Ashvagandha, aka: Ashva-gandha, Aśvagandhā; 5 Definition(s)


Ashvagandha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Aśvagandhā can be transliterated into English as Asvagandha or Ashvagandha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Ashvagandha in Rasashastra glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

Aśvagandhā (अश्वगन्धा):—One of the sixty-seven Mahauṣadhi, as per Rasaśāstra texts (rasa literature). These drugs are useful for processing mercury (rasa), such as the alchemical processes known as sūta-bandhana and māraṇa.

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra
Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Ashvagandha in Ayurveda glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

Aśvagandhā (अश्वगन्धा) is a Sanskrit word referring to Withania somnifera, a species of plant from the Solanaceae (nightshade) family of flowering plants. It is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā and the Suśruta-saṃhitā. It is also known as Varāhakarṇī. In English, it is known as “Indian ginseng”, “poison gooseberry” or “winter cherry”. It is an undershrub reaching 150 centimeters in height. It grows throughout the dries parts of India. Its leaves ovate up to 10 centimeters in length, with greenish or lurid yellow flowers, bearing globose berries as its fruit.

This plant (Aśvagandhā) is also mentioned as a medicine used for the treatment of all major fevers (jvara), as described in the Jvaracikitsā (or “the treatment of fever”) which forms the first chapter of the Sanskrit work called Mādhavacikitsā. In this work, the plant is also known by the synonym Mṛdvīkā.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Aśvagandhā (अश्वगन्धा) is the name of a plant mentioned in connection with a Tantric ceremony, according to the Vajraḍākatantra chapter 38.—Five techniques to please Dūtīs as well as the Yogin himself and to enlarge a Yogin’s gentials are introduced. Various kinds of woods and plants in addition to honey and butter are utilized for this purpose. [...] The mixture of aśvagandhā, pāṭhā, kaṭurohiṇī and sap of arka-tree is effective for growing his genitals.

Source: A Critical Study of the Vajraḍākamahātantrarāja (II)
Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Ashvagandha in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

Aśvagandhā (अश्वगन्धा).—[aśvasya gandha ekadeśo meḍhramiva mūlamasyāḥ] Name of a plant Physalis Flexuosa Lin; °तैलम् (tailam) a kind of oil.

Aśvagandhā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms aśva and gandhā (गन्धा).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Aśvagandhā (अश्वगन्धा).—f.

(-ndhā) A plant, (Physalis flexuosa.) E. aśva, and gandha smell; having the smell of a horse.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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