Ancient Uses of Ashwagandha

Withania somnifera, Indian ginseng and winter cherry. These are all some of the names used for one of 2018’s most talked about herbs, Ashwagandha.

Ashwagandha, a word that sounds like it really should be another verse in Mary Poppin’s Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, is a Sanskrit word for "smell of the horse”. This strange description comes from the herb’s strong, earthy scent that is likened to a horse, as well as the supposed effects on the physical strength and stamina it would offer. Once ingested it was believed that Ashwagandha would impart the vigour and strength of a thousand horses… that’s a lot of horse power for your engine!

Indication of its first use has been said to have occurred in 600 BC by Atreya (आत्रेय) Rishi, aka Atreya Punarvasu, who was a personal physician and sage to King Nagnajita of Gandhara Kingdom. Atreya was a renowned scholar of Ayurveda which is one of the oldest systems of medicine in the word, originating within the Indian subcontinent.

First clear records of Ayurveda medicine date back 2,418 years ago, but other evidence suggests it to be over 5,000 years old! This ancient healing practice includes use of complex herbal compounds, minerals and metal substances, as well as some surgical techniques. One of the most favoured herbs used in Ancient Ayurveda amazingly was Ashwagandha, with signs of medicinal use occurring over 2618 years ago.

There are hundreds of recorded ancient uses for Ashwagandha in traditional Indian medicine, some that have inspired research into the potential of the herb include:

  • A vitality tonic
  • A calming nervine tonic
  • An Antiparasitic tonic
  • An astringent
  • A thermogenic to promote energy
  • As an aphrodisiac

We’ve chosen to include Ashwagandha in our Echinacea Soother Tonic and Echinacea Soother Capsules due to its anecdotal calming effects.

The Ashwagandha used in all our products is sourced from India where it grows naturally in abundance, to ensure the utmost purity and potency.