Winter cherry is the most popular herb used in Ayurvedic system of medicine. This holistic system of medicine has its origin in India. The scientific name for winter cherry is Withnia Somnifera. The plant is small size shrub. The roots of the plant are used for medicinal purposes.
Benefits Of Winter Cherry
Winter cherry contains phytochemical compounds that are believed to have beneficial medicinal properties. They are known to enhance the chemical pathways of the brain which is known to increase the memory and other brain function.
It is said to be an adoptogen, which means winter cherry increases the body’s capacity to face wide range of chemical, physical and mental stresses.Thus winter cherry is used to improve mental sharpness, withstand physical hardship and mental stress.
- The dry powder of winter cherry root is a good nervine tonic.
- The dry root powder acts as a diuretic.
- Winter cherry is believed to be an aphrodisiac. One teaspoon of powder when consumed daily with warm milk before retiring to bed is good for sexual weakness.
- For painful back and joints, winter cherry is a wonderful herbal medicine.
Health Benefits Of Winter Cherry
- Mix 3 to 6 gm of winter cherry powder with one teaspoon of honey and consume it once or twice in a day. It is beneficial in women having uterine trouble or suffering from leucorrhea.
- Winter Cherry is ideal for nervous debility, insomnia, and depression.
- Few studies have shown it to be beneficial in easing drug withdrawal symptoms.
- It is a potent memory enhancer.
- Regular intake of winter cherry prevents premature aging and premature graying of hairs.
- A person experiences physical and mental strength with regular intake of winter cherries.
- Winter Cherry Powder is applied locally on the non healing ulcers and inflammation on the skin.
- The oil prepared from winter cherry is used as a local massage for thin and emaciated children. Children suffering from rickets are benefitted with the oil massage.
Winter Cherry Side Effects
Although considered to be safe when taken in prescribed dose by your herbalist, it can produce minor side effects with higher doses.
Some of the side effects of winter cherry are:
- Nausea and vomiting is often observed side effect of winter cherry. Stop taking winter cherry if you experience the abdominal disturbance or decrease the dose.
- Diarrhea: frequent watery stool is other abdominal side effect often met with when the dose of winter cherry is increased.
- Winter cherry can stimulate the thyroid leading to thyrotoxicosis. Few cases have been noted of this side effect.
- It is not advised for pregnant and breast feeding women to take this herb. There is no clear data associating miscarriage to winter cherry, some herbalists advise to avoid its use during this period.