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Botanical Name(s): Withania Somnifera
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Genus: Withania
Species: W. somnifera
Popular Name(s): Withania, Winter Cherry, Indian Winter Cherry, Indian Ginseng, Ashgand, Achuvagandi Ashgandh, Ajagandha, Kanaje Hindi, Samm Al Ferakh
Parts Used: Roots, leaves
Habitat: Cultivated throughout drier parts of India

Also known as Indian ginseng or Indian winter cherry, ashwagandha is used in Indian traditional systems of medicine, namely Ayurveda and Unani. It is a stout shrub that reaches a height of about 170 cm (5 to 6 ft). The erect branched shrub is berry-like in shape and size and bears greenish or lurid yellow flowers and red fruits. The plant is grown in various parts of India like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. It is also cultivated in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Plant Chemicals
(+)- withanine, somniferine, somnine, somniferinine, withananine, anhydrine, methanol, hexane, diethyl ether, alkaloid (0.13-0.31%), choline, tropanol, pseudotopanol, cuscokygrene, 3-tigioyloxytropana, isopelletierine, withaferin-A, starch, glycosides, dulcitol, withancil, aspartic acid, glycine, tyrosine, alanine, glutamic acid, cysteine.

Uses & Benefits of Ashwagandha