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ative elliptic Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, Poison gooseberry, Winter Cherry • Assamese: অশ্বগন্ধা asbagandha • Bengali: অশ্বগন্ধা asbagandha • Gujarati: આકસંદ aksand, અશ્વગંધા asvagandha • Hindi: असगन्ध asgandh, अश्वगंधा ashwagandha • Kachchhi: આસુન aasun, આસુંઢ aasund • Kannada: ಅಂಗರ ಬೇರು/ಗಡ್ಡೆ Angara beru/gadde, ಅಶ್ವಗಂಧ Ashwagandha, ಹಿರೇಮದ್ದಿನ ಗಿಡ Hiremaddina gida, ಪೆನ್ನೇರು Penneru, ಸೊಗದೆ ಬೇರು Sogade beru • Malayalam: അമുക്കുരം amukkuram, പേവെട്ടി pevetti • Marathi: अश्वगंधा ashwagandha, आस्कंद askanda • Nepali: अश्वगन्धा ashwagandha • Oriya: ଅଶ୍ବଗନ୍ଧା ashwagandha • Punjabi: ਅਸਗੰਧ asgandh, ਅਸ਼ਵਗੰਧਾ ashwagandha • Sanskrit: अश्वगन्धा Ashwagandha • Tamil: அமுக்கிரா amukkira • Telugu: అశ్వగంధ ashwagandha • Tibetan: a swa ga ndhi, ba-dzi-ga-ndha • Tulu: ಅಶ್ವಗಂಧೊ ashwagandho • Urdu: اسگندهہ asgandh Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Withania somnifera    Family: Solanaceae (Potato family)

Ashwagandha, is native to drier parts of India. It is a perennial herb that reaches about 6 feet in nature. It is a short, tender perennial herb growing 35-75 cm tall. Velvet-hairy branches extend radially from a central stem. Leaves are dull green, elliptic, usually up to 10-12 cm long. The flowers are small, green and bell-shaped. Orange fruits in persistent papery sepals follow the small greenish flowers. Ashwagandha is propagated by division, cuttings or seed. Seed is the best way to propagate them. A postal stamp was issued by the Indian Postal Department to commemorate this flowers.
Medicinal uses: Ashwagandha has been a prized top notch adaptogenic tonic in India for 3000 - 4000 years. The plants contain the alkaloids withanine and somniferine, which are used to treat nervous disorders, intestinal infections and leprosy. All plant parts are used including the roots, bark, leaves, fruit and seed.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in the Garden of Five Senses, Delhi

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