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Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha OG

Withania somnifera Open-pollinated. In Sanskrit its name means ‘the vitality of the horse’ and it imparts such energy; somnifera promotes sleep. An herb of wide value, generally known as the ginseng of Ayurvedic medicine. Upright shrub exceeds 2' with inconspicuous green-to-yellow flowers ripening to red berries. Roots are dried at the end of the growing season and used internally powdered or tinctured (other plant parts are toxic if eaten). Herbalist Deb Soule harvests the roots when the berries ripen in mid-October. Her delightful book, How to Move Like a Gardener, has more details about ashwagandha. One of the best rejuvenators, especially good for the elderly, it tones without overstimulating and can be used in all conditions of weakness and chronic debilitation. Needs warmth and light to germinate. Sow indoors in the spring and transplant out in June; prefers dry stony soil in sun or partial shade. Perennial in Zone 10, grown as an annual here in the north. ~1,000 seeds/g.
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4411A: 1g for $2.20  
4411B: 4g for $6.60  
4411C: 12g for $18.00  
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Additional Information

Herbs

Statements about medicinal use of plants have not been evaluated by the FDA, and should not be used for the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any ailment. Before using or ingesting any medicinal plant, consult a healthcare practitioner familiar with botanical medicine.

About medicinal herbs: Archeological evidence dates the medicinal use of herbs back 60,000 years to the Neandertals. 85% of the world’s population employ herbs as medicines, and 40% of pharmaceuticals in the U.S. contain plant-derived materials. Fewer than 10% of higher plant species have been investigated for their medicinal components. Interest in traditional herbal remedies continues to grow.

Herb culture: To substitute fresh herbs for dried in cooking, use triple the dried quantity called for in a recipe.

Drying herbs at home is not difficult. Whole leaves retain their flavor at least a year.

Some herbs are customarily grown from divisions because they cannot come true from seed, such as scented thymes and flavored mints. Some require fall sowing of fresh seed, such as sweet cicely and angelica, and these become available in August or September.

Chervil and Parsley are listed with the Greens.

Takinagawa Burdock and Resina Calendula, as well as oats, mammoth red clover and alfalfa in the Farm Seed section, also have medicinal uses. Medicinal herbs such as black cohosh and goldenseal are available as plants, and shipped with Trees in the spring.