-- Asparagus racemosus
Vernacular names: Sanskrit - Shatavari; Hindi - Satavari; English - Asparagus; Gujarat - Ekalkanto; Bengali - Satmuli
Roots and leaves. Each part has a different therapeutic value and must be prepared in its own way for maximum benefits. This climber growing in the low jungles is found all over India, especially northern India.
Traditional Ayurvedic Uses:
Shatavari is one of the most important of all herbs for female reproductive health, and it especially improves the quality and quantity of reproductive fluids in men and women (Shukra Dhatu). It is also used to improve the quality and quantity of mother's milk when breastfeeding. This herb is known to increase Sattwa, or positively and healing power. It also enhances the feelings of spiritual love, and increases Ojas (that through which consciousness enters the physiology).
Shatavari supports all the metabolic processes (Agnis) to create good quality in all seven categories of bodily tissues (Dhatus).
Should be used with other herbs to avoid aggravation of any congestion.
Combinations are Best
The experts at Ayurveda do not recommend the use of single herbs for self-care due to several important reasons:
Doshas: Vata-, Pitta-, Kapha+
Pharmacological Action: galactogogic, antispasmodic, antidiarrhetic, demulcent, refrigerant, diuretic, aphrodisiac, tonic, antibacterial, antiparasitic, antitumor
Clinical Research: There are saponins in the roots of A. racemosus collected throughout India. There are several reports of galactogogic activity. One study showed that A. racemosus increased the weight of mammary tissue and milk yield in estrogen-primed rats. Other studies report antioxytoxic and anti-ADH activity in these saponin fractions isolated from the roots. Another study measuring growth promotion indicated an anabolic action of the plant. No studies to date are available which evaluate the effect of Shatavari on serum prolactin levels but several groups are currently preparing such investigations. Aqueous extracts of the roots were reported to have lipase and amylase activities.
Traditional Uses: diarrhea, dysentery, inflammatory bowel conditions, blood purification, biliousness, edema, dyspepsia, rheumatic joint pains, gonorrhea, galactogogue, nervousness, fever
Indications: to increase milk production, nervousness, gastritis, diarrhea, female aphrodisiac, general nutritive tonic, spastic colon, fever
Raina, MK, and Sharma, M, Medicinal Plants of India, Vol. 1., Ind.
Council on Med. Res., New Delhi, 1976.