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Winter Cherry

Scientific Name:Withania somnifera Dunal

        Winter Cherry is a branched,erect,undershrub which grows to a height of 0.3-1.5 metres.It belongs to the plant family Solanaceae.The roots are strout,fleshy and whitish-brown in colour.The leaves are 5-10 cm. long,ovate,entire,and with a lot of hairs.Flowers are inconspicuous,light green or pale yellow in colour and found in clusters of five in a sessile umbellate cyme.The fruits are berries,about 6 mm. in diameter,orange-red when mature and enclosed by a loose enlarged calyx.The seeds are many,kidney-shaped and yellow in colour.


  •       Conjunctivitis.
  •    Scrofula or tuberculosis of the lymph glands of the neck,and for toothache.
  •    Sexual debility.
  •    Gynaecological disorders,lumbago or pain in the lower back,and sterility.
  •    Increases lactation or production of milk in nursing mothers.
  •    Female sterility,nervous weakness and physical weakness.
  •    Tumours.
  •    Ulcers and inflammation.
  •    Cold,cough,phlegm and watery nose.
  •    Rheumatism,joint and muscular pain.


  •         As the root is the most important part in this plant, before it is administered, it is boiled in milk and left to dry in the shade. This finished product is then powdered and used.
  •   For conjunctivitis, mix 1 teaspoon of the above-mentioned powdered root in warm water and drink once or twice a day.
  •   For scrofula and toothache, boil 1 teaspoon of the same powdered in 1-2 cups of water. Add 1 teaspoonful each of powdered long pepper and honey. This to be administered twice a day.
  •   For sexual debility, take 1 teaspoon of the powdered root along with 1 teaspoon of clarified butter or ghee, twice daily.
  •  For gynaecological disorders, lumbago, and sterility, mix 1 teaspoon of the same powdered root with equal quantities of sugar, honey, powdered long pepper and clarified butter or ghee. This is to be administered once or twice a day.
  •  To increase lactation, boil 1 teaspoon of the same powdered root in 1 cup of cow’s milk. Drink twice daily.
  •  For female sterility, nervous and physical weakness, mix 1 teaspoon of the same powdered root along with 1 tablespoon of palm sugar (Borassus Flabellifer), in 1 cup of milk. This is to be taken at bedtime.
  •  In case of tumours, grind a few leaves into a paste and apply it on the affected parts.
  •  For ulcers and inflammation, apply the finely powdered root locally on the affected areas.
  •  For cold, cough, phlegm and watery nose, mix 1 teaspoon of the powdered root in honey and take it orally once or twice a day.
  •  For rheumatism, joint and mascular pain, boil 1 tablespoon of dried and powdered root in 5-7 tablespoons of olive or gingelly oil and apply on the affected parts when bearably hot.


    Roots and leaves.


    As recommended above.


    The intake of winter cherry may result in increased body weight. Therefore, those who are prone to obesity should use it in moderation.