Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng)
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Matthew Hartley
Posted on: June 23, 1998

I have started some ashwagandha from your seeds, and it is doing very well. Do you have any information on the medicinal uses of the plant. How is it harvested, and what sections are used. When is the best time to harvest. What amounts should be taken. Thank you for your help.

The well-known herbalist, Michael Tierra, is has long promoted ashwaghanda’s medicinal benefits. In his book, "Planetary Herbology" (available from Richters), he says that it it is "the primary strengthening tonic used in Ayurveda", the ancient and still very popular medical system of India. In fact it is sometimes called "Indian ginseng". He says it "treats impotence, infertility, weakness of the back and kness, joint and nerve pain, arthritis, insomnia, neurasthenia, weakness of the mind" among other illnesses.

The roots are harvested anytime in the fall, dried. Tierra recommends taking the powdered roots 3 grams, twice a day, in boiled warm milk.

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