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You are Here :: How to grow :Ashwagandha



Poshita and Rakshita are high yielding varieties released by CSIR-CIMAP, Lucknow. Jawahar 20 is cultivated in Madhya Pradesh. WSR is another variety released by CSIR-Regional Research Laboratory, Jammu. Nagori is a local variety with starchy roots

Economic part – Root Major constituents- Total alkaloid (0.13-0.31%) - Withanine, Somniferine Uses – cures bronchitis, rheumatism, inflammation

Step By Step How to Grow
1) Soil and Climate
Grows well in sandy loam soil, in slightly alkaline soil with pH of 7.5 to 8.0. It grows better in 600-1200 m altitude. Temperature between 20oC to 35oC is most suitable for cultivation.

2) Seed rate
About 10 – 12 kg/ha of seed is required for broadcasting. For transplanting, seed rate of 5 kg/ha is required. The seedlings of six weeks old are transplanted at a spacing of 60X 60 cm.

3) Season
It is planted late in the rainy season around August-September and harvested in the next May.)

The crop is mainly grown on residual fertility. Hence, no manure or fertilizers are recommended.

Plant protection
Leaf blight and die back- Diethane M 45(0.3%) Damping off and seedling rot- Trichoderma viride (2 kg/ha) and Pseudomonas flurescens (2kg/ha)

After cultivation
Hand weeding is generally done at 30 days of sowing to control the weeds.


The maturity of the crop is judged by the drying of the leaves and berries turning red. The crop is ready for harvest in 150-170 days after sowing, starting from January upto march. The entire plant is uprooted and roots are separated by cutting the stem 1-2cm above the crown

Post harvest practices
The crop produces 400-1200 kg/ha dried roots and 200-500 kg seeds/ha. The roots are transversely cut into smaller pieces of 7-10 cm to facilitate drying. The berries are harvested separately, dried and threshed to remove the seeds.

Grading of roots
The dried roots are beaten with a club to remove adhering soil and to break off thin, brittle, lateral rootlets. Lateral branches, root crown and stem remains are carefully trimmed with a knife. Root pieces are then sorted out into following grades.

1) A grade
Root pieces up to 7 cm in length, 1-1.5 cm in diameter, solid cylindrical with smooth external surface and pure white from inside.

2) B grade
Root pieces up to 5 cm in length, 1 cm or less in diameter, solid, brittle and white from inside.

3) C grade
Solid root pieces up to 3-4 cm in length, 1 cm or less in diameter.

4) D grade
Small root pieces, semisolid or hollow, very thin, yellowish inside and < 1 cm in diameter of late farmers are grading the roots into 7 or more grades.

Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is also referred to as “Indian ginseng.”

Approximately 4000 years ago, Ashwagandha was used by the kings of ancient India for many health and medicinal purposes. Legend has it that the rulers felt younger, they had more energy, could fight stress better, and live longer when incorporating this powerful herb into their diets.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen herb, meaning it is believed to fight the negative effects of stress when at the same time giving you more energy balancing homeostasis. The following is a list of several and wide-ranging Ashwagandha benefits:

• Anti-inflammatory

• Relaxes the central nervous system

• Reduces stress

• Boost mental capacity

• Strengthens the immune system

• Powerful antioxidant that assist in fighting free radicals

• Enhances the sex drive in adults

As stated above, with regards to enhancing the sex drive, Ashwagandha is referred to in the ancient sexual practice of Kama Sutra as having the capacity to restore sexual health and heighten awareness.

It is used historically to treat a number of illnesses. Some conditions that are treated with Ashwagandha are as follows:

• Gastrointestinal disorders

• Skin infections

• Rheumatoid arthritis

• Epilepsy

• Fatigue

• Chronic disease

• Failing memory

• Impotence

• Pain

Because of its rich iron levels, in children it promotes healthy growth and development. It also is believed to enhance red blood cell count and increase hemoglobin levels.

In athletics, some of the benefits of Ashwagandha increase energy levels so that the athlete can keep up with the demands of rigorous training and competition. This wonder herb has many health promoting chemicals which leads to greater athletic performance. Chemicals such as alkaloids, sugars, healthy fatty acids, choline, steroidal lactones, and amino acids produce the many Ashwagandha benefits that help to facilitate physical fitness. .

Ashwagandha Side Effects
Ashwagandha is generally considered safe to use, however there are some unpleasant side effects in isolated cases. Because the chemicals in this herb are so powerful, there have been studies in which certain individuals have experienced negative Ashwagandha side effects. These side effects are as follows:

• Abortion in pregnant women (it could cause damage to the fetus)

• Increases the potency of barbiturates

• Drowsiness

• Vascularity problems

• Minimal elevation of body temperature

• Small lesions can develop

• Nausea

• In diabetics, blood sugar levels may lower

• Diarrhea

• Vomiting

Ashwagandha comes in many forms such as tablets, capsules, powders, or in a raw state. You should follow the directions closely regarding dosages. Moderation and being cautious is the key to getting the most from the benefits of Ashwagandha. Herbalists feel that people that have conditions such as liver diseases, digestive problems and diabetes should avoid taking this herb.

There are many Ashwagandha benefits for you to experience. If you do not have specific medical conditions you should enjoy many great results that this herb will give you. Speak with your physician first before you begin a program ingesting any type of herbal supplement. There are minimal risks but greater rewards if consumed properly.

The crop produces 400-1200 kg/ha dried roots and 200-500 kg seeds/ha.