What is Ashwagandha?

April 8, 2020 Team Goodness

Just hearing about Ashwagandha? Pronounced “ash-wa-gand-ha”, this powerful herb has been used in traditional Ayurvedic healing for thousands of years to relieve stress and rejuvenate all systems in the body. In Sanskrit, ashwagandha translates as “the smell of the horse" which refers to both its unique smell and ability to increase strength.

Learn more about the positive health effects of ashwagandha and its uses.


The ashwagandha plant is a small, woody shrub with yellow flowers that's native to India and North Africa. Its botanical name is Withania somnifera, and may also be known by several other names, including Indian ginseng and winter cherry.

While it is referred to as Indian ginseng, it is not related to ginseng at all. Instead, ashwagandha is member of the nightshade family, and thus a distant cousin to tomatoes and potatoes.

Like Maca, the root of the ashwagandha plant is harvested, cleaned and dried into a powder for consumption.


In Sanskrit, ashwagandha translates as the smell of the horse – this is firstly due to its strong aroma and secondly to its reputation for imparting strength and virility. The Latin translation for the herb’s botanical name, somnifera, is ‘sleep-inducing’.

Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing that originated over 3,000 years ago.

In Ayurvedic medicine, is it classified as Rasayana – a rejuvenator – used to restore health and wellbeing and promote longevity. It is said Ashwagandha has the ability to alleviate stress, anxiety and fatigue, and promote a general sense of calm.

Ashwagandha may also increase energy levels, and improve concentration with use over time.


The most common way to consume ashwagandha powder is to create a tonic or hot tea and drink before bed to promote restful sleep.

Simply combine ½ - 1 teaspoon of ashwagandha powder with water or warm milk and a teaspoon of honey (ashwagandha can be bitter on its own). To improve the taste, add spices such as cinnamon, cardamom or vanilla.


Honest to Goodness Organic Ashwagandha Powder is available in our online shop and our Alexandria (Sydney) store in 1kg and bulk sizes.

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