Shatavari is a species of asparagus plant (Asparagus racemosus), common throughout India and the Himalayas. It grows one to two metres tall and prefers to take root in gravelly, rocky soils. It was botanically described in 1799.
Shatavari has been used for many centuries in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Also known as satavari, satavar or satamulli, it is said to promote fertility and has a range of health benefits, particularly for the female reproductive system. It is also known as an adaptogenic herb, which is said to help your body cope with physical and emotional stress.
Practitioners of Ayurveda believe that Shatavari possesses cooling, calming properties that can help to soothe and balance Vata and Pitta (two of the three doshas). Often used to enhance reproductive and digestive health, Shatavari is an incredible medicinal herb also said to have rejuvenating and nourishing effects.
According to Ayurveda, Shatavari boosts immunity due to its Rasayana (rejuvenating) property and helps in weight gain due to its Balya property. Shatavari shows promise in the treatment of diabetic nephropathy, a type of kidney damage thought to result, in part, from poor control of diabetes and blood pressure.
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The Plant with Hundred roots
Shatavari has an adventitious root system with tuberous roots that measure about one metre in length, tapering at both ends, with roughly a hundred on each plant.
Dr Smita Naram, Co-Founder, Ayushakti, an ISO 9001:2015 certified company providing Ayurvedic treatment services worldwide, says, “Shatavari in Sanskrit means “the plant with hundred roots”. Usually Shatavari roots are used as natural herbs but the leaves and other parts of the plant can also be used for more benefits. Traditionally they were used in tablets, powder, extracts, capsules, teas, and decoctions etc. This Ayurveda herb helps to improve digestion, enhance the female reproductive system & maintain overall health.”
Shatavari is a great source of phytochemicals or plant chemicals that promote good health. It is useful in treating various kinds of conditions like cholesterol, kidney stones, etc and aids digestion and female health especially in the management of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).These symptoms occur due to certain hormonal changes which affect a woman’s behaviour, emotions and physical health. Shatavari acts as a hormonal harmoniser. It is a rejuvenating tonic that helps to balance these changes in women.
Dr Naram adds, “Shatavari’s main components are saponins that help regulate estrogen. It helps to regulate & control menstrual cycles, manage PMS symptoms, ease menstrual cramps and control the amount of blood loss. It also has galactagogue properties and hence very much useful for lactating mothers.”
Shatavari can also help in boosting the immune system, especially during these Covid-19 times. Shatavari roots contain Sapogenin which is a potent agent for stimulating immune cells. Racemofuran, which is found in Shatavari, also has significant anti-inflammatory capabilities and helps in improving body’s resistance against disease-causing agents. Sapogenins also stimulate the cells that fight infection by overpowering the infection causing cells.
When looking for Shatavari, you may see products labelled as asparagus extract. Remember that Shatavari is made from the root of Asparagus racemosus which is different than Asparagus officinalis, the type of asparagus that is commonly eaten as a vegetable.
Applying Shatavari powder paste along with milk or honey on the skin helps to get rid of wrinkles. It can also help promote wound healing when applied along with coconut oil.
Benefits of Shatavari:
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
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