Dalam Ayurveda , akar somnifera W. digunakan untuk mempersiapkan Ashwagandha obat. Hal ini diklaim memiliki obat penenang, rejuvenative dan kehidupan memperpanjang properti, afrodisiak [ rujukan? ]. Secara tradisional digunakan untuk mengobati gejala berikut dan kondisi, meskipun ada beberapa penelitian ilmiah manfaat kesehatan Ashwagandha:  
- kelelahan kronis  
- dehidrasi  
- kelemahan tulang  
- kelemahan otot dan ketegangan  
- gigi lepas  
- haus  
- impotensi  
- penuaan dini  
- kekurusan  
- kelemahan  
- sembelit  
- pikun  
- rematik  
- kelelahan saraf  
- kehilangan memori  
- gangguan neurodegenerative 
- spermatorrhoea   
Berry dapat digunakan sebagai pengganti rennet , untuk mengentalkan susu dalam keju keputusan.  The berry dan daun secara tradisional digunakan pengobatan topikal untuk tumor dan kelenjar TBC, carbuncles dan bisul.   
Sementara Ashwagandha ini diklaim memiliki berbagai manfaat kesehatan, ada beberapa uji klinis untuk menguji klaim ini. Studi selesai sejauh ini dukungan yang somnifera W. mungkin dapat bermanfaat bagi:
- mengurangi gejala penarikan obat 
- mengurangi kecemasan 
- arthritis mengurangi nyeri di lutut  
Selain itu, ada terdaftar uji klinis dalam proses untuk menentukan apakah sominifera W. berguna untuk mengobati:
It grows as a short shrub (35–75 cm) with a central stem from which branch extend radially in a star pattern (stellate) and covered with a dense matte of wooly hairs (tomentose). The flowers are small and green, while the ripe fruit is orange-red and has milk-coagulating properties. The plant also has long brown tuberous roots that are used for medicinal purposes. It is cultivated in many of the drier regions of India such as Manasa, Neemuch, and Jawad tehsils of the Mandsaur District of Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Sind. and Rajasthan.
Claimed medicinal uses
In Ayurveda, the roots of W. somnifera are used to prepare medicinal Ashwagandha. It is claimed to possess aphrodisiac, sedative, rejuvenative and life prolonging properties. It is traditionally used to treat the following symptoms and conditions, although there are few scientific studies of the health benefits of Ashwagandha:
- chronic fatigue
- bone weakness
- muscle weakness and tension
- loose teeth
- premature ageing
- nervous exhaustion
- memory loss
- neurodegenerative disorders
The berries can be used as a substitute for rennet, to coagulate milk in cheese making. The berries and leaves are traditionally used a topical treatment for tumors and tubercular glands, carbuncles and ulcers.
While Ashwagandha is claimed to have a wide variety of health benefits, there have been few clinical trials to test these claims. Studies completed so far support that W. somnifera may possibly be beneficial for:
In addition, there are registered clinical trials in progress to determine if W. sominifera is useful for treating:
- Parkinsons Disease
- Bone Cancer
- Bipolar disorder
- improve the well-being of the elderly and breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
In a randomized control trial examining the use of naturopathic care for anxiety, a "naturopathic care" group who received W. somnifera (along with "dietary counseling, deep breathing relaxation techniques, a standard multi-vitamin") showed significant improvements in anxiety (as measured by the Beck Anxiety Inventory) compared to a psychotherapy group (who received "psychotherapy, and matched deep breathing relaxation techniques, and placebo") after 8 weeks. No attempt was made to examine the differing contributions of W. somnifera, dietary counselling and a "standard multi-vitamin" in the first group, or psychotherapy in the second group, toward the outcomes for each group.
In at least two published clinical trials of Withania somnifera, the side effects experienced by W. somnifera treated individuals were not significantly different than the side effects experienced by placebo treated individuals. However, there has been one report that Withania somnifera can stimulate the thyroid and lead to thyrotoxicosis in some people.
Shown to increase semen quality and reduce oxidative stress.
Potential preventive or therapeutic drug for stress induced neurological disorders
Ashwagandha in Sanskrit means "horse's smell," probably originating from the odor of its root which resembles that of a sweaty horse. In Tamil, it is called Amukkrang Kilangu (அமுக்கராங்கிழங்கு) and is used in several medicines. The species name somnifera means "sleep-inducing" in Latin, indicating that to it are attributed sedating properties.Some herbalists refer to ashwagandha as Indian ginseng, since it is used in ayurvedic medicine in a way similar to that ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Seven American and four Japanese firms have filed for grant of patents on formulations containing extracts of the herb Ashwagandha. It is also found in Nepal
Phytochemical investigations of multiple shoot cultures of selected accessions AGB002 and AGB025 of Withania somnifera. established in vitro utilizing shoot tip apices cultured on Murashige and Skoog's medium supplemented with BAP (1 mg/L) have been carried out. This has led to isolation of four glycowithanolides viz. Withanoside IV (WSG-3), Withanoside VI (WSG-3A), Physagulin D (WSG-P) and Withastraronolide (WSC-O).The structures of these have been confirmed on the basis of spectroscopic data. Multiple shoot cultures could be an alternative renewable resource for production of these biologically active molecules
The main constituents of ashwagandha are alkaloids and steroidal lactones. Among the various alkaloids, withanine is the main constituent. The other alkaloids are somniferine, somnine, somniferinine, withananine, pseudo-withanine, tropine, pseudo-tropine, cuscohygrine, anferine and anhydrine. Two acyl steryl glucosides, sitoindoside VII and sitoindoside VIII, have been isolated from root. The leaves contain steroidal lactones, which are commonly calledwithanolides. The withanolides have C28 steroidal nucleus with C9 side chain and a six-membered lactone ring.
Withaferin-A (WA) is a bioactive compound derived from Withania somnifera, which inhibits Notch-1 signaling and downregulates prosurvival pathways, such as Akt/NF-κB/Bcl-2, in three colon cancer cell lines (HCT-116, SW-480, and SW-620) Recent research in mice suggests that Withaferin-A may have anti-metastatic activity.
Pharmacological effects in vitro
Ashwagandha is reported to have anti-carcinogenic effects in animal and cell cultures by decreasing the expression of nuclear factor-kappaB, suppressing intercellular tumor necrosis factor, and potentiating apoptotic signalling in cancerous cell lines.
Withania somnifera is prone to several pests and diseases. Leaf spot disease of Withania somnifera caused by Alternaria alternata is the most prevalent disease. It is most severe in Indian plains of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Dr. Pratap Kumar Pati research group from Guru Nanak Dev University Punjab, India, recently reported in an article of Indian journal of microbiology, on the biodeterioration of its pharmacutically active components during leaf spot disease.  They have studied the post infectional biochemical changes and the activities of various enzymes, with the disease progression. Further, they have successfully developed a molecular detection system for the pathogen.
Climatic conditions for growth
Grown as late rainy season (kharif) crop. The semi-tropical areas receiving 500 to 750 mm rainfall are suitable for its cultivation as rainfed crop. If one or two winter rains are received, the root development improves.
The crop requires relatively dry season during its growing period. It can tolerate a temperature range of 20 to 38 °C and even low temperature as low as 10 °C. The plant grows from sea level to an altitude of 1500 meters above sea level.
There are two sub-species of Withania somnifera - W. somnifera (ashwagandha) Kaul and W. somnifera Dunal. The sub-species Withania ashwagandha Kaul has been named after Indian botanistKailas Nath Kaul, who was the pioneer of modern scientific research on the plant.  There are 23 species of the Withania genus that occur in the dry parts of India, North Africa, Middle East, and theMediterranean.
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- ^ India, World Health Organization International Clinical Registry Program, CTRI/2008/091/000089, http://www.ctri.in/Clinicaltrials/ViewTrial.jsp?trialno=175
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- ^ Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974.Cooley K., Szczurko O., Perri D., Mills E.J., Bernhardt B., Zhou Q., Seely D. PloS one 2009 4:8 (e6628)
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- ^ Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile malesAhmad M.K., Mahdi A.A., Shukla K.K., Islam N., Rajender S., Madhukar D., Shankhwar S.N., Ahmad S.
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- ^ Withania somnifera prevents morphine withdrawal-induced decrease in spine density in nucleus accumbens shell of rats: A confocal laser scanning microscopy studyKasture S., Vinci S., Ibba F., Puddu A., Marongiu M., Murali B., Pisanu A., Lecca D., Zernig G., Acquas E. Neurotoxicity Research 2009 16:4 (343-355)
- ^ Glycowithanolides accumulation in in vitro shoot cultures of Indian ginseng (Withania somnifera dunal)Ahuja A., Kaur D., Sharada M., Kumar A., Suri K.A., Dutt P. Natural Product Communications 2009 4:4 (479-482)
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- Caldecott, Todd (2006). Ayurveda: The Divine Science of Life. Elsevier/Mosby. ISBN 0723434107. Contains a detailed monograph on Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) as well as a discussion of health benefits and usage in clinical practice. Available online at http://www.toddcaldecott.com/index.php/herbs/learning-herbs/395-ashwagandha
Withania somnifera, also known as Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, Winter cherry, Ajagandha, Kanaje Hindi, Amukkara in Tamil and Samm Al Ferakh, is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family.