I had to write this article… Every woman should know about this gift of Mother Earth.
Shatavari, “who possesse a hundred husbands”, as its tonic and rejuvenative action on the female reproductive organs is said to give the capacity to have a hundred husbands.
For my postnal recovery I started having Maca, which is an excellent adaptogen (natural herb products which increase the body’s resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue.) Ah!, but I had to stop taking it as I noticed that it was affecting my daughter´s sleep. I asked Kate Magic, who always advices to take Maca because its galactogogue (increases milk production) properties, she adviced to continue… I was confused, I loved the effect on me, happier and with more milk but my baby was more restless… so I stopped.
But I needed some natural supplement to help me!!… Adapting to my new rol as a mother, lacking of a support network, and my whole system reconfiguring itself after pregnancy was too much for me… so I started studying herbs for Women´s Health and I found Shatavari… amazing discovery that I will explain in further detail, so you can understand how much in love Im with this powerful herb.
SHATAVARI is the main Ayurvedic (traditional medicine native to India) rejuvenative for the female. Ayurvedic texts like the Charak Samhita, Susruta Samhita, and Astanga Samgraha, show its ancient use as early as Vedic Time (4000 years ago.)
The use of shatavari as a galactagogue, as such, it indirectly promotes the infant’s health.
Balances the hormonal levels by activating prolactin hormone. It also nourishes the uterus, regulates the calcium metabolism and bone compactness, and helps prevents hot flashes, insomnia and osteoporosis.
Menopausal symptoms are relieved with the herb Shatavari: A study performed in several Ayurvedic centers in the United States and in Nepal by Shrestha et. al. in 2003, showed the effect of estrogenic activity of Shatavari. Shatavari helped in managing menopausal syndrome symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats and dry vagina through its phytoestrogen component. In this study more than 80% of the participants reported positive effects such as better sleep, less hotness, and minimizing of hot flashes.
The herb shatavari is used to prepare the female organs for pregnancy and throughout gestation for a healthy pregnancy (in both humans and animals). It is effective during threatened abortion (where the risk of habitual abortion is high). In this condition it helps by both stopping bleeding, and by nourishing the mother and the fetus. This fact has been verified along with the establishment of its anti-oxytotin activity. A clinical study performed in the Dept. of Gynecology & Obstetrics, Ayurveda Hospital, Nepal on The Effect of Shatavari in Threatened Abortion and High Risk Pregnancy, showed 90% of the mothers had successful, healthy pregnancies and deliveries when using shatavari.
The pharmacological investigations of certain medicinal plants performed in 1994 established the anti-oxytotic activity of shatavari. This study of a crude extract of shatavari showed an increase in the uterine weight of an estrogen-primed group. The saponin fraction of the extract exhibited anti-oxytotic activity producing a specific block of pitocin-induced uterine contractility. Similar findings had already been established by Arch Int. Pharmacodynamics, 1996, Jet Malani, et. al. 1967. Another study found that shatavari, due to its saponin content, acts as a uterine muscle relaxant. It again exerted anti-oxytotic activity, thereby blocking the spontaneous contractility of the uterus in vitro and in vivo studies.
Shatavari’s cold and heavy qualities allow it to retain its nutritional qualities in the body for a longer time. The cold potency of shatavari causes an extreme cooling effect, which is why it is used as a great haemostatic. It helps in controlling both systemic and local bleeding by constricting the blood vessels. It is widely used in bleeding disorders such as gastric ulcers, peptic ulcers and menorrhagia (excessive bleeding during menstruation.)
Besides its use in female health, Shatavari is used to maintain the health of all family members. It can be effective in increasing male fertility. This was shown in a comparative study, between Clomiphene” (a medicine which helps in male infertility) and shatavari. With shatavari, spermatogenesis increased greater than with Clomiphene, and, with shatavari, a higher percentage of healthy sperm were seen.
Shatavari has shown an anti-fungal (anti-candida) function due to its macrophage-stimulating activity in a study published in J.Post Grand Med, by Reg.N.N. et. al 1993, A comparable study, using candida as the subject organism, was done with metronidazole and standard immunomodulatory peptide therapy. This showed increased dose dependent phagocytic and killing capacity by shatavari-strengthened macrophages.
Another study performed by the Department of Microbiology, Nepal, showed antimicrobial activity against the following bacteria that are frequently present in urinary tract infections: E. coli, Enterococcus fecalis, Proteus unisatriles, and Pseudomonas species. The same study showed antimicrobial activity against the bacteria S. dysenterecea, which is responsible for acute dysentery, colic pain, blood in the stool as well as bacteria found in typhoid fever, S. Typhi, and the Staph bacteria, Staphylococus aureus.
Shatavari has been found beneficial in treating convalescence, cancer (is used to strengthen the patient after chemotherapy), cough, diarrhoea, dehydration, dysentry, chronic fever, bronchitis, hyperacidity, herpes, impotence, infertility, AIDS, lung abscess, muscle spasms, menopause, rheumatism, stiffness of joints, and stomach ulcers.
Preparation: Decoction, milk decoction, powder (250 mg to 1g), paste medicated ghee.. and you can also buy it in pills, I personally make a milk decoction mixing it with Ashwaganda (the King plant!, next article)
Instead of VAcha, the powder I normally use for massage, I use Shatavari when treating pregnant women and women´s health disorders.
Botanical name: Asparagus racemosus, Liliaceae. Tian men dong
Part used: Root
I hope this article has been of any use to you.
xxxxxxxShanti Om xxxxxxxxx
The Yoga of Herbs by Dr David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad
Natural Health after Birth by Aviva Jill Romm
Dr. Sarita Shresta