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Nature's Temple / Shatavari

Shatavari

(Asparagus racemosus)

The word asparagus originates from the Greek word for stalk or shoot.

In Western herbal medicine, shatavari is often seen as a female reproductive tonic and shatavari does indeed mean to “possess a hundred husbands”.

Considered a great general tonic. In Ayurvedic medicine, shatavari is the main rejuvenative tonic for the female, as is Withania for the male. Shatavari is, however, used for sexual debility and infertility in both sexes.  Also used for nervous disorders, dyspepsia, hyperacidity, diarrhoea, dysentery, tumours, inflammations, hyperdipsia, neuropathy, hepatopathy, cough, bronchitis, certain infectious diseases, menopausal symptoms and to increase lactation.

Parts Used: Root and Rhizome

Active Constituents:

Ssapogenins and saponins. Shatavari contains 8-9% steroidal saponins, known as shatavarin I, immunoside, asparagin A and shatavarins IV–X.(1). Major saponins in the roots are shatavarin I and especially shatavarin IV (44%). Shatavari also contains isoflavones, including 8-methoxy-5,6,4′- trihydroxyisoflavone 7-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside(2), phytosterols (0.8%), polyphenols (1.7%) and flavonoids (3).

Main Actions:

  • Adaptogen (adapts and restores the body to its normal function)
  • Antitussive (effective against suppressing coughs)
  • Antioxidant
  • Antibacterial
  • Immunomodulator
  • Digestive
  • Oestrogen modulator
  • Cytoprotective (protects cells from noxious chemicals or other stimuli)
  • Galactogogue (promotes lactation in humans and others)
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antidiarrhoeal
  • Antiulcerogenic

Major Safety Issues:

  • Caution is advised if using during pregnancy.
  • Phytoestrogenic herbs like Shatavari are extremely potent and not advisable for long term use.
  • Sensitive individuals should take care if they are allergic to the Asparagus species.
  • Close observation is advised for those with hypochlorhydria due to possible inhibition of hydrochloric acid.
  • Asparagus may have diuretic effects and may positively affect diuretic drugs such as chlorothiazide (Chlotride). Caution is advised.