Other nicknames include "winter cherry" and "strength of a stallion" for the herbs ability to strengthen the immune system, and because the roots have the vague scent of a horse when fresh. Local lore holds that the roots will give you the strength and vitality of a horse.
Ashwagandha is possibly the most important herb in Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional healing discipline of India. Top uses include boosting the immune system, improving mood and energy, improving thyroid function and adrenal fatigue, relieving stress and anxiety, and balancing blood sugar.
Ashwagandha has been studied extensively in western medicine and has led to the development of a number of drugs for supporting mental and cognitive function in the elderly. It supports lower cortisol levels and balances adrenal hormones, progesterone and DHEA leading to lower inflammation and improving the body's reaction to stress.