Asparagus racemosus or thanneervittan kizhangu, is an herbal plant native to India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. It is called by many names in India, the prominent among them being Shathavari (meaning: curer of hundred diseases). The plant has pine needle like photosynthetic branches uniformly green. It has tuberous white root measuring up to one meter in length tapering at both ends. The plant produces small and fragrant white flowers and round blackish purple fruits.
The root and leaf of the plant has been in use in Ayurveda system of Indian medicine. Asparagus racemosus contains many vitamins, minerals and proteins. It is a rich source of vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. Iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, phosphorous and potassium. In addition asparagus is also a rich source of dietary fiber.
Benefits of Thanneervittan Kizhangu
Asparagus racemosus is widely used in culinary. It is eaten in raw as well as in cooked form. Many recipes and salads are prepared using this vegetable herb. Apart from its culinary uses health benefits derived from are many.
Though they have many health benefits, it is beneficial to women of all stages and ages.
- Folate in it ensures right birth weight of the baby and birth defects during pregnancy period
- It helps the healthy growth of the fetus
- Since it can alter the hormone balance it is also used for birth control. It regularizes the menstrual cycle. The form and dosage to address each requirement is decided only in consultation with practitioners.
- It prevents and cures premenstrual bloating.
- It functions as a rejuvenating tonic for women from the start of menstruation, throughout the cycle, ovulation, strength of the uterine during pregnancy, healthy fetus and smooth delivery.
- It is also very good for lactation.
- It also helps smooth transition to the menopause stage because of its ability in balancing the hormones.
The nutrient inulin, a kind of composite carbohydrate, found in it facilitates the system to absorb other nutrients from the food or food supplements and enhance the functioning of the digestive system.
Smooth bowel movement
The dietary fiber in the herb with laxative properties enable smooth movement of the bowels and prevent constipation. In addition Asparagus is effective in curing chronic dyspepsia, dysentery and diarrhea.
The phytonutrient called saponin in it, helps to reduce inflammation internally. It is also consumed when there is external inflammation on the skin. This particular compound is also found to have anti-cancer properties that helps to prevent cancer.
Regulates blood sugar
Chromium present in it has the ability to increase insulin secretion and balance the blood sugar level. It is safe for diabetics to consume on a regular basis. This particular tubular vegetable is a boon to type 2 diabetics.
Asparagus is a good medicinal herb for those suffering due to alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The herb not only suppresses the symptoms but also protects the liver from the adverse effects of alcohol.
Vitamin A present in the herb protects the retina and improves vision. The amino-acid glutathione present in it cures various eye ailments, more particularly night blindness and cataract.
Prevents heart ailments
Flavanoid called rutin present in asparagus strengthens the blood vessels, protect the arteries from thickening thereby reducing the cholesterol level and protects the heart from cardiovascular problems.
The diuretic property of the herb washes away the toxic waste from the system through increased urination. It also cures urinary tract infection with vitamin C and E present in it.
Ayurveda system of medicine has found that this herb regularizes the hormone imbalances and enhance fertility in both men and women. While it improves sperm count in men, it is effective in addressing menopause syndrome and anemia in women.
Reduces stress and improves nervous system
Anxiety and depression are reduced by consumption of asparagus in the form of a vegetable or in the form of medicine formulations depending on the system of medicine.
Phytoestrogens in asparagus are effective in curing neurological disorders like parkinson’s disease and also epilepsy.
Asparagus racemosus is available in the market mostly in the brand name as Shatavari. It is available in tablet form, as powder and also in the form of syrup. Ayurveda prescribes that the powder form is more effective as it stimulates the digestive system at once. The powder is generally mixed with a cup of warm milk or with honey in the form of a paste. The tablet and liquid forms are also available to suit the taste of different people.
This herb, when used in large quantities, can cause some side effects like excessive production of gas in the body and formation of kidney stones as it produces uric acid.