Beneficial herb Shatavari. Image Courtesy – https://medicinalherbals.net
Shatavari is a plant of asparagus species found throughout India and the Himalayan range. The plant generally grows around 2-7 ft in height in rocky soil. It has many names like ‘Satavar’, ‘Shatamull’, ‘Shatavari’ etc. This plant is now considered ‘endangered’ in its natural habitat mainly because of deforestation and destructive harvesting.
It is an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogenic herbs are used to help our body to relieve physical and emotional stress. Shatavari is considered as a general health tonic to improve vitality. So, it has obviously become a major medicine in ayurvedic medicine range.
1. It has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help to prevent cell damage. They also fight with oxidative stress, which causes illness. Shatavari contains high amounts of saponins, an element known for their antioxidant abilities. According to research on this herb, a new antioxidant called ‘Racemofuran’ has been identified at the root of Shatavari. Two known antioxidants – Asparagus A and Racemosol were also found in this herb.
2. Shatavari has anti-inflammatory properties. Ressamofuran, which is found in Shatavari, also has important anti-inflammatory properties. Medical study says that ‘Racemofuran’ works in the human body in the same way like ‘COX’, which is an anti-inflammatory drug.
3. Shatavari can help improve the immune system. Shatavari is used as an immune booster in Ayurveda. Scientific research reveals that animals are treated with extracts of Shatavari root cured whooping cough faster than untreated animals. Treated animals recovered faster and their health overall improved. This suggested a better immune response.
4. Research on rats in the year 2000 revealed that extract of Shatavari worked as natural cough-reliever. It is very much useful to cure cough. But it can help treat diarrhoea also.
5. Shatavari can increase the production of urine in the body so it is helpful to get rid of excess fluid in the body. They are often prescribed for people who have heart failure to remove excess fluid from around the heart. As per a study conducted on rodents in the year 2010, Shatavari is used as a diuretic in Ayurveda. The study found that 3,200 mg of Shatavari had diuretic activity without acute side effects. Shatavari needs more study on humans before it can be used as a diuretic.
6. It can help in the treatment of boils. Ulcers mean wounds in our stomach, small intestine or oesophagus. They can be very painful. They can cause serious complications such as bleeding or perforation. According to a 2005 study on the rodents revealed that application of Shatavari was effective as a treatment for drug-induced gastric ulcers. Ranitidine is a medication commonly prescribed to treat ulcers. However, Shatavari was less effective against stress-induced ulcers.
7. It can help in treating kidney stones. Kidney stones are solid substances stored in your kidneys. As they pass through your urinary tract, they can be the cause of excruciating pain. Most kidney stones are made of oxalate. Oxalates are compounds found in certain foods, such as spinach, beets, and French fries. The report of research conducted in the year 2005, told that Shatavari root extracts helped in preventing the formation of oxalate stones in mice. Along with this, the concentration of magnesium in the urine increased. The appropriate levels of magnesium in the body are known to help prevent the growth of crystals in the urine that makes kidney stones.
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8. Shatavari is useful to maintain blood sugar. Nowadays, Type 2 diabetes is on the rise, and at the same time, there is an increased need for safe treatment. According to a 2007 study, Shatavari can help in maintaining blood sugar levels. This herb stimulates insulin production. It requires more study to find detailed information on healing power.
9. Shatavari can be one of the best anti-ageing secrets of nature. According to research, saponin, present in Shatavari root helps to reduce free-radical – which causes wrinkle on skin. Shatavari also helps to prevent collagen breakdown. Collagen helps to maintain the elasticity of our skin. More studies are needed before seasonal Shatavari products come on the market. But some researchers believe that they can be the future of safe, anti-ageing.
10. It can help in treating depression, according to the ‘American Anxiety and Depression Association’. The organization made research on adult Americans and a report has come out accordingly – a major depressive disorder affecting 16.1 million American adults annually. Still, many people cannot take depression medicines due to negative side effects. However, Shatavari is used to treat depression in Ayurveda from the ancient age. Research in the year 2009 on rodents found that Shatavari contained large amounts of antioxidants. They also affect neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters communicate information throughout our brain. Some of these are also associated with depression.
In addition, Shatavari has not been developed as a medicine. According to an article published in the Journal of the ‘American Herbalist Guild’, the following doses can inhibit kidney stones:
(i) 4-5 ml of Shatavari root extract, three times a day.
(ii) 1 teaspoon tea (mixed with Shatavari root dust) and 8 ounces of water, twice daily in powder form, tablet and liquid forms.
(iii) A typical dose of Shatavari tablets is up to 500 mg twice a day.
(iv) A typical dose of Shatavari extract is 30 drops in water or juice, which can be taken up to three times daily.
Talk to a good doctor or a natural health practitioner before including Shatavari in your routine, especially if you take medicines. They can help you determine the right dosage for you. The quality, purity, and robustness of supplements vary.
Shatavari is absolutely safe for long-term use, even during pregnancy and lactation – research revealed. Still, the Shatavari supplements have a lot of side effects. There has not been enough scientific research. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use it until more studies have been done and it is not considered safe. There have been reports of allergic reactions in some people consuming alcohol. If you are allergic to Shatavari, avoid taking it. If you experience asthma or allergy symptoms, do not delay in seeking medical advice at all. These symptoms include – rash, rapid heart rate, eye irritation, skin itching, shortness of breath, dizzy head etc. You should not take it with other diuretic herbs or drugs such as furosemide (Lasix). Urination may reduce your blood sugar. You should not take it with other medicines or herbs that reduce blood sugar level.
Shatavari is known as a springtime vegetable in India. It belongs to the Lily (Liliaceae) family. It has been known as a natural medicine to increase sexual desire. That is the reason, it is also called an aphrodisiac. Shatavari has the power to boost sex drive and sexual desire – so it is more effective to married couples.
The herb has been used as Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. However, it has not been used on human being and neither humans have been advised to use it. However, it is safe to eat it in small amounts, and by doing so we can get its antioxidant and immune-boosting benefits. If we want to take large doses of Shatavari, we should consult our doctor before incorporating it into our routine. Consult your family physician, they can recommend Shatavari supplements accordingly.