Withania somnifera

Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal

Solanaceae

  • Ashwagandha
  • Poison Gooseberry
  • Winter Cherry
  • Withania
  • سموة
  • samweh
  • וִיתַנְיָה מְשַׁכֶּרֶת
  • vitanya meshakeret

Chamaephyte

  • Nutrient-rich soils
  • ruderal

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Medicinal Complaints / Uses

Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal

System/StateTraditional
Complaint/Use
Activity / Interpretation Traditional
Preparation/Administration

Parts Used

Source
Dermatological

Acne

Anti-Infective

1. Crush dried plant into fine powder & sprinkle on skin.
2. Mix dried plant + olive oil & apply.

Aerial partsZ
Dermatological

Boils

Anti-Infective

Squeeze juice from leaves + Ruta leaves + Lawsonia juice & oil & spread on affected area.

LeafZ
Dermatological

Purulent lesions & wounds

Anti-Infective, Vulnerary

Grind leaves, prepare poultice & apply to lesion.

LeafZ
Dermatological

Skin antiseptic

Anti-septic

1. Crush dried plant into fine powder & sprinkle onto skin.
2. Mix dried plant powder + olive oil & spread on skin.

Aerial partsZ
Gastrointestinal

Abdominal pain, to reduce swelling of abdomen, liver & spleen.

Analgesic, Anti-hydropic

Eat + Lactuca sp. (Preparation/ Plant Part further details not specified.)

Not specifiedZ
General

Fever

Anti-pyretic

1.Decoct plant in water & drink as necessary.
2. Prepare compress/ fomentation (hot poultice) + rose oil & apply externally. (Plant Part not specified.)

Aerial partsZ
General

Swelling

Anti-hydropic

1.Mix plant +salt & apply externally. (Preparation/Plant Part further details not specified)
2. Prepare compress/ fomentation (hot poultice) + rose oil & apply externally. (Plant Part not specified).

Not specifiedZ
Kidney & Urinary Tract

Diuretic

Diuretic

1.Cook leaves in water & drink.
2.Prepare tea & drink. (Plant Part not specified.)

LeafZ
Mental health

Calmative

Anxiolytic, Sedative

Add drops of juice from leaves to glass of water & drink.

Fruit, LeafZ
Musculoskeletal/ Joints

Rheumatic pain

Analgesic, Anti-arthritic, Anti-inflammatory

Mix with "nuqum" (? Solanum incanum) + o live oil & prepare salve or compress; apply externally. (Plant Part not specified.)

Not specifiedZ
Nervous System

Headache

Analgesic

Prepare compress/ fomentation (hot poultice) + rose oil & apply externally. (Plant Part not specified.)

Not specifiedZ
Nervous system

Sleep inducing

Hypnotic

1. Add drops of juice from leaves to glass of water & drink.
2. Prepare tea of green leaves & fruits & drink.

Fruit, LeafZ
Wound Healing

Burn

Vulnerary

Grind leaves, prepare poultice & apply to burn.

LeafZ

The authors of the Flora Palaestina Ethnobotany (FPE) web site do not take responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of the plants described here. Always seek advice from a health professional before using a plant medicinally or for other purposes

Z notes that at high concentration Withania can act as stimulant causing insanity. (See also CAUTIONS)

Withania somnifera contains cytotoxic lactones, piperidine & other alkaloids in the root. Berries should not be eaten as can cause abdominal pain. Other side efects include diarrhea & vomiting. May potentiate the effect of barbiturates & decrease immunosuppressant drugs.