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What Is Ashwagandha?

Besides a mouthful, what is this interestingly named root? It seems to be a talking point for lots of natural supplements producers these days that everyone has heard of, but not as many people know what it does. Today, Nutrivein wants to discuss what ashwagandha is, where it comes from, and why we make ashwagandha supplements. 

Roots of Ashwagandha

A plant of many names, ashwagandha comes from a small, fruit-bearing shrub. Some of its many other names are Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, winter cherry, and its scientific name, W. somnifera. The poison gooseberry shouldn’t raise too much concern though. Ashwagandha is part of the solanaceae family, or the nightshade family, which means that raw samples of the plant have high alkaloids. But there are completely edible members of the solanaceae family, like tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants. The difference is just that ashwagandha needs to be distilled into an edible substance, but once it is, it’s completely safe to ingest.

As the plant came from Indian, the name ashwagandha comes from Sanskrit. “Ashva” means horse, and “gandha” means smell, and since raw ashwagandha roots have a distinctive horse-like smell, this name pretty quickly makes sense. Its scientific name means “sleep-inducing” in Latin, and since one of Ashwagandha’s many uses is to help with trouble sleeping, this name also is backed up by the root’s uses.

Uses For Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has a number of uses, which is what makes it so useful for supplements. That said, while ashwagandha has been used in traditional Indian and African medicine for a long time, modern research hasn’t been conclusive on its effects. We do want to talk about some of the things people have found ashwagandha supplements useful in helping, but we also want to clarify that these effects may vary from individual to individual if helping at all. If you ever experience any side effects of taking ashwagandha, seek out a medical professional before continuing to take the supplement.

One of the things ashwagandha is often used for is as an adaptogen in general health supplements. Because ashwagandha can help calm the mind, it can help with daily stress and to improve general health. Some of the conditions ashwagandha has been useful for combatting are anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), asthma, and Parkinson’s disease, as well as reducing the effects of schizophrenia. Further, the adaptive nature of ashwagandha can make it helpful for dealing with aches and pains from daily life, as well as larger injuries to some degree.

Ashwagandha has been effective in natural supplements due to its chemical composition. When broken down, ashwagandha’s chemicals can help calm the brain to reduce stress and anxiety, assist in reducing inflammation, helps lower blood pressure, and supports the immune system. While the degree of effectiveness of each of those components is still under study, we know that this root has these basic effects.


If you’re interested in picking up ashwagandha supplements, then shop Nutrivein for the top natural supplements online. Not only do we offer all-natural, organic ashwagandha supplements, but also an array of other natural supplements and vitamins to help you with your daily health. Shop now for organic vitamins and supplements or contact us for more information on our products.