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Ashwagandha, a powerful plant used in Ayurvedic medicine

Tropical perennial with a reputation as powerful medicine. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an Indian plant of the Solanaceae family and is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. Also called Indian ginseng, it is said in India, that Ashwagandha gives the strength and vitality of a horse. The literal translation of the Sanskrit word ashwagandha is "which has the smell of a horse". as the root of the plant resemble the smell of a horse. This plant is considered the rejuvenating plant par excellence. - Oval-shaped leaves. - Flowers in green or yellow color. - Small red-orange berries. - Tuberous roots. The leaves and roots are the most used parts of the plant because they contain the main active ingredients that give Ashwagandha its medicinal properties. The dried roots are used as an adaptogen, helping the body deal with stress. It's also said to be great as a sleep aid (the botanical name "somnifera" means "bringer of sleep"), for minor aches and pains, and to boost the immune system. The red berries - which develop inside small husks that resemble ground cherries - can be used as a vegetarian rennet substitute for cheese-making. Always consult a qualified herbal practitioner before using this plant medicinally, especially if pregnant.

Scientific Name: Withania somnifera

Plant Life Cycle: perennial

Optimal Germination Temperature: 21C

Germination time in days: 15 -20 days

Indicative Days to maturity: 100 days

Sunlight: Full sun

Soil requirement: grows well in red, sandy, black and loamy soil

Sowing and cultivation: Direct sow outdoors following the last frost, approximately 1.5 cm below the surface of the soil and keep evenly moist. Otherwise, you can sow indoors in early spring at a soil temperature of 20C. Thin out the weakest plants, leaving 50-60 cm between plants.