Ashwaghanda - Indian Ginseng (Withania somnifera) Ginseng Winter Cherry Heirloom Herb

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Ashwaghanda (Withania somnifera) Indian Ginseng Indian Winter Cherry Heirloom Herb


Height 3 ft

Ashwaghanda is an evergreen shrub native to Africa and Asia, andgrown in some parts of the Middle East and India; it is also known as Indian ginseng and Indian winter cherry. Ashwaghanda was used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties. This herb is common in Ayurvedic medicine (traditional medicine system in India) to boost energy levels, decrease anxiety and stress, and reduce pain and inflammation.

For hundreds of years, people have used the roots and orange-red fruit of Ashwaghanda for medicinal purposes. The name “Ashwaghanda” describes the smell of its root, meaning “like a horse.” By definition, ashwa means horse.

Research shows that this powerful herb significantly reduces levels of cortisol (the primary stress hormone), helping reduce stress and anxiety. It is recognized to act as an adaptogen, a substance that helps protect from stress.  Ashwaghanda is also used to improve male sexual health, as the herb can boost testosterone levels in males. The root of the woody plant is said to support erectile dysfunction, increase libido (sexual desire), and enhance sexual pleasure.

Plants produce light green flowers from midsummer onwards which will develop into orange or deep red berries by fall.  Ashwaghanda prefers full sun and fairly dry conditions, and has low to moderate water needs.

  • Full sun
  • Light sandy soil
  • Start seeds indoors; push the seeds about 1/4 in below the surface of the soil. You'll need to transplant the plant into outdoor soil once they reach 4 in in height and after all risk of frost has passed.
  • Spacing 10 cm apart
  • OR direct sow seeds 3/8 in below the surface when the temperature is around 70 F (20 C). Water in lightly. Water the seedlings well while they are establishing. Thin out the weak plants after a month of growing, leaving the space around 50 – 60 cm between plants.
  • Germinates in about 2 weeks. 
  • Harvest: seed pods take a long time - from 3 to 4 months to mature. Once the green pods turn brown and some bright red small tomato like structure is visible, you can harvest these Ashwaghanda seed pods - pluck the pods or even take out the whole branches. Peel out the brown dry cover to expose the Ashwaghanda berry, which resembles a very small cherry tomato: this is not edible
  • Ashwaghanda has an earthy, bitter flavor, and it’s best when mixed into something such as smoothies, desserts, and coffee or tea. It has traditionally been mixed with honey, ghee, or water. Try mixing 1/4 teaspoon to one-half teaspoon of Ashwaghanda powder into your smoothies or hot beverages. You can take Ashwaghanda any time of day, though it is best to take it approximately 30 minutes before a meal. Most people do not immediately feel the effects of Ashwaghanda. It can take weeks for the benefits of Ashwaghanda to be noticeable. Ashwaghanda flowers have potent diuretic and aphrodisiac properties which is used for improving fertility and treating kidney problems such as kidney stones. The seeds, on the other hand, have anthelminthic properties and are used for preventing and treating infectious diseases and parasitic invasions.
  • Seed Count: 15