Phytonutrient Blog

Ashwagandha – Health Canada Product Monograph

SOURCE- HEALTH CANADA: Compendium of Medicinal Ingredients Nomenclature

Drugs and natural health products

Monograph: Ashwagandha

Date: 2007-04-18

Name of NHPID

Withania somnifera

Proper name(s)

Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal (Solanaceae)

Common name(s)

  • Asgandh
  • Ashwagandha
  • Asvagandha
  • Aswagandha
  • Winter cherry

Material of origin

Route of administration


Dosage form(s)

Depending on the route(s) of administration

Recommended use(s) or purpose(s)

Statement(s) specifying the following:

  • Traditionally used in Ayurveda as Rasayana (regenerative tonic)
  • Traditionally used in Ayurveda to decrease general weakness, especially during convalescence or in the elderly
  • Traditionally used in Ayurveda as a sleep aid
  • Traditionally used in Ayurveda to balance aggravated Vata (nervin tonic, sedative)
  • Traditionally used in Ayurveda for memory enhancement



Preparation: Dry, powder, decoction and infusion + all unstandardized extracts

Dose(s): 2 – 6 Grams per day, dried roots


Duration of use

Statement not required

Mention of risks

Statement(s) specifying the following:

Precaution(s) and warning(s):

  • Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Consumption of ashwagandha in combination with alcoholic beverages, or any other drug or natural health product with sedative effects is not recommended

Statement not required

Known adverse reaction(s):
Statement not required

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be selected from the current Natural Health Products Ingredient Database and must meet the restrictions defined in the database.

  • Finished product specifications must be established in accordance with the requirements outlined in the NHPD’s Natural Health Product Quality Reference Guide.
  • The medicinal ingredient must comply with the requirements set out in the Natural Health Products Ingredient Database (NHPID).

References cited

  • API 2001: The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, 1st edition, Part I, Volume I. Delhi (IN): Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Indian Systems of Medicine & Homoeopathy.
  • Berardi RR, DeSimone EM, Newton GD, Oszko MA, Popovich NG, Rollins CJ, Shimp LA, Tietze KJ, editors. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs: An Interactive Approach to Self-Care, 13th edition. Washington,D.: American Pharmaceutical Association; 2002.
  • Gennaro AR, editor. Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy, 20th edition. Washington (DC): Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2000.
  • Kapoor LD. Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants: Herbal Reference Library. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press; 2001
  • Khare CP. Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic and Other Traditional Usage, Botany. New York (NY): Springer; 2004
  • Khory RN, Katrak NN. 1999 [1903] . Materia Medica of India and Their Therapeutics. Delhi (IN): Komal Prakashan; [Réimpression de la publication de 1903].
  • McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, editors. 1997. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press.
  • McGuffin M, Kartesz JT, Leung AY, Tucker AO, editors. 2000. Herbs of Commerce, 2nd edition. Austin (TX): American Herbal Products Association.
  • Nadkarni AK, Nadkarni KM. India Materia Medica with Ayruvedic, Unani-Tibbi, Siddha, Allopathic, Homeopathic, Naturopathic & Home Remedies, Volume 1, 3rd edition. Mumbai (India): Popular Book Depot; 1954
  • Sukh Dev. Premium Ayurvedic Plant Drugs. Tunbridge Wells (UK): Anshan; 2005
  • Upton R, editor. Ashwagandha Root, Withania somnifera Analytical, Quality Control, And Therapeutic Monograph. Santa Cruz (CA): American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium; 2000
  • USDA 2008: ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, MD. [Consulté le 21 janvier 2008]. Available online at:
  • Williamson EM, editor. 2002. Major Herbs of Ayurveda. London (UK): Churchill Livingstone.


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