Natural rejuvenating stress relief, beauty, and health.

Traditional Medical Uses of Ashwagandha

While it was historically domesticated as a medicinal plant in India, this herb grew and was traditionally used as a rejuvenative herb across the ancient Mediterranean countries into Palestine, Asia, and much of the Arab countries and also into Africa.10

In historical Ayurvedic texts, the root was thought to offer the strength and sexual virility of a horse.1,11 Several African tribes also used the herb as an aphrodisiac.20 But despite its name, which means the smell of a horse, ancient cultures knew that ashwagandha offered a lot more benefits than those referring to horse-like attributes of physical strength and virility.6 In fact, it would be more difficult to name areas that Ayurveda suggests ashwagandha does not offer some medicinal benefit for than those it does. Some of the historical uses of ashwagandha in Ayurveda, Unani, and Middle Eastern traditional medicines included treating and disease-preventative care for:3,21-22

  • Aging and longevity
  • Arthritis and other inflammatory conditions
  • Asthma
  • Digestive system
  • Emaciation and failure to thrive
  • Immune system
  • Liver conditions
  • Muscle and skeletal organs
  • Reproductive organs, libido, and fertility (men and women)
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Stamina

Current Uses in Traditional Medicines

Ashwagandha continues to be used for medical purposes throughout Africa and India. It is actually grown on a commercial scale in a number of states across India, and annual crops yield approximately 7,000 tons.6,10

Ayurvedic practitioners in India utilize this herb to treat a number of conditions, including its use as a purgative, diuretic, and liver tonic. In Cape Verde, the leaves are prescribed as a blood-purifying tonic and as a treatment for gonorrhea. In Ethiopia, ashwagandha is used to treat epilepsy and cough, and in Madagascar it is a treatment for asthma. In South Africa, it is employed to improve female fertility, and in Somalia the roots are given to children as a remedy for nightmares. Interestingly, although it is used for fertility it is also used as an abortificant.23

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed physician. If you require any medical related advice, contact your physician promptly. Information presented on this website is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard medical advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.
Thought to boost the immune system and strengthen the body.