It is native to dry regions of India. It is also the native of
Australia, E. Asia, and Africa. This herb is used for 4000 years plus in
India. It is a very important herb in ayurveda, the traditional Indian
medicine. Ashwagandha in Sanskrit means "horse's smell",
probably originating from the odor of its root which resembles that of
sweaty horse. The species name somnifera means "sleep-bearing"
in Latin. Traditional uses of Ashwagandha among tribal peoples in Africa
include fevers and inflammatory conditions.
The use of Ashwagandha in Ayurvedic medicine extends back over 3000 to 4000 years to the teachings of an esteemed rishi (sage) Punarvasu Atriya. It has been described in the sacred texts of Ayurveda, including the Charaka and Sushruta Samhitas.
Ashwagandha grows prolifically in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.