Shatavari is a climbing plant which grows in low forests throughout India. It is mainly the roots of plants that are sued for medicinal purpose. Its botanical name is asparagus racemosus & family is liliaceae and common names are asparagus, wild asparagus, asparagus root, shatavari. Padit Hem Raj Sharma in the Kashyap Samhita has clearly stated that shatavari promotes maternal health and noted its particular use as a galactogogue (enhances breast milk secretation in lactating mother ).
Ayurveda has called shatavari the queen of herbs and is the foremost herb recommended for female health. Among the three Ayurveda doshas, Vata, Pitta, Kapha; Shatavari helps in balancing Pitta dosha. Shatavari’s rasas are sweet ‘Madhura’ and bitter ‘tikta’. It is a natural coolant.
The roots of Shatavari are bitter, sweet, emollient, cooling nervine tonic, constipating, anodyne and aphrodisiac in nature. These characters are useful in nervous disorders, dyspepsia, tumours, scalding of urine, throat infections tuberculosis, cough, bronchitis and general debility.
Shatavari increases the white blood count and stimulate macrophages, Shatavari also contains various bioflavinoids, essential vitamin-B components, calcium and zinc.
It is found to have immunostimulant property. It prevents post operative adhesions. Protective effect of Asparagus recemosus against myleosupressions induced by single and multiple doses of cyclophosphamide has also been studied in mice. It was found to have activity comparable to Lithium and Glucan. Glactogogue activity of Asparagus racemosus has been studied. Saponin mixture from total alcoholic extract of Shatavari was found to show uterine blocking activity, both spontaneous and induced by acetylcholine and oxytocine. It is used in pregnancy for threatened abortion.
Galactagogue (production of milk), Immunomodulator, Aphrodisiac (sexual tonic), Mucilaginous, Refrigerant, Diuretic, Anti dysenteric, Nutritive Tonic, Demulcent, Antispasmodic, Adaptogen, Anti tussive, Antioxidant, Antibacterial, Cytoprotective, Anti-oxytocic, Anti-diarrhodeal.
1. MD Scholar, Depttd. of Shareer Kriya,
2. Dean Academic & Head of Dept. of Physiology,
National Institute of Ayurveda, Amer Road, Jaipur-302002 (Rajasthan).