What Is Withania Somnifera?

Withania somnifera, also known as ashwagandha, is a herb that grows in India and North America. It has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine in India to treat various ailments. Withania somnifera’s roots are prevalently used because they contain flavonoids and other beneficial active ingredients.

Also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, Withania somnifera has rejuvenating effects in the body. In India, the name ashwagandha means "smells like a horse," and it is believed to provide the vitality and strength of a horse. Traditionally, Withania somnifera has been used for boosting physical and mental well being, as sex enhancer, and for general stamina and vitality.

Withania somnifera is said to possess properties that have calming effects on the central nervous system. It also has mild sedative effects, and for this reason, it suppresses stress hormones and treats insomnia that is related to stress. Scientific studies have indicated that Withania somnifera can be beneficial to people with Alzheimer's disease in the early stages. This is because in Alzheimer's disease, the chemical acetylcholine decreases progressively, and it is the same chemical that is responsible for coordinating memory, thinking and judgment. Withania somnifera has the ability to help nerve cells respond to acetylcholine, therefore stabilizing and slowing down the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.