The King Of Ayurvedic Herbs – Ashwagandha

green leaf plant

Popularly known as the “King Of Ayurvedic Herbs” this herb is widely used in Ayurvedic treatments, medicines and therapies. Ashwagandha is a Sanskrit word and its literal meaning is “Ashwa meaning horse”, “Gandha meaning smell”. This also refers to the ability of the herb to bring stamina like that of a horse. The botanical name of Ashwagandha is “Withania Somnifera”, the literal translation of this means. “Sleep- Inducing”, referring to its calming and relaxing properties. The herb is also known as “Winter Cherry” and “Indian Ginseng”.

This miraculous herb has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years now and has its mention in different Ayurvedic scriptures like Siddha, Unani, Shushruta Samhita, etc. Being an adaptogen, Ashwagandha helps in reducing stress, dealing with insomnia and sleep problems, lowering blood sugar levels, controlling cholesterol and fighting the symptoms of depression and stress.

Effects of Ashwagandha On The Doshas

The entire Science of Ayurveda revolves around maintaining a balance between the three doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This miraculous herb plays a vital role in dealing with all three doshas. According to the Ayurvedic scriptures, Ashwagandha is classified to have two types of guna (quality), two types of tasir (effectiveness) and three different rasa (tastes):

  • Guna:
  • Laghu (light)
  • Snigdha (oily)
  • Tasir
  • Ushna Virya (hot potency)
  • Madhura Vipaka (pungent metabolic property)
  • Rasa:
  • Bitter (Tikta)
  • Pungent (Katu)
  • Sweet (Madhura)

The guna, tasir and rasa of Ashwagandha help in aggravating the Pitta Dosha (fire) and pacifying the Vata Dosha (Air) and Kapha Dosha (earth and water).

Benefits of Various Parts Of Ashwagandha In Ayurveda

Ashwagandha is widely used to support and revitalize different functions of the body. The best thing that makes this herb one of the most preferred herbs is, all of its parts including the leaves, stem flower and seeds and roots are useful. The dual properties of energizing as well as calming down makes it a very popular herb in Ayurveda.

Use Of Ashwagandha Leaves:

Ashwagandha leaves have analgesic and antioxidant properties and are mainly used to treat viral infections, cough and cold symptoms, fever, and chronic pain.

Flowers and seeds:

Ashwagandha flowers have powerful diuretic and aphrodisiac properties which are used to improve fertility and treat kidney problems like kidney stones. Ashwagandha seeds have vermifuge properties and are used to prevent and treat infectious diseases and parasitic invasions.


The roots of Ashwagandha is the most widely used part of the herb. The aphrodisiac, diuretic, anthelmintic, antioxidant, antidepressant and antidiabetic properties of the roots are used to treat neural problems, diabetes, constipation, infertility, skin disorders, etc.

Ashwagandha is a time-tested herb with immense calming and healing properties. With over 5,000 years of medicinal use, modern science is just beginning to uncover the healing properties and full potential of this miraculous root. From reduced stress levels to a stabilized nervous system, Ashwagandha’s applications are plentiful and this herb truly evokes healthiness from within. To know more about the benefits of Ayurvedic treatments and order authentic Ayurvedic medicines visit Shivya Ayurveda.

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