Botanical name: Withania somnifera Family: Solanaceae (Potato family)
Ashwagandha, is native to drier parts of India. It is a perennial herb that reaches about 6 feet in nature. It is a short, tender perennial herb growing 35-75 cm tall. Velvet-hairy branches extend radially from a central stem. Leaves are dull green, elliptic, usually up to 10-12 cm long. The flowers are small, green and bell-shaped. Orange fruits in persistent papery sepals follow the small greenish flowers. Ashwagandha is propagated by division, cuttings or seed. Seed is the best way to propagate them. A postal stamp was issued by the Indian Postal Department to commemorate this flowers.
Medicinal uses: Ashwagandha has been a prized top notch adaptogenic tonic in India for 3000 - 4000 years. The plants contain the alkaloids withanine and somniferine, which are used to treat nervous disorders, intestinal infections and leprosy. All plant parts are used including the roots, bark, leaves, fruit and seed.
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