Herbs: Ashwagandha - Withania somnifera
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Herbs, Ashwagandha - Withania somnifera

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In Sanskrit its name means ‘the vitality of the horse’ and it imparts such energy; somnifera promotes sleep. An herb of wide value, generally known as the ginseng of Ayurvedic medicine. Upright shrub exceeds 2' with inconspicuous green-to-yellow flowers ripening to red berries. Roots are dried at the end of the growing season and used internally powdered or tinctured (other plant parts are toxic if eaten). Herbalist Deb Soule harvests the roots when the berries ripen in mid-October. Her delightful book, How to Move Like a Gardener, has more details about ashwagandha. One of the best rejuvenators, especially good for the elderly, it tones without overstimulating and can be used in all conditions of weakness and chronic debilitation. Prefers dry stony soil in sun or partial shade.

Height: 24"

Hardiness: Perennial to zone 7-12

Days to Maturity: 180