Withania somnifera, also commonly known as ashwagandha in India, is used in various ayurvedic medicines and supplements. In Sanskrit, the word "ashwa-gandha" stands for "horse-smell" indicating that the root of the plant imparts a smell like horse sweat also indicating that it gives strength or immune system as strong as that of a horse. Where as “somnifera” stands for “sleep-inducive” indicating that it helps to treats conditions like insomnia and other sleep disorders. Since ancient times, the plant’s root, leaves, and flower is used to prevent as well as treat various illnesses such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, and arthritic disease. In modern times various pharmaceutical products such as Cancertame are prepared using Withania somnifera as one of the ingredients, if not the main ingredient. The plant extract has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory properties, etc.

Type of plant extracts from ashwagandha

Root extract
The roots are the most crucial part of the plant and are used to prepare various formulations. The root has potent anti-diabetic, anti-depressant, anti-helminthic, antioxidant, aphrodisiac, diuretic properties and are hence used for treating diabetes, constipation, infertility, skin disorders, etc. It is used to prepare various formulations as it is regarded as:

Tonic: A medicinal substance taken to give a feeling of vigour or well-being.

Aphrodisiac: A substance that increases sexual desire, sexual pleasure, or sexual behavior

Narcotic: A substance used to treat moderate to severe pain

Diuretic: Help your kidneys release more sodium into your urine

Anthelmintic: expel parasitic worms (helminths) and other internal parasites from the body by either stunning or killing them and without causing significant damage to the host

Astringent: Help cleanse skin, tighten pores, and dry out oil.

Thermogenic: the production of heat by metabolic processes

Stimulant: a substance that raises levels of physiological or nervous activity in the body

Leave Extract
The leaves of ashwagandha are bitter in taste & are used for treating viral infections, cough and cold symptoms, fever and chronic pain due to its analgesic and antioxidant properties.

Flower Extract

The flowers are used for improving fertility and treating kidney problems such as kidney stones as they have potent diuretic and aphrodisiac properties.

The seeds of Withania somnifera are anthelmintic and combined with astringent and rock salt remove white spots from the cornea. They also have anthelmintic properties and are used for preventing and treating infectious diseases and parasitic invasions.

Are there any side effects?
There have not been enough long-term studies to fully examine the possible side effects but taking large amounts of ashwagandha can lead to digestive upset, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. This may be due to irritation of the intestinal mucosa. People can usually tolerate ashwagandha in small-to-medium doses. Pregnant women and people with preexisting health conditions should talk to their doctor before using ashwagandha.

Author's Bio: 

Cancertame is an ayurvedic medicine for Cancer which fights cancer without side effects. Ayurvedic treatment for cancer helps to fight cancer more effectively. For more information visit www.cancertame.com