Leena Preeti Lakra, Yashwant Kumar Patel, Meesala Sudhakar
Department of Food Processing and Technology, 
Atal Bihari Vajpayee Vishwavidyalaya, Bilaspur Chhattisgarh

Introduce Ashwagandha and its historical use in traditional medicine. Stress and Anxiety Relief: Explain how Ashwagandha is known for its adaptogenic properties, which help reduce stress and anxiety. Immune System Support: Discuss how Ashwagandha can boost the immune system and improve overall health. Cognitive Function: Explore the potential cognitive benefits of Ashwagandha, including improved memory and focus. Physical Endurance: Describe how Ashwagandha may enhance physical performance and stamina. Dosage and Safety: Provide guidelines on how to use Ashwagandha safely and effectively.

Botanical Classification:
Ashwagandha belongs to the Solanaceae family, which is the same family as tomatoes and potatoes. Its scientific name is Withania somnifera.

Common Names:
Ashwagandha is also known as Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry.

Geographical Distribution:
Ashwagandha is native to the Indian subcontinent and can be found in various regions of India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.It has also been cultivated in other parts of the world due to its medicinal properties.

Ashwagandha is a small shrub that typically grows to a height of 1 to 1.5 meters. The plant has simple, ovate leaves that are light green. Its small, greenish-yellow flowers are clustered together. The plant produces small, red berries when it matures.

Medicinal Parts:
The roots and leaves of the Ashwagandha plant are the primary medicinal parts. The roots are most commonly used in herbal remedies and Ayurvedic medicine.

Traditional and Medicinal Use:
Ashwagandha has a long history of use in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for its adaptogenic properties. It is known for its ability to help the body adapt to stress, both physical and mental. Ashwagandha is often used to reduce stress, anxiety, and promote overall well-being. It is also used to boost the immune system, improve cognitive function, and enhance physical endurance.

Active Compounds:
Ashwagandha contains a group of compounds called withanolides, which are believed to be responsible for many of its health benefits.

Modern Research: 
There is a growing body of scientific research supporting the health benefits of Ashwagandha. Studies have examined its potential effects on reducing stress and anxiety, improving cognitive function, and supporting the immune system.

Ashwagandha is cultivated as an annual or perennial crop, depending on the region and climate. It thrives in well-drained soil and prefers warm and dry conditions.

Harvesting and Processing: 
The roots are typically harvested when the plant is mature, around 4-5 months after planting. They are then dried and processed to create various forms of Ashwagandha supplements, including powders and capsules.

  • It increases the function of central nervous system (CNS) and improves the memory.
  • As a rasayana herb, the decoction and extracts of the herb l immunomodulatory affect by activation of non-specific macrophages, granulocytes, complement systems, natural killer cells and lymphocytes.
  • It is also interferes the production of various effecter molecules generated by activated cells (para-immunity), gives protection against different pathogens including bacteria, fungi, viruses etc.
  • Various studies revealed that Ashwagandha, very effective approach for the treatment of neurological disorders like parkinsonian and alzheimer’s.