Additional notes (click to expand)

Commemorative

In Flora of Australia (Purdie et al. 1982:184) it is stated that the genus Withania is named after Henry Witham (sic.), an English palaeobotanist of the early 19th century.
www.plantzafrica.com

Named for Henry Thomas Maire Witham (name at birth = Silvertop), 1779-1844 of Northumberland. Paleobotanist. Wrote 'Observations on fossil vegetables.'
Desmond, Ray. (1977). Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturists. Taylor and Francis, London.

Medicinal

Medicinal uses Uses supported by clinical data As an antistress agent to improve reaction time (15). Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents As a general tonic to increase energy, improve overall health and prevent disease in athletes and the elderly (1, 16). Uses described in traditional medicine Treatment of bronchitis, dyspepsia, impotency, scabies and ulcers (5, 16). Contraindications Due to the lack of safety data and the fact that the crude drug has been used in traditional medicine to induce abortion, its use during pregnancy or breastfeeding is contraindicated (4).
From WHO Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants Vol 4 2005, WHO Geneva

Geographical distribution

  • Africa, Macaronesia, Cape Verde
  • Africa, Northeast Tropical Africa
  • Africa, Northern Africa
  • Africa, South Tropical Africa
  • Africa, Southern Africa
  • Africa, West Tropical Africa
  • Africa, Western Indian Ocean
  • Asia-Temperate, Arabian Peninsula
  • Asia-Temperate, Western Asia
  • Asia-Tropical, Indian Subcontinent, India
  • Asia-Tropical, Indian Subcontinent, Pakistan
  • Asia-Tropical, Indian Subcontinent, Sri Lanka
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Greece
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Italy
  • Europe, Southeastern Europe, Sicilia
  • Europe, Southwestern Europe, Sardegna
  • Europe, Southwestern Europe, Spain

Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal

Family: SOLANACEAE
Genus: Withania
Species: somnifera (L.) Dunal
Common names: Ashwagandha; Winter-Cherry; Indian Ginseng
Distribution summary: Africa, Asia, S.Europe
Habit: Perennial
Hardiness: H2 - Tender; cool or frost-free greenhouse
Habitat: Stream banks, scrub and waste or disturbed ground
Garden status: Currently grown
Garden location: Plants in pots (POT), Olive tree bed (O)
Reason for growing: Medicinal, toxic


Back to List