Widely used in Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine, this powerful little plant is often nicknamed “Indian ginseng”. It is used for everything from general weakness, rheumatism, insomnia, infertility, impotence and to strengthen the “weaknesses of the mind”. I will give you the Latin name as this is also a new plant for me: Withania somnifera. Withania was named in honour of Henry Witham, a British geologist and writer on fossil botany in the nineteenth century. However the species name roughly translates from ancient Latin to mean “sleep-inducing” relating to one of its uses as a member of the Nightshade (Solanaceae) family.