Shatavari root is used as a vegetable and medicine. The young shoots of asparagus are edible and is used for various preparations. They can be eaten as raw salad, boiled or steamed, stir- fried and can be stored long as pickle form. Asparagus roots contain 22 percent protein, 6.2 percent fat, 3.2 percent carbohydrate, 0.36 percent vitamin B, 0.04 percent vitamin C and traces of vitamin A. It contains several alkaloids too.
- Medicated ghee with milk containing wild asparagus improves lactation.
- Tubers of shatavari boiled in milk is helpful in dysuria(painful urination).
- Pregnant women are recommended to take medicated milk with wild asparagus as it helps in protecting the fetus in the early stages of pregnancy.
- Shatavari root powder is a great tonic and can be used as a health drink regularly.
- Useful in cases of hyperacidity, bronchitis and chronic fevers.
- Shatavari is quite effective in stomach ulcers and diarrhea.
Shatavari in Ayurveda
Ayurveda classifies shatavari as:
Guna: Guru(heavy) and snigdh(slimy)
Rasa: Tikta(bitter) and madhur(sweet)
Ayurveda uses wild asparagus in treating dyspepsia and it improve digestion by increasing the levels of enzymes amylase and lipase. Extract of shatavari is very effective in production of milk in lactating mothers. This effect is due to the action of released corticosteroids or an increase in prolactin. In India shatavari is the best and most used herb for women. Used for infertility, loss of libido, threatened miscarriage and widely used for relieving the menopausal problems such as hot flashes. It both nourishes and cleanses the blood and the female reproductive organs. Shatavari is effective in men as it is used in cases of impotence, sexual debility and inflammation of sexual organs.
Some of the Ayurvedic medications that contain shatavari as the main ingredient are: Shatavari ghritam, shatavaryadi kashayam, shatavari gulam, saraswatharishtam, mahanarayanatailam, asoka ghritam, chandanasavam, etc...
Recipe with Asparagus
Asparagus with split pea and saffron.
Ingredients: 1 medium onion (diced), 2 table spoon olive oil, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1/2 tsp curry powder, 5-7 curry leaves, 1/8 tsp saffron(if you can find them), 1 tsp salt, 11/2 cups dry split peas, 4 cups water, 1 lb asparagus, blanched, 15 1/4 ozcorn.
Roast saffron in large deep frying pan about 2 minutes. Add olive oil, cumin, fenugreek and curry leaves. Cook until seeds sizzle.
Add onion, a pinch of asafaetida, curry powder and saute until onion is soft(about 5 minutes)
Add split peas, salt and water. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to low and cook until peas are soft(about 40 minutes)
Add asparagus and corn, stir and cook for another 10 minutes and serve.
Shatavari side effects
- Some allergic reactions are reported as seen in persons who are allergic to asparagus.
- Use is restricted in women having estrogen effected disorders.
- Not advised for pregnant women.
- Nervousness, dizziness, stomach ache are also reported as side effects of shatavari.
- Regular use can cause weight gain.
- Breast softness and premenstrual stress are also reported as side effects of this herb.
- Shatavari is not advised for those having impaired heart function.