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Withania somnifera

A powerful, nourishing and supportive root used to support the whole person.

Use this herb for:


  • Adaptogen

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Mildly sedating

  • Immune modulation

  • Thyroid enhancing

  • Antianemic

  • Cardiotonic

  • Uterine tonic

  • Chronic stress

  • Debility and low body weight

  • Anemia

  • Increasing muscle strength in elderly

  • Anabolic for athletes

  • Autoimmune conditions

  • Erectile disfunction

  • Impotence

  • Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia



  • Withanine

  • Ashwagandhine

  • Steroidal lactones (withanolides)

  • Phytosterols


Bitter, Sweet and Slightly warming

For the Atrophic, Constricted and Depressed Tissue States

This is one of the most beautiful herbs that has made its way in to the Western Herbal Tradition.  In The Spirit of Herbs, this plant is an ally of Astragalus which is associated to The Magician and astrologically to Mercury. This plant often presents to me as the nourishing mother.  A very gentle being with the ability to uplift and support. As seen on the Thoth tarot deck the Magician is the wielder of the 4 elements in between dimensions. Here the cosmic egg of all potential creation has wings, and out of the crown the perfection of serpent and bird manifest. The ankles can be seen to be bound by a serpent as well, possibly indicating this is the inversion of the Hanged Man, a coming to consciousness through tribulation; overcoming the limitation of reality on this dimension.


A shrub that can grow 3 – 4 feet tall and grows well in the drier climates of West Asia and Northern Africa.  Can be grown as starters indoors preferring sandy soils. Roots are harvested in the fall.


Caution in hot and damp constitutions.

Caution in pregnancy. Traditionally it was used in India during pregnancy to strengthen the uterus and health of the mother and child, but there are some recorded cases of it causing abortion in other parts of the world.

Ashwagandha is traditionally avoided in lymphatic congestion, during colds and flu

Caution should be used for those on anticonvulsants, barbituates, and/or benzodiazepines due to its GABA-nergic and sedative properties.  There are some theoretical interactions between ashwagandha and immunosuppressant, thyroid, and some sedative medications, but these are not evidence-based.

Do not use in the case of Autoimmune thyroid disease

Ashwagandha appears to have some hypoglycemic activity in humans, so blood glucose should be monitored for those with diabetes or a tendency towards low blood sugar.

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