Latin Name: Withania somnifera
English Name: Winter Cherry
Sanskrit / Indian Name: Ashvagandha
Withania somnifera is an erect shrub. The plant has steroidal lactones - withanolides, withaferin, which are estrogenic compounds.
The principle constituents of its roots are the alkaloids somnine, somniferine, withanine, tropine, psuedotropine and anaferine. It is used in asthma and as a uterine sedative. Its alkaloids showed relaxant and antispasmodic effects against several spasmogens on intestinal, uterine, bronchial, tracheal and blood vascular muscles.