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Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)

  Introduction
  Common Name
  Shatavari Plant
  Chemical Constituents
  Cultivation
  Shatavari as Medicinal Plant
  Shatavari other uses
  Shatavari Side effects
  Economics
  Recent research

  Introduction

  Shatavari is a medicinal plant used for a variety of serious diseases as also impotency of both the sexes. Shatavari is a general tonic and also a female reproductive tonic. Shatavari is used as the main Ayurvedic rejuvenative tonic for females. Shatavari roots used as a drug acting on all tissues as a powerful anabolic. It is good for eyes, muscles, reproductive organs, increases milk secretion and helps to regain vigour and vitality.

    Shatavari plant


 

 

  Common Name

 Hindi -          Shatavari
English -      Indian Asparagus, Hundred Roots , Asparagus roots
Latin  -         Asparagus racemosus
Family :       Asparagaceae
Sanskrit -     Shatamuli
Marathi     -  Satmuli
Gujarati    -  Semukha
Bengali    -  Satmuli
Pharsi     -   Gujardasti      
Arabi       -   Sakakulmisari
Chinese -    Tian men dong

  Shatavari Plant

   Shatavari, Asparagus racemosus, is a climbing plant which grows in low jungles areas throughout India. Shatavari plant leaves resembling pine needles, and grows to up to 2 meters in height.It is in flower from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. Its fruits are small, round and turns red. The fruits contains 2 or 3 seeds. 

  Chemical Constituents:

   The chemical ingredients in the Shatavari plant, including steroidal saponins, isoflavones, asparagamine (an alkaloid substance similar to aspirin), and polysaccharides, make this plant a natural chemical  source.The following active constituents are present is Shatavari plant:

   Steroidal saponins, known as shatavarins I-IV. Shatavarin I is the major glycoside with 3 glucose and rhamnose moieties attached to sarsasapogenin Isoflavones including 8-methoxy-5,6,4'- trihydroxyisoflavone 7-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside. Asparagamine, a polycyclic alkaloid  Racemosol, a cyclic hydrocarbon (9,10- dihydrophenanthrene), Polysaccharides, mucilage

 

   Cultivation

   Soils:  The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. Black, well drained and fertile soil is good for cultivation. But can be cultivated in loose and medium black soil.

   Climate-  crop responses well to tropical and hot climate.

   Irrigation: The tamarind is adapted to semiarid regions of the tropics and can withstand drought conditions quite well. They require minimum irrigation so avoid over-watering.

   Fertilization:  one ploughing, three harrowings and then apply 20-25 tonns of farm yard manure.

   Harvest: 1) raised beds -1x3 m in the month of May or june.
  2) Seed –one kg for one hectare area.
  3) Apply 50 gram urea in the bed after 20-25 days.
  Seedlings become ready within 6-8 weeks for transplantation in the main field.

   Transplanting- 1) Size of pit-45x45x45
   2) spacing-row to row-1.5m and plant to plant-1.0m
   3) Fill the pits with 20-30 gram lindane or carbaryl and 5 kgs of FYM
   4) Time of transplanting – july-august
   5) provide the crop with 50 gms of 15:5:15(suphala) per plant when it starts with good growth.
   6) Carry out timely weeding operations. Generally shatavari crop does not affect with pest and diseases.

   Harvesting- 1) first harvesting – 1.5-2 years after transplanting, which continues for 10-15 years.
   Male and  female plants must be grown if seed is required.

  Shatavari as Medicinal Plant

   Shatavari plant is used traditionally for treatment of many diseases. Tuber, leaves and fruits are used in gonorrhea, piles, Diabetes, rheumatism, cough, diarrhoea, dysentery, gastric troubles and headache, also for increasing lactation. In Ayurveda and Siddha medicine system the plant is used for treating madhura rasam, madhura vipakam, seeta-veeryam, polyuria, chronic fevers, soma rogam, white discharge, internal heat and as tonic.
  Generally the root is employed in diarrhoea as well as in chronic colic and dysentery problems. Root boiled with some bland oil, is applied in various skin diseases. Root is boiled in milk and the milk is administered to relieve bilious dyspepsia and diarrhoea and to promote appetite; root is also used in  rheumatism. 
Tubers are candied and taken as a sweetmeat.
 Fresh root juice is given with honey as a demulcent.
 Boiled leaves smeared with ghee are applied to boils, smallpox, etc., in order to prevent their confluence. Juice of this drug taken with milk is useful in gonorrhea. 
  Shatavari is used in Ayurveda for dyspepsia (amlapitta) and it has been shown to improve digestion by increasing the levels of amylase and lipase.

   Home remedies : 
  Shatavari is useful in Hyperacidity and can be used regularly as a food supplement  It is a health drink and may used in homes for  entire family. Shatavari root Powder or Shatavari churna may be used regularly as a tonic. Shatavari is also quite effective for stomach ulcers, hyperacidity and diarrhea. Dry and irritated membranes in the upper respiratory tract are soothed by this herb. It useful in cases of bronchitis and chronic fevers.

  Shatavari other uses

   * Shatavari supports reproductive health by nourishing the female reproductive organs
  * Shatavari maintains healthy hormonal balance
  * Shatavari treats PMS symptoms by relieving pain and controlling blood loss in menstruation.
  * Shatavari supports normal production of breast milk for nursing mothers
  * Shatavari relieves menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. 
  * Used in India as a best-known and most often-used herb for women
  * Shatavari supports normal function of the immune and digestive system
  * Shatavari also increases libido
  * The squeezed root is used for washing clothes.

  Shatavari Side effects

   1. Sensitivity to asparagus may cause skin reactions and pulmonary allergic reactions in some people.
   2. Patients with edema due to kidney disorder or impaired heart function should not be using shatavari.
   3. One should keep watch on possible weight gain while using Shatavari.

   Shatavari roots

  Shatavari Plant roots



   Economics

   The average yield of Shatavari is reported to about 2607 gms fresh weight per plant  after 40 months age. The roots come to maturity in about 12-14 months after planting depending upon the soil and climatic conditions. A single plant may yield about 500 to 600 g of fresh root. On an average, 12,000 to 14,000 kg of fresh roots can be harvested from one hectare area which on drying may yield about 1000 to 1200 kg of dried roots.

  Recent research

   Michael Thomsen (2002) has done extensive research on this plant. He analysed the adaptogenic, diuretic, antitussive (suppresses cough), antibacterial, immunological, digestive, antioxytocic, hormonal, galactogogue (increase in female milk production) properties, toxicity and cytoprotective effect of this plant on human body. He says that this plant acts as adaptogen, antitussive, antioxidant, antibacterial, immunomodulator, digestive, cytoprotective, galactogogue, anti-oxytocic (preventing the stimulation of the involuntary muscles of the uterus), antispasmodic, antidiarrhoeal and sexual tonic in human body.

  References

   1.  F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. Oxford University Press 1951
   2.  Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of  Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. 1986
   3.   Dalvi S. S., P. M. Nadkarni and K. C. Gupta. 1990. Effect of Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari) on gastric emptying time in normal healthy volunteers.
   4.  Thakur RS, H. S. Puri and A. Husain. 1989. Major Medicinal Plants of India. Lucknow, Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants.

 
                                                                                                                             

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