Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera L)

background

Ashwagandha is a small evergreen shrub that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. The name means "horse smell."
Ashwagandha has been used as medicine for hundreds of years. Traditional uses include reducing stress and promoting normal body functions. The berries may be used in the process of making cheese.
Evidence is lacking to support the use of ashwagandha for any medical condition.

Related Terms

5beta, 6alpha, 14alpha, 17beta, 20beta-pentahydroxy-1-oxo-20 S, 22R-witha-2, 24-dienolide (1) and 6alpha, 7alpha-epoxy-5alpha, 14alpha, 17alpha, 23beta-tetrahydroxy-1-oxo-22R-witha-2, 24-dienolide (2), ajagandha, amangura, amukkirag, asan, asgand, asgandh, asgandha, ashagandha, ashvagandha, ashwagada, ashwaganda, ashwagandholine, asoda, asundha, asvagandha, aswagandha, avarada, ayurvedic ainseng, clustered wintercherry, ghoda asoda, Indian ginseng, kanaje Hindi, kuthmithi, Physalis somnifera, samm al ferakh, Solanaceae (family), winter cherry, withaferin A, withania, Withania coagulans, Withania somnifera, Withania somniferum, Withania somnifera Dunal, Withania somnifera glycowithanolides, Withania somnifera Kaul, Withania somnifera L, withanolide A (WL-A), withanone, withanosides.
Combination products: EuMil (polyherbal formulation containing standardized Withania somnifera (L) Dunal, Ocimum sanctum L, Asparagus racemosus Wilid and Emblica officinalis Gaertn. extracts), Siotone (ST) (herbal formulation containing Withania somnifera, Ocimum sanctum, Asparagus racemosus, Tribulus terristris and shilajit, all which are classified in Ayurveda as rasayanas), Transina (TR) (Ayurvedic herbal formulation containing of Withania somnifera, Tinospora cordifolia, Eclipta alba, Ocimum sanctum, Picrorrhiza kurroa and shilajitturangi-ghanda).

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
 
ADHD (Grade: C)
A combination therapy that includes ashwagandha has been studied for ADHD. More research on the effects of ashwagandha alone is needed.
Aging (Grade: C)
Ashwagandha has been studied for its possible anti-aging effects. It may help promote physical and mental health, as well as improve resistance to disease. More research is needed in this field.
Anxiety (Grade: C)
A combination therapy that includes ashwagandha has been studied for anxiety. More research on the effects of ashwagandha alone is needed.
Cerebellar ataxia (Grade: C)
A combination therapy that includes ashwagandha has been studied for cerebellar ataxia, a condition in which there is nerve damage in the part of the brain that controls muscle movement. More research on the potential effects of ashwagandha alone is needed.
Diabetes (type 2) (Grade: C)
Ashwagandha has been studied for use in diabetes with some evidence of benefit. More high-quality studies are needed.
Drug addiction (Grade: C)
Ashwagandha has been studied for drug addiction. More research is needed in this area.
Growth (Grade: C)
Ashwagandha may increase body weight and protein levels in children. More research is needed before a firm conclusion may be made.
High cholesterol (Grade: C)
Ashwagandha may lower cholesterol levels. More evidence is needed in this area before firm conclusions can be made.
Immune function (Grade: C)
Ashwagandha has been studied for immune function as part of a combination therapy. More research is needed on the use of ashwagandha alone.
Improving urine flow (Grade: C)
Ashwagandha has been studied for the improvement of urine flow with some evidence of benefit. More high-quality studies are needed.
Male infertility (Grade: C)
Ashwagandha has traditionally been used to improve sex drive. One study looked at its effects on semen quality with some evidence of benefit. More study is needed.
Osteoarthritis (Grade: C)
Ashwagandha has been studied for the treatment of osteoarthritis. It may have anti-inflammatory benefits. More research is needed in this area.
Parkinson's disease (Grade: C)
A combination therapy that includes ashwagandha has been studied for Parkinson's disease. However, evidence is currently lacking in support of this use.