
    – Protects the liver
  5. Aphrodisiac
    – Regulates sexual functions
    – Useful in Infertility
    – Renew Sperms
    – Helpful in Painful periods
    – Stimulates libido

Benefits of Withania Somnifera or Ashwagandha

  1. Helps to regain strength
  2. Stimulates the immune system and induce proper body function
  3. Play a major role in removing stress
  4. Protects body from a number of diseases
  5. Provide a healthy metabolic function of the body

Side effects of Withania Somnifera or Ashwagandha

  1. Strong dose of Ashwagandha can have hypotonic effect.
  2. Ashwagandha cannot be recommended at the time of pregnancy


After studying about different prospectus of Withania Somnifera or Ashwagandha, one can say that it is a very useful source of medicinal use.