Winter Cherry Monograph

Scientific name of Winter Cherry:
Withania somnifera

Action of Winter Cherry:
Promotes relaxation and healthy neurological function

Winter Cherry is used for these common wellness concerns:
Occasional nervousness, nervous tension and anxiety; depressed mood and mild to moderate mood changes caused by everyday stress; mental and physical fatigue

Find Winter Cherry in these Clarocet blends:

An Overview of Winter Cherry

Winter Cherry, or Ashwagandha Root, is among the most prominent herbal preparations used in Ayurveda, a holistic system of medicine that originated in India. The root of this small evergreen shrub is primarily recognized for its adaptogenic properties, meaning it naturally increases the body’s resistance to physical and emotional stress.
Practitioners of Ayurveda traditionally prescribe Winter Cherry to promote gentle relaxation and emotional balance. In clinical studies, Winter Cherry has been shown to provide positive support for:

  • Focus, attention span, concentration, memory, mental sharpness and other healthy cognitive functions
  • Mental or physical fatigue caused by emotional stress
  • Depressed mood and mild to moderate mood changes caused by everyday stress
  • Occasional nervousness, nervous tension and anxiety
  • Healthy immune system function

Research has shown that Winter Cherry is a safe, natural sedative that produces the most noticeable benefits following daily use for two to six weeks.

Science and Pharmacology of Winter Cherry

Studies indicate that one of Winter Cherry’s components, Withaferin-A, stimulates Acetylcholine neurotransmitter pathways in the brain. This process is thought to enhance memory and other healthy cognitive processes. Scientists have yet to identify the specific components of Winter Cherry that support the immune system and other regulatory body systems. It is believed that the active Glycowithanolides, compounds derived from the plant, work synergistically to alleviate occasional nervousness, nervous tension, anxiety, depressed mood and mild to moderate mood changes caused by everyday stress.

Winter Cherry has been identified in clinical analysis as an adaptogen, which means that it increases the body’s resistance to a wide range of chemical, biological and physical stressors. Scientists explain that Winter Cherry likely affects multiple body systems to promote emotional wellbeing, physical endurance and mental sharpness.

Winter Cherry Safety and Usage

Winter Cherry maintains an excellent safety profile when used as directed. A daily dose of 50 to 250 milligrams is recommended to provide positive support for occasional nervousness, nervous tension, anxiety, depressed mood or mild to moderate mood changes caused by everyday stress.

What are the potential side effects of Winter Cherry?

Side effects are rare and have been documented as mild in clinical studies. They may include gastrointestinal discomfort. In the event that you experience an adverse reaction, discontinue use of this herb. Winter Cherry does not cause withdrawal or discontinuation effects.

Is Winter Cherry safe for children?

Clinical study data on children and Winter Cherry is limited. Winter Cherry should not be administered without the supervision of a professional healthcare provider.

Does Winter Cherry adversely interact with prescription drugs?

Taking Winter Cherry in combination with prescription medications such as benzodiazepines, SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) or SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) may cause drowsiness. If you are taking a prescription medication, it is recommended that you consult with your prescribing doctor before making any changes or additions to your current treatment plan.

What precautions should I take before beginning Winter Cherry?

Consult with your healthcare provider before beginning a wellness plan that includes dietary supplements like Winter Cherry.

  • Do not take Winter Cherry if you are pregnant or nursing
  • Do not take Winter Cherry if you are currently taking a prescription MAOI
  • Do not take Winter Cherry if you are currently taking a protease inhibitor for HIV/AIDS
  • Do not operate vehicles or heavy machinery until you know how Winter Cherry affects you

Winter Cherry Clinical Studies

1. Withania Somnifera - Monograph
Thorne Research
Alt. Medicine Review; 2004 V9:N2 211-214 PMID: 15253680 [Read the Full Text]

2. Studies on the immunomodulatory effects of Ashwagandha.
Ziauddin M, Phansalkar N, Patki P, Diwanay S, Patwardhan B.
Medinova Diagnostics Center, Indian Drugs Research Association, Pune, India.
AJ Ethnopharmacol. 1996 Feb;50(2):69-76. PMID: 8866726 [Read the Abstract]

3. Studies on immunomodulatory activity of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) extracts in experimental immune inflammation.
Agarwal R, Diwanay S, Patki P, Patwardhan B.
Bharati Vidyapeeth's Poona College of Pharmacy, Erandwane, Pune, India.
J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Oct;67(1):27-35. PMID: 10616957 [Read the Abstract]

4. New data referring to chemistry of Withania somnifera species.
Elsakka M, Grigorescu E, Stanescu U, Stanescu U, Dorneanu V.
Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacognosy, Institute of Medicine and Pharmacy
Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 1990 Apr-Jun;94(2):385-7. PMID: 2100857 [Read the Abstract]

5. Withania somnifera, a plant with a great therapeutical future.
Elsakka M, Pavelescu M, Grigorescu E.
Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 1989 Apr-Jun;93(2):349-50. PMID: 2814052 [Read the Abstract]

6. Systemic administration of defined extracts from Withania somnifera (Indian Ginseng)
Schliebs R, Liebmann A, Bhattacharya SK, Kumar A, Ghosal S, Bigl V.
Paul Flechsig Institute for Brain Research, Dept. of Neurochemistry, Univ. of Leipzig
Neurochem Int. 1997 Feb;30(2):181-90. PMID: 9017665 [Read the Abstract]

7. Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: an experimental study.
Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Sairam K, Ghosal S.
Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University
Phytomedicine. 2000 Dec;7(6):463-9. PMID: 11194174 [Read the Abstract]

8. Adaptogenic activity of Withania somnifera: an experimental study using a rat model of chronic stress.
Bhattacharya SK, Muruganandam AV.
Department of Pharmacology, Postgraduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Calcutta University, India.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003 Jun;75(3):547-55. PMID: 12895672 [Read the Abstract]

9. Scientific Basis for the Therapeutic Use of Withania Somnifera
Mishra, Singh, Danais
Thorne Research
Alternative Medicine Review; V5-N4 334-346 PMID: 10956379 [Read the Full Text]

10. Search for natural products related to regeneration of the neuronal network.
Tohda C, Kuboyama T, Komatsu K.
Research Center for Ethnomedicines, Institute of Natural Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Japan.
Neurosignals. 2005;14(1-2):34-45 PMID: 15956813 [Read the Abstract]

11. Neuritic regeneration and synaptic reconstruction induced by withanolide A.
Kuboyama T, Tohda C, Komatsu K.
Research Center for Ethnomedicines, Institute of Natural Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Japan.
Br J Pharmacol. 2005 Apr;144(7):961-71 PMID: 15711595 [Read the Abstract]

12. Evaluation of the anti-proliferative and anti-oxidative activities of leaf extract from in vivo and in vitro raised Ashwagandha.
Kaur K, Rani G, Widodo N, Nagpal A, Taira K, Kaul SC, Wadhwa R.
Cell Proliferation Research Team, Gene Function Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2004 Dec;42(12):2015-20 PMID: 15500938 [Read the Abstract]

13. Nootropic-like effect of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera L.) in mice.
Dhuley JN.
Laboratory Pharmacology and Toxicology, Research Centre, Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd, India.
Phytother Res. 2001 Sep;15(6):524-8 PMID: 11536383 [Read the Abstract]

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Last Updated: February 2015 [PHMF-03-0]