In traditional herbalism, adaptogen is a group of herbs that are commonly used to support the body in dealing with the onslaughts and stresses of life, both environmental, physical and mental.
Ashwagandha’s latin name is Withania somnifera. It is in the Solanacea nightshade plant family. Common names for Ashwagandha, include Indian Gooseberry, and Winter Cherry, since it has an orange-red berry during the fall season. The plant is a tender perennial shrub, and grows to about 20 inches tall.
The name Ashwagandha, is likely derived from the sanskit word which means horse (ashva) and the word that means smell (gandha). This is thought to be a reference to the strong earthy scent of the root, which is the most common part of the plant that is used as a remedy. Others interpret it to mean that the user will have the vitality and strength of a horse. Ashwagandha is considered to be an Adaptogen.