Ayurvedic Herb | Shatavari | Asparagus racemosus | Nutrition | Benefits | Home Remedies
Latin name : Asparagus racemosus
Shatavari is also called shatavar, shatamuli, shatamul in India, and also known as wild asparagus, climbing asparagus and buttermilk root, among its many other names.
The name shatavari means 'having a hundred husbands'. This in effect refers to the tremendous healing effects of this herb on the female reproductive system. Besides this, it is also called the the queen of herbs in Ayurveda as it is said to be a curer of a hundred diseases. Such is the importance and healing effect of this invaluable ancient herb.
Shatavari is considered at par with Ashwagandha, another Ayurvedic herb, the Indian Ginseng, which is also a rejuvenating herbs and one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing.
Though best known as a female rejuvenative benefitting the reproductory system in totality, shatavari equally benefits the male reproductive system as well, besides its numeous other health benefits.
There are 2 types of Shatavari with identical benefits and uses.
- Shatavari : Asparagus racemosus
- Maha Shatavari : Asparagus sarmentosa Linn
Shatavari balances both Kapha and Pitta doshas and is both sweet & bitter in taste.
An important clarification needs to be made here that the Asparagus vegetable (shoot) that is commonly available and eaten is different from Shatavari as it comes from the plant Asparagus officinalis.
They are 2 different herbs and hence the health benefits mentioned later on in this article will only accrue from Asparagus racemosus aka Shatavari.
The Shatavari Herb/Plant
Shatavari usually grows to about a meter to two in height. Its leaves are thin and long and borne on needle like stems, uniform and shining green. The flowers are borne on short spiky stems, in fact the entire plant is thorny. Fruits are round green berries that turn red on maturing and later purple to sometimes even black as they age.
Shatavari roots though off white are white on the inside, are adventitious in nature and occur in clusters, of about a meter in length.
Shatavari can be grown easily and as an ornamental plant as well. It grows in Asia, India, Australia and Africa.
Shatavari is among the 6 most important rasayanas in Ayurveda. Rasayanas are those plants that promote well being by raising body resistance and immunity.
Principally, Sahtavari contains steroidal saponins, alkaloids, glycosides, oligo saccharides, isoflavones, flavonoids, sterols like sitosterol and tannins. Also present are vitamins A, C, K and several of the Bcomplex ones and minerals like iron, copper, potassium, manganese, calcium and zinc.
How Is Shatavari Available
In most cases shatavari root is used for treating health issues. Sometimes the leaves are used.
Shatavari is available as a dry root, root powder, tablets, capsules etc. It is usually taken @ 1/2 - 1tsp in warm water or milk.
Tablets /capsules can be taken with water or milk as well.
Shatavari ( Asparagus racemosus) Benefits and Uses
The Health Benefits Of Shatavari
Shatavari is hailed the the ultimate medicine for female reproductive system disorders. It nourishes, balances and keeps it healthy. Shatavari as per Ayurveda can be used during pregnancy and post natal during breast feeding too. It helps in increasing breast milk and helps the body get back to shape.
Shatavari has immunity boosting, rejuvenating, stress relieving, memory enhancing, strength promoting, tonic, aphrodisiac, galactogogue, laxative, anti spasmodic, antacid, diuretic, anti tumor, and demulcent properties.
In females, it is used for treating infertility, loss of libido, possible miscarriage and menopausal problems. It regulates the menstrual cycle, relieves menstrual pains, controls excessive bleeding and increases fertility. It also controls white discharge, imbalance of hormones etc.
In males, it treats sexual weakness, impotence and inflammation of sexual organs. It also nourishes the sperms, increases their numbers and treats their defects.
Since it has an antacid action it reduces pitta (inside body heat) and is therefore good for the stomach.
It is a good nervine tonic and relieves even diabetic neuropathy. It soothes the mucus membranes.
The diuretic activity of Shatavari has been demonstrated in a study on rats and it is safe from toxicity.
The antibacterial and antifungal activity of Shatavari is against strains of Staphylococcus, Bacillus, Shigella, Salmonella, Vibrio & Pseudomonas that commonly affect human population.
Shatavari protects the liver from damage by drugs, toxins and free radicals. It increases the levels of the antioxidant enzymes that help to lower the levels of oxidants and free radicals. It prevents elevated levels of liver enzymes that occur when the liver is damaged. It thus helps to regenerate the liver.
Shatavari improves gut health as it keeps it clean. The increased activity of the digestive enzymes lipase and amylase due to shatavari intake ensures that both the fats and carbohydrates get get digested well and soon. With the perked up elimination of the gut contents a much healthier gut is ensured.
The saponins, flavonoids, glycosides and terpenes it contains reduce both the tumor size and numbers.
The reduction in stomach acid and gastric secretions, the increased anti oxidanrt enzymes and inhibition of hydrochloric acid in the stomach aid in faster healing of stomach ulcers and protection from future repeats.
Shatavari treats both diarrhea and dysentery and by reducing GI motility the frequency of stools is ensured.
Being an adaptogen. it helps the body to adjust to stress. It lowers, anxiety levels as well as depression.
Shatavari lowers cholesterol, both LDL and total cholesterol, as well as triglyceride levels.
Shatavari also lowers high blood sugar levels as it slows down the gut absorption of carbohydrates. Moreover, it ensures less glucose remains in the blood as it enhances the activity of glucose transporters by sending more glucose to the cells and muscles.
Shatavari nourishes the body and increases weight in the underweight.
Ashwagandha & Shatavri
Some Home Remedies With Shatavari
- Female Infertility
Mix shatavari and white jeera in equal quantities and take for 3-4 months.
Take a mixtuure of equal quantities of shatavari and amla churan.
- To Increase Breastmilk
Take 1 tsp shatavari powder in milk 2 to 3 times a day. Effect can be seen in 5 to 7 days.
This increases milk even in cows and buffaloes. Give @ 50-60 grams shatavari powder morning and evening.
- General Body Weakness
Grind sharavari root. Add mishri in equal quantity. Take a tsp morning and evening.
- Premature Aging
Take 1 tsp shatavari root powder morning and evening with milk.
Powder the shatavari root. Cook 10 grams of this powder in milk till it forms a kheer. Add a little ghee to it and eat. It brings good sleep
- Night Blindness
Take immature leaves and stems. Prepare its vegetable and eat. It improves vision as well.
- Sore Throat
Take shatavari root powder and Bala (Sida cordifolia) seeds powder with honey.
- Cough & Chronic Cough
Make churan of shatavari and pipli. Prepare a decoction of this. Drink to relieve dry cough as well.
- Bloody Dysentery & Bleeding Piles
Grind fresh roots. Add mishri and eat. It cures in a few days.
- Urinary Problems like Reduced Urine, Burning and Frequent Urination
Add 1.5 to 2 tsp of shatavari powder to 2 glasses of water. Boil this till 1/2 glass remains. Strain and take 2 times daily.
- Seminal Disease/Sexual Weakness
Take powder of shatavari root morning and evening with milk. Benefits can be seen in 8 to 10 days.
- Menstrual Problems
Take 1 tsp of shatavari powder everyday.
- Kidney Stones
Take powdered Gokhru seeds & Shatavari and make a decoction. Drink daily. It relives kidney problems too.
- Burning Hands, Feet & Pain
Add some mishri to shatavari powder and with water or milk, once in morning & then in the evening.
Some Side Effects & Precautions With Shatavari
- Asparagus sensitive people should avoid shatavari as it can lead to allergic reactions in skin & lungs.
- Those with kidney dysfunction leading to swellings or those who suffer from heart problems should avoid it too.
- Females with estrogen inducd fibrocystic changes or with large fibrocystic breasts should avoid it.
- Avoid shatavari if you have excess kapha, congestion and ama as it increase kapha.
- The carbohydrate raffinose in shatavari may cause gas and bloating in some people.
The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements.
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