Ayurveda has mentioned six Rasayana, out of which Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is known as ‘Queen of herbs.’ This is because it is a primary herb for female’s health and wellness.
Shatavari holds a significant place in restoring female health. It is also one of the herbs with a multitude of benefits not only for women but for all. Along with being a female reproductive tonic, it also serves as a general nervine tonic.
Shatavari has been successfully used as an anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and immunomodulator. It is also useful in improving the milk production and reproduction capacity of dairy animals.
Shatavari is a popular herb, but most of us do not know much about it. For this, a detailed description and knowledge is a must to make the most use of such beneficial herb.
Shatavari – All you need to know
The Sanskrit name ‘Shatavari’ literally means one who has 100 husbands. This literal meaning is accurately explained by Ayurvedic texts that Shatavari strengthens a woman’s reproductive system and ensures that it generates thousands of healthy egg cells for producing healthy children.
Shatavari is a tall green climber with thorns. It has small pine-needle like leaves. The specialty of the plant is its roots which are found in clusters.
Roots are unbranched, small, tuberous, and finger-like in structure. They look like little radishes and are sweet with a bitter aftertaste. Ayurveda uses roots in making herbal medicines.
Shatavari grows throughout the tropical parts of India, Africa, Australia, and Southern China. Nowadays it is commonly cultivated owing to its commercial values.
The genus asparagus includes about 22 species in India. Out of which only Asparagus racemosus is considered as medicinally important in Ayurveda.
Ayurvedic texts state the therapeutic qualities of Shatavari. It takes time to digest and is unctuous. It is a natural coolant, and also it has a sweet post-digestive effect on the body. Hence, it effectively balances abnormal Vata and Pitta dosha.
How is it a tonic for female health?
Shatavari in Ayurvedic texts is recommended for the prevention and treatment of female disorders. It is commonly referred to as Rasayana, which means that it revitalizes the functions of all body systems and promotes immunity & longevity.
Estrogen is one of the crucial hormones for the maintenance of female health. Its imbalance leads to many female disorders. Shatavari is known for its estrogenic property, which is why it finds a place in every Ayurvedic prescription for women.
Nowadays, it is not very uncommon to find females suffering from problems like delayed menses, painful and heavy bleeding, improper menses, pelvic inflammatory diseases, and pre-menstrual syndrome.
Such situations are a significant hindrance for such women to carry on with their daily life.
Where modern medicine treats menstrual disorders by suppressing the symptoms, Ayurveda focuses more on correcting it rather than stamping it down. Shatavari plays a vital role in altering the hormonal imbalances, thereby reducing such symptoms efficiently.
Ayurveda considers vata dosha responsible for all kinds of gynecological problems. In such cases, both leaves and roots of Shatavari show excellent results.
Infertility and miscarriages
Shatavari, also called as uterine tonic cleanses, nourishes and strengthens female reproductive organs. It makes womb suitable for the conception and growth of the baby. Thus, it helps in conceiving and prevents miscarriages & frequent abortions.
Shatavari is also an aphrodisiac both for male and female. It not only works on physical health but also shows the aphrodisiac effect mentally. It is believed that it increases love & devotion and enhances ‘ojas,’ which is the essence of all tissues.
Regular use of Shatavari roots treats infertility, impotence, decreased libido, and sexual weakness.
After the end of the menses phase, there is a great fall in the hormonal levels of females which lead to hot flashes, white discharge, depression, sleeplessness, irritability, bone weakness, and urinary problems.
Hormone replacement therapy is considered as the sole solution in aggravated cases. But these synthetic hormones itself comes with a number of side effects.
That is why herbal hormonal sources i.e., phyto-estrogens, are an excellent alternative. One such source is Shatavari.
Shatavari is an excellent, Phyto-oestrogen rich herb. Also, due to its anti-stress activity, it nourishes the female reproductive system and relieves menopausal symptoms.
Moreover, chemical constituents in Shatavari like calcium, zinc, etc. are beneficial in pregnancy and menopause, where mineral deficiency is common.
Ayurveda recommends using Shatavari roots after childbirth. It induces breast milk secretion in nursing mothers due to its lactogenic effect.
Also, it purifies and improves the quality of breast milk to ensure the health of the newborn.
Along with lactation Shatavari also relieves from various after-effects of delivery like weakness, excessive bleeding, pain, sleeplessness, constipation, etc.
So, Shatavari maintains the health of the mother as well as the newborn.
What are the other health benefits of Shatavari?
Shatavari benefits are not just limited to women. The following health benefits of Shatavari make it suitable for everyone:
- Effectively treats chronic fever, hyperacidity, stomach ulcers, indigestion, and internal burning sensation
- Slows down aging, imparts immunity and longevity. Boosts immunity, vigor, energy and improves complexion & strength
- It is Medhya i.e., improves mental functioning, vigor, memory and hence is useful in neurodegenerative disorders like epilepsy and alcohol withdrawal symptoms
- Possess anti-septic and antioxidant properties which prevent cell damage thus helpful in preventing cancer and side effects of chemotherapy
- Helpful in STD’s such as syphilis, herpes, gonorrhea, and genital infections
- Treats cough, bronchitis, and respiratory tract infections
- Helpful in diabetes, kidney disorders, and manages the problem of low blood sugar
- Relieves anxiety, restless sleep, disturbing dreams, and mental weakness
- Calms emotions like irritability, anger, jealousy, and encourages positive emotions
- Treats nervousness, anorexia, excessive restlessness, and slow growth of children
- Used in diarrhea, dysentery, and colic pain
- It is also used in veterinary medicine and for animals as a feed supplement
How to use Shatavari?
Shatavari is used in preparing around 67 Ayurvedic medicines mentioned in Ayurvedic texts. Other than using formulations, Shatavari can be used at home in the following ways:
Drink milk boiled with Shatavari roots daily to promote appetite, cure indigestion, and diarrhea
- Smear ghee on the boiled Shatavari leaves and apply on boils, pox, etc.
- It is useful in skin diseases. Boil Shatavari leaves in oil and apply to the affected area
- The paste of Shatavari roots with milk, when taken with one glass of milk, increases breast milk secretion in nursing mothers
- In scanty breast milk, mix 3-4 teaspoon root juice with 1 cup of milk and one teaspoon sugar. It increases milk secretion within 3-4 days if the mixture is taken twice every day
- For rejuvenating effect, Shatavari ghee should be taken with sugar
- Using Shatavari roots as a vegetable in the daily diet enhances immunity, body growth, and body strength
- In epilepsy, take 3-4 teaspoon root juice mixed with ¼ cup of boiled milk twice in a day for at least 4-5 days
- Infusion of the root, when taken daily, helps in sleeplessness and nervousness
- Shatavari powder with honey and ghee is useful in curing hoarse voice
- Root juice taken with milk is useful in gonorrhea
- In difficult passing of urine daily take 1g root powder with water twice
What do recent studies say about Shatavari?
Numerous studies have been conducted on asparagus for the detailed investigation of benefits mentioned in Ayurvedic texts.
- Ethanolic extract of asparagus showed an adaptogenic effect, i.e. which stabilizes our body against any stress
- Antioxidant activity of Shatavari cures liver toxicity and protects liver diseases
- Shatavarin, a phytochemical isolated from Shatavari roots is responsible for its anti-cancer activity
- Extract of Shatavari was found to decrease the tissue damage in kidney disorders and improves the condition of urinary filtration problems
- Roots of Shatavari improved the stress tolerance in chemical writhing test and swimming endurance test which proves its anti-stress activity
- Shatavari is an excellent source of essential elements like Vitamin A, B1, B2, C, E, Mg, Ca, P, Fe, and Folic acid
What is the recommended dose for Satavari?
Shatavari is a natural coolant and hence is safe to use. But Ayurveda recommends using 3-6 g of dried Shatavari powder.
If you want to use fresh juice of Shatavari, then 10-20 ml dose is advised. You can also have Shatavari roots in your diet as a cooked vegetable or in a lightly boiled form along with rice or flatbreads.
Shatavari – vital for every woman
Since ancient times women’s health has been neglected, but Ayurveda, one of the oldest sciences, has provided the one-shop solution for overall women’s health. Shatavari is one such remedy.
Shatavari is a useful traditional medicinal herb which is the need of time as it looks after women’s health. Several experiments and studies have proved its efficiency, and now, countless formulations are available in the market.
Every woman needs to take care of herself to have healthy progenies and so a healthy society. Using Shatavari will undoubtedly help in achieving this purpose.