(070409SCS1-3) Withania somnifera

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Suresh C. Sharma

Apr 6, 2009, 9:36:56 PM4/6/09
to indiantreepix
Withania somnifera
Sonepat, Haryana, 5th Apr 09.
Sanskrit & Hindi : Ashvagandha
Why is it called Ashvagandha?
Suresh C Sharma

J.M. Garg

Apr 6, 2009, 11:26:04 PM4/6/09
to Suresh C. Sharma, indiantreepix
Thanks, Suresh ji,
Some extracts from Wikipedia link (for pictures/ more details, pl. click on the link): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashwagandha
Withania somnifera, also known as Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, Winter cherry, Ajagandha, Kanaje Hindi and Samm Al Ferakh, is a plant in Solanaceae or nightshade family.

It grows as a stout shrub that reaches a height of 170 cm. Like the tomato which belongs to the same family, it bears yellow flowers and red fruit, though its fruit is berry-like in size and shape. Ashwagandha grows prolifically in India,Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It is commercially cultivated in Madhya Pradesh (a province in India).

In Ayurveda ashwaganda is considered a rasayana herb. This herb is also considered an adaptogen which is an herb that works to normalize physiological function, working on the HPA axis and the neuroendocrine system.[citation needed] In Ayurveda, the fresh roots are sometimes boiled in milk, prior to drying, in order to leach out undesirable constituents. The berries are used as a substitute for rennet, to coagulate milk in cheese making.

Ashwagandha in Sanskrit means "horse's smell", probably originating from the odor of its root which resembles that of sweaty horse. The species name somnifera means "sleep-making" in Latin, indicating that to it are attributed sedating properties, but it has been also used for sexual vitality and as an adaptogen. Some herbalists refer to ashwagandha as Indian ginseng, since it is used in ayurvedic medicine in a way similar to that ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Seven American and four Japanese firms have filed for grant of patents on formulations containing extracts of the herb Ashwagandha. Fruits, leaves and seeds of the Indian medicinal plant withania somnifera have been traditionally used for the Ayurvedic system as aphrodisiacs, diuretics and for treating memory loss. The Japanese patent applications are related to the use of the herb as a skin ointment and for promoting reproductive fertility. The U.S based company Natreon has also obtained a patent for an Ashwagandha extract.

Another US establishment, the New England Deaconess Hospital, has taken a patent on an Ashwagandha formulation claimed to alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis.[2].

The product called "ashwagandha oil" is a combination of ashwagandha with almond oil and rose water designed to be used as a facial toner, therefore should not be consumed.

2009/4/7 Suresh C. Sharma <bush...@gmail.com>

With regards,
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Anand Kumar Bhatt

Apr 8, 2009, 1:39:16 PM4/8/09
to J.M. Garg, Suresh C. Sharma, indiantreepix
I stand corrected but the reputation of Ashvagandha is for aphrodisiac property, and is also used as a general tonic. . 
Anand Kumar Bhatt
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mani nair

Jan 6, 2011, 10:31:50 AM1/6/11
to Anand Kumar Bhatt, J.M. Garg, Suresh C. Sharma, indiantreepix
It is called Ashwagandha because when you rub the leaves in your palms you get a smell similar to the body  of horses.  Ashwa means horse and gandha means smell.



Pankaj Oudhia

Jan 6, 2011, 11:02:46 AM1/6/11
to efloraofindia
Thanks Garg ji for information.

I am not sure that

"The berries are used as a substitute for rennet, to coagulate milk in cheese making."

But sure that Withania coagulans is used for this purpose. That's why it is known as Punir or Punir Phool .


Pankaj Oudhia

On Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 8:56 AM, J.M. Garg <jmg...@gmail.com> wrote:

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Gurcharan Singh

Jan 7, 2011, 11:58:18 PM1/7/11
to Pankaj Oudhia, efloraofindia
Mani ji
That is really an interesting information.

Dr. Gurcharan Singh
Retired  Associate Professor
SGTB Khalsa College, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007
Res: 932 Anand Kunj, Vikas Puri, New Delhi-110018.
Phone: 011-25518297  Mob: 9810359089

mani nair

Jan 8, 2011, 3:18:42 AM1/8/11
to Gurcharan Singh, Pankaj Oudhia, efloraofindia
Thanks Gurcharan ji.
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