Ashwagandha is a herb with an interesting history. It was used to make wine for Alexander the Great and has appeared in herbal remedies for centuries. It even has a place in Greek mythology, as a gift given by Apollo to his healer, Aesculapius.
These days it is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine and herbology, with its use concentrated in the Asian nations where it grows.
Ashwagandha is a shrub, not dissimilar to the tomato plant, which grows primarily in the Asian subcontinent - Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan.
It is sometimes known as Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry, and is a member of the nightshade family of flowering plants.
Ashwagandha features heavily in Ayurveda, but its position in herbology is becoming more prominent, with patents filed for a number of different medical uses.
Traditionally, Ashwagandha has been recommended for, among other things, a sedative, diuretic, aphrodisiac and fertility booster. In more recent times it has been used to slow memory loss and ease the symptoms of arthritis.
One interesting use for Ashwagandha, from Asia skincare experts, is as a facial toner. To make this remedy it is mixed together with rose water and almond oil.
Ashwagandha is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine. It is classified as a rasayana herb, that is to say a herb that boosts general health and aids long life, rather than working on a specific part of the body.
Other uses for Ashwagandha in Ayurveda include as a diuretic, memory aid and sedative.
Ashwagandha oil is made from Ashwagandha, rose water and almond oil, and can be used as a facial toner. For other uses, the root is ground into a powder and delivered in capsules or pills.