Botanical name: Asparagus racemosus
Other names: Wild asparagus, Shatavar
Part used: root
Taste (rasa): sweet (madhur), bitter (tikta)
Characteristic (guna): unctuous, heavy
Energy (veerya): cooling (sheeta)
Post digestive effect (vipak): sweet (madhur)
Dosha effect: VP-, K+
Action (karma): gives strength, aphrodisiac, enhances sexual appetite, rejuvenative, especially to the female reproductive system, promotes menses, promotes fertility, increases ojas (life force), nourishes breast milk, nervine, diuretic, promotes sperm production, purifies sperm, alleviates bleeding from heat, benefits eyesight, alleviates colic, demulcent, galactagogue, anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac, female reproductive tonic, spermatogenic, antiheamorrhagic, expectorant, adaptogen, immuno-modulator, antibacterial.
Dose: 3-30 grams per day of dried root.
Contraindications: Acute lung congestion, high kapha, low digestive fire, high ama
Shatavari is commonly referred to as ‘the woman who has a hundred husbands’. As this name suggests it is a renowned tonic for the female reproductive system. It is also a superb anti-inflammatory.
Gynaecology: Shatavari is the foremost uterine tonic. Primarily used as a menstrual regulator. It’s unctuous properties increase the reproductive fluids, enhancing both conception and uterine strength. It can be used to help prevent miscarriage. Shatavari is very useful in menopausal symptoms with hot flushes, irritability, irregular memory and dryness.
Lactation: Its nourishing effect on rasa dhatu makes it a specific for increasing milk flow and quantity.
Digestion: Its unctuous, bitter and sweet qualities soothe inflammation of the mucous membranes with high pitta: colitis, Chohn’s disease, dysentery with bleeding, inflammation and pain. It is benefit with sour reflux and burning in the stomach it is a cooling anti-inflammatory. Its demulcent properties are specifically useful for healing bleeding ulcers and gastritis.
Lungs: Where there is inflammation from dryness and heat shatavari increases moisture. Used in dry cough, sore throat and haemoptysis.
Male fertility: Whenever there is low sperm count and irregularity consider using shatavari.
Urine: Very useful in dysuria with hot and smelly urine with haematuria.
Anabolic: Shatavari’s rejuvenating properties assist building body mass, muscle tissue and nourishing the bold. It nourishes ojas and can enhance immunity in the treatment of cancer.
Nerves: It nourishes and calms the nerves. It specifically nourishes the brain and reduces vata disorders: spasms, pain and insomnia.
Ref: ‘Ayurvedic Medicine’ by Sebastian Pole; ‘Ayurvedic Pharmacology & Therapeutic Uses of Medicinal Plants’ by Vaidya V.M. Gogte; ‘Yogi of Herbs’ by V. Lad & D. Frawley; ‘Herbs Are Special’ by Isabel Shipard.