Botanical Name : Asparagus racemosus
*Asparagus rigidulus Nakai,
*Protasparagus racemosus (Willd.) Oberm.
Common names in trade (local and foreign languages):
Satavari (Sanskrit); Shakakul, Satavari, Chatwal, Satawar (Hindi); Satmuli, Shatarnuli (Bengal); Satavar, Ekalkanto, Satavari, Satawar (Gujarati); Shatavari, Aheruballi, Ashadhi, Satmuli (Kanada); Sejnana (Kashmir); Shatavali, Chatavali, Satavari (Malayalam); Shatavari-mull, Asvel, Shatmuli, Satavari-mull (Marathi); Chhotaru, Mohajolo, Sotabari (Oriya); Tannirvittan-kizhangu, Ammaikodi, Kadumulla, Shimai Shadavari, Kilavari (Tamil); Satavari, Philli-taga, Challagadda, Pilli-gaddalu (Telugu)
Habitat : Asparagus racemosus is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, India. It is found at elevations up to 1,200 metres in the Himalayas, eastwards from Kashmir. Broad-leaved forests along streams or valleys at elevations of 2100 – 2200 metres in western China.
Asparagus racemosus is a perennial plant growing to 7 m (23ft). It is a tall, much branched, prickly climber with fascicle of fusiform roots. Cladodes 1.3-2.5 cm long, curved, in tufts of 2-6. Flowers small, white, in solitary or fascicled, simple or branched racemes.
It has has small pine-needle-like phylloclades (photosynthetic branches) that are uniform and shiny green. In July, it produces minute, white flowers on short, spiky stems, and in September it fruits, producing blackish-purple, globular berries.It 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….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Easily grown in any good garden soil. Prefers a rich sandy loam. This species is not very frost-hardy and generally needs to be grown in a frost-free or fairly frost-free climate. It can be grown as a half-hardy perennial in areas where the winter is too cold for it to survive outdoors. The tubers are harvested in the autumn, stored in a cool frost-free place and replanted in the spring. The rots of this species are commonly collected from the wild for medicinal use. Overcollection in some areas of its range are causing conservation concerns. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
Seed – pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring or as soon as the seed is ripe in early autumn in a greenhouse. It usually germinates in 3 – 6 weeks at 25°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.
Tender young shoots – cooked as a vegetable. A preserve prepared from the blanched shoots is said to be very agreeable. The tuber are candied as a sweetmeat. The only flavour is said to be that of the sugar. The roots are 5 – 13cm long.
Asparagus contains steroidal glycosides (asparagosides), bitter glycosides, asparagin and flavonoids. Fresh leaves yield diosgenin and other saponins such as shatavarin I to IV. Flowers and fruits contain glycosides of quercetin, rutin, and hyperoside. Ripe fruit contains cyanidin 3-glycosides. Presence of sitosterol, stigmasterol, their glucosides and sarsasapogenin; two spirostanolic and two furostanolic saponins have been reported in the fruits. Tubers and roots contain saccharine matters and mucilage. An antioxytocic compound, named racemosal (a 9, 10-dihydorphenanthrene derivative), has been isolated from this plant (Ghani, 2003).
Shatavari (this is an Indian word meaning ‘a woman who has a hundred husbands’) is the most important herb in Ayurvedic medicine for dealing with problems connected women’s fertility. The rhizome is a soothing tonic that acts mainly on the circulatory, digestive, respiratory and female reproductive organs. The root is alterative, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, demulcent, diuretic, galactogogue and refrigerant. It is taken internally in the treatment of infertility, loss of libido, threatened miscarriage, menopausal problems, hyperacidity, stomach ulcers and bronchial infections. Externally it is used to treat stiffness in the joints. The root is used fresh in the treatment of dysentery. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for use in treating other complaints. The whole plant is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, rheumatism, diabetes and brain complaints.
The premier herb for women in Ayurveda, shatavari is similar to dong quai in its action and effects, but is not a ?connoisseur herb? like dong quai, so it’s not as expensive. Internally for infertility, loss of libido, threatened miscarriage, menopausal problems, hyperacidity, stomach ulcers, dysentery, and bronchial infections. It increases milk, semen and nurtures the mucous membranes. It both nourishes and cleanses the blood and the female reproductive organs. It is a good food for menopause or for those who have had hysterectomies, as it supplies many female hormones. It nourishes the ovum and increases fertility, yet its quality is sattvic and aids in love and devotion. Three grams of the powder can be taken in one cup of warm milk sweetened with raw sugar. It’s especially good for pitta types. Externally for stiffness in joints and neck. The most important herb in Ayurvedic medicine for women. Used internally by Australian Aborigines for digestive upsets and externally for sores.
Other Uses:….Soap…..The squeezed root is used for washing clothes
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
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