African Ecotype (Withania somnifera). Perennial, grown as an annual in the north where heavy frosts and snow fall. Attains a height of 3 to 4 feet. The roots are slightly red in color. The roots have a warming and stimulating effect. The entire plant is medicinal. Native to Africa, this is an ecotype with large leaves and very fast growth. Traditional usage (Dawa za Asili) is as an energy and sexual tonic. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that brings systems into balance in your body; it is known to cross the blood-brain barrier to help the brain.
Ashwagandha prefers full sun, fast-draining, alkaline (pH 7.5 to 8.0) soil and dryish conditions. Bury the seeds very lightly, as they are dependent on light for good germination. Sow in early spring indoors or in the greenhouse. To plant outdoors, wait until the soil temperature stays warm and consistently above about 65 degrees. Average time to germinate is 15 days. Space plants 1 foot apart. In a year or two the ashwagandha produces lantern-like pods enclosing pea-sized berries. The berries are green at first and become bright red as the inflated calyx dries and becomes transparent.
Organic certified by both CCOF and The Real Organic Project.
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