Ashwagandha means "smells like a horse." Ashwagandha gives the strength of a horse. It is considered the best male tonic in Ayurveda, but it is also one of the best herbs for the nerves, mind, and reducing high vata dosha. It has a warm energy and is sweet, bitter, and pungent in taste. It reduces Vata and Kapha, but may increase Pitta by its heating quality. It is one of the best tonic herbs Ayurveda has to offer. For vata imbalances of all kinds, sexual debility, impotence, premature ejaculation, convalescence, nervous debility, and mental illness it is one of the best herb. It is sattvik and soothes the mind and promotes a deep mental peace. Along with Vacha and Brahmi it is one of the three best herbs for meditation and mental illness (these three herbs may be taken together as a mental tonic). It calms the nerves and mind and promotes deep sleep. Ashwagandha is somewhat heavy to digest and should be taken with digestive herbs (vacha for the mind, cloves as a sexual tonic, nutmeg for a sedative, or ginger for general use). It may be mixed with shatavari (the female tonic) in equal parts and then added to enhancing the tonic properties of any herbal blend. Ashwagandha is in the nightshade family along with tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers.