Ashwagandha root is part of the ashwagandha plant, used along with the berries for medicinal purposes, according to WebMD. It is used to treat several ailments and diseases, including fibromyalgia, menstrual cramps, arthritis, anxiety and trouble sleeping. It can also help treat bronchitis, tumors, chronic liver disease and asthma.
The ashwagandha plant grows in the Middle East and India, states Drugs.com. It typically grows to 1.5 meters in height, with long, tuberous roots. Common side effects that may occur when taking large amounts of ashwagandha root include upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. An individual who is pregnant or breast-feeding should not take ashwagandha root, according to WebMD.