Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) is used in Indian traditional medicine, Ayurveda and is believed to have a variety of health promoting effects. Molecular mechanisms and pathways underlying these effects have not been studied. We tried to characterize various activities of leaf extract of Ashwagandha (Lash) raised in the field and in the laboratory. We found that the Lash from field-raised plants has a significant anti-proliferative activity in human tumorigenic cells. However, it did not impart any protection against the oxidative damage caused by high glucose and hydrogen peroxide to human tumor cells suggesting that it can be used as an anti-tumor, but not as an anti-oxidant, substance.