Winter cherry (withania somnifera), also known as ashwagandha or Indian ginseng, has traditionally been used as part of a holistic system of medicine in India known as ayurveda. The herbal supplement is produced from the root of the plant and is known as an adaptogen, meaning that it increases resistance to physical and emotional stress. In terms of emotional health, winter cherry has been used to promote emotional balance in cases of mild anxiety, depression and mental or physical fatigue. The supplement is also known to have many preventative qualities, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
How to Take Winter Cherry:
Winter cherry is typically taken in capsule form, but it is also available in other forms, such as a tincture or tea.
You should read the product label for dosing instructions and consult a healthcare provider if necessary. The recommended adult dosage for capsule form of winter cherry is 50 to 250 mg daily. There is not enough scientific evidence to recommend the use of winter cherry in children.
Who Shouldn’t Take Winter Cherry:
Do not take winter cherry if you are pregnant or nursing or taking prescription monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
You may experience drowsiness if you combine winter cherry with benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
Side effects of winter cherry are generally rare and mild and may include stomach upset and nausea.
There are no known risks associated with winter cherry; however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the production of herbs and supplements. Most herbs and supplements are not thoroughly tested, and there is no guarantee regarding the ingredients or safety of the products.
Other supplements for social anxiety disorder:
Clarocet. Winter Cherry. Accessed September 9, 2008.
Smart Publications. Ashwagandha: The Indian Ginseng for Vitality and Antioxidant Protection. Accessed September 10, 2008.