Also known as winter cherry and Indian ginseng, ashwagandha is a member of the nightshade family, which makes it related to tomato and eggplant. The powder is taken as a supplement, usually by sprinkling over cooked foods or adding to yogurt, juice or smoothies.
Ashwagandha is a member of the nightshade family, however it should be noted that that unlike other Nightshades, Ashwagandha lacks the poisonous attributes. Typically found and cultivated in India, Ashwagandha has been popularly applied to those with overworked and often hyper-tense lives. Ashwagandha is India's native answer to Ginseng and it is currently being applied in Ayurvedic medicine to treat hypertension and stress related ailments. Recent studies have attempted to popularize its use as a preliminary treatment for male infertility and impotence problems.
Not much research has been carried out for this particular botanical and to date there have not been any released notes on possible medicinal contraindications, side effects or potential health hazards. This particular root has been used successfully for the last 3,000 years and the empirical evidence of the ages speaks for itself. It comes highly recommended in times of severe strife and stress-induced discomfort. However Ashwagandha should not be consumed for long periods of time and is better reserved for the "times of need".
Note:: Botanical safety guidelines in the US and Germany have suggested that Ashwagandha may be a mild abortifacient and it is not recommended for pregnant women.
In Indian cuisine, ashwagandha is often blended with honey or ghee (clarified butter) and sometimes other herbs to produce a seasoning called churna, which is added to soups, stews and rice and vegetable dishes.
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