By – Dr JV Hebbar
Shatavari – Asparagus racemosus helps mother to lactate more, useful in treating male and female infertility, induces sleep, calms mind and stomach and much more.
Botanical Name- Asparagus racemosus Wild.
Synonyms: Asparagopsis abyssinica Kunth
There are two varieties of Shatavari, with similar medicinal properties and uses.
Satavari – Asparagus racemosus
Maha Satavari – Asparagus sarmentosus Linn
Shatavari for gastritis
Because of its bitter principles and coolant properties, it is very useful in treating gastritis.
Processing with milk:
To treat many diseases such as gastritis, for aphrodisiac effect, anti ageing effect, Asparagus racemosus is often boiled with milk and administered.
For Acne treatment
Because of its coolant nature and bitter principles, it is useful in blood imbalance disorders and skin conditions such as acne. Because it balances hormones, it is very useful against hormone imbalance induced acne.
To enhance breast milk production
Almost all herbal lactation promoting medicines in the market contain Shatavari as a very essential ingredient. It also helps in normal involution of uterus and helps to stop bleeding in the mother, in the initial few weeks after delivery. Hence, it is one of the ideal herbs to be used during lactation period.
Apart from improving breast milk production, it also adds nutritive value to it, which helps the baby.
Shatavari for breast size improvement – Shatavari in some women, can cause breast size improvement.
As gym supplement
Because of its nutritive properties, coolant nature, anti ageing effect, Shatavari makes an excellent gym supplement. It helps to relieve tiredness quickly and also improves muscle mass.
As nerve tonic
It is a very good nerve tonic. It is useful in epilepsy, schizophrenia and neurological disorders. Because of its coolant nature, it is very useful in relieving diabetic neuropathy. It is good for both diabetes and nerve irritation causing burning fingers and toes.
As per Sharangdhara Samhita, only wet roots of Satavari should be used in making herbal products in preparing Kashayam (water decoction), Avaleha (herbal jams) etc. However, this rule does not apply when it is used in powder form.
Its decoction is advised in a dose of 25 – 50 ml per day. Its decoction is prepared by adding 1 tablespoon of powder to 2 cups of water, boiled and reduced to half a cup. Filtered. Consumed when hot.
Shatavari – Asparagus racemosus medicinal uses:
Vrushya – Aphrodisiac
Kshayajit – Useful in chronic respiratory disorders, tuberculosis
Asrajit – Useful in blood disorders,
Ayushya, Vaya Sthapani, Rasayanavara – A very good anti ageing medicine
Shukrala – Improves sperm and semen quantity and quality
Stanyada – Improves breast milk production
Medhya – Improves intelligence
Pushtida – Nutritious, improves nourishment
Chakshushya – Improves vision, good for eyes, useful in eye disorders
Pittasrahara – Useful in bleeding disorders such as nasal bleeding, Menorrhagia, rectal bleeding etc.
Gulmajit – Useful in abdominal tumours
Atisarajit – Relieves diarrhoea
Shophajit – Reduces swelling, anti inflammatory
Retodoshahara – Improves sperm quality, improves sperm and semen health and sperm mobility
Garbhaprada – Relieves infertility
Kshataksheenahara – Relieves chest injury, injury with bleeding
Shatavari Medicinal Properties:
Rasa (Taste)- Madhura (sweet), Tikta (Bitter)
Guna (Qualities) – Guru (Heaviness), Snigdha (Oily, unctuous)
Vipaka- Madhura – Undergoes sweet taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Sheeta – Cold potency.
Effect on Tridosha: Balances Vata and Pitta
Shatavari ankura qualities
The sprouts of Asparagus racemosus – Shatavari Ankura:
Kapha – Pittahara – Balances Kapha and Pitta
Madhura, Tikta – Sweet, Bitter in taste
Arshohara – useful in piles, haemorrhoids
Kshayapaha – useful to improve depleted body tissues, chronic respiratory conditions, tuberculosis
According to Bhojana Kutuhalam 13th chapter, the sprouts of shatavari is bitter in taste, aphrodisiac in nature and alleviates all the three dosha.
Shatapadi, Peevari, Indeevari, Vari, Bahusuta, Madabhanjani, Satamuli, Satavirya, Suksmapatra, Atirasa,
Rushyaprokta, Dveepishatru, Dveepika, Urdhvakantaka
Narayani – Ausupicious, divine
Balya – Strength and immunity promoting group of herbs
Vayasthapana – Anti ageing group of herbs
Madhura skandha – Sweet tasting group of herbs
Pitta Shamaka – Pitta balancing group of herbs
Distribution, chemical constituents
Distribution: Throughout tropical and Subtropical India
Asparagus racemosus chemical Constituents- Root- Sarsapogenin; two spirostanolic & two Furostanolic sponins; Sitosterol, Asparagamine A.
Fruits- B- sitosterol, Sarsasapogenin, Diosenin, Asparamins A & B . Leaves- Favonoids, Rutin.
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna VIjnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)
Microscopic and macroscopic view
Macroscopic and Microscopic examination of root of Asparagus racemosus was carried out and summarised below-
Macroscopic character;-Roots peeled hence dull white in colour.External surface grooved; and tastes mucilage.
Outer layer with brown contents.Cortex consists of thin walled parenchyma cells.Calcium oxalate crystas are scattered in the cortical cells.Central vascular bundle With xylem and phloem elements.
Part used, dosage
Part used: Tuberous roots
fresh juice 10-20 ml,
Decoction (Kashaya) – 50-100 ml;
Powder 3-6 g in divided dose per day.
How to take?
Its root is processed with milk and consumed.
It is also available in the form of capsules and tablets.
Shatavari side effects:
In a few women, with high oestrogen, Shatavari mimics oestrogen and causes symptoms like breast tenderness. In such cases, it should only be administered in the first half period of menstrual cycle. (Starting from onset of menstruation till 14 days).
I have seen that this tactic serves very well in treating PCOS and irregular periods. (I am open to discussions)
However, the oestrogen mimicking effect is very unpredictable and most of women tolerate it pretty well.
In a few patients, Shatavari helps to improve breast size. It may or may not be a desirable effect for women.
Interaction with medicines, supplements
Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.
this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets,
Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.
Can men take Satavari?
In some women, Shatavari shows oestrogenic effect. It increases oestrogen production. But it does not show the oestrogenic effect in all people. It is not a direct substitute for oestrogen. Hence, can be used in men as well.
Can this be taken without consulting a doctor?
No. It is always best to consult your doctor before taking any herb
How long does it take to start showing results?
Depends on the dosage and other products suggested with this. Usually 1 – 2 weeks time.
Can this product be taken along with Allopathic medicines (English medicines)?
Usually it is well tolerated with allopathic medicines. However, consult your doctor for the right advice. When English and Ayurvedic medicines are advised together, it is best to take English medicine first, give a gap of half an hour and then take Ayurvedic medicines.
Can it be used in people with diabetes?
Yes. But an eye should be kept on the blood sugar level. Your doctor should help you in this regard. This product can reduce blood sugar levels.
It is sold in plastic bottles. Is it fine?
If the quality of the bottle material is very good, it should not be a problem, if stored for a short period of time.
Can one take non vegetarian food while taking this medicine?
Yes, unless your practitioner has asked to avoid it.
Is there any Pathya (diet rules to be followed while taking this product?
No product specific diet is mentioned. If the practitioner has advised diet control based on disease, one has to follow that.
Maha Shatavari benefits
Maha Satavari – Asparagus sarmentosus Benefits:
Hrudya – acts as cardiac tonic, congenial for heart
Medhya, Medhakara – Improves intelligence
Agnivardhini – Increases digestion strength
Balavardhini – Improves strength and immunity
Grahani hara – useful in IBS, sprue, altering diarrhoea and constipation
Arshaghna – Useful in piles, haemorrhoids
Vrushya – aphrodisiac, improves vigour
Sheeta – coolant
Rasayani – anti ageing, causes cell and tissue rejuvenation
Arshohara – useful in piles, haemorrhoids
Akshirogahara, Nayanamaya hara – Useful in eye disorders
Balada – improves strength and immunity
Maha Shatavari synonyms
Maha Satavari – Asparagus sarmentosus Linn
Sahasraveerya, Abheeru, Tungini, Bahuputrika, Mahapurushadanta, Keshi, Peevari, Vari, Rushyaprokta,
Ayurvedic medicines with Satavari ingredient:
Shatavari Gulam – Herbal jam with jaggery base. Used in the treatment of gynaecological conditions, diseases of urinary tract and liver complications.
Shatavaryadi Ghrita – A medicated herbal ghee product – used in treating urinary tract diseases, difficulty in urination, and calculi.
Shatavaryadi Churna – A herbal powder mix, used in treating stress, tiredness and fatigue.
Narasimha Churna – Used in respiratory conditions, male infertility treatment, etc.
Patanjali Shatavar Churna – manufactured by Patanjali Ayurved Limited.
Names in different languages:
Hindi Name- Satavare
English Name – buttermilk root, climbing asparagus, wild asparagus,
kannada name-Majjige gadde
ಹಲವು ಮಕ್ಕಳ ತಾಯಿ ಬೇರು – Halavu Makkala Tayi Beru – Because it promotes lactation, it is called as the mother root for many children.
Ugurele Gida – the leaves resemble cut nails (of finger)
Tamil Name- Sadavare, Thanneer Vittaan Kizhangu, Thaner Vittan Kilangu, Thaneer Vitaan Kizhangu, Thanneer Vittaan Kilangu.
Marathi & Gujrathi Name- Satavari
Arabic name – shakakul, shaqaqul
Konkani Name – Satavari
Assamese name : শতমূল satomul
Bengali name – : শতমূলী satamuli, Dogri: sainsarbel, satmooli, shatavar
Gujarati name – : શતાવરી shatavari
Malayalam: ശതാവരി sathavari
Manipuri: নুংগাৰৈ nunggarei
Oriya: ବରୀ vari, Pali:
Punjabi: ਛੋੱਟਾ ਕੇਲੂ chhotta kelu,
Urdu: ستاور satawar
It can be found in the tropical areas of Asia, India, Australia, and African countries. The tender leaves and flowers are so beautiful that many plant this herb in their garden without being aware that it has tremendous health benefits!
The steroidal saponins of the plant are commonly known as shatavarins.
Flavonoids such as quercetin and rutin are also resent in Shatavari fruits and flowers
The scientists have evaluated Immunomodulatory activity, Anti-ulcerogenic effect, Antioxidant activity, Anti-cancer effect, Anti-diabetic properties, Anti-inflammatory effect, Antidiarrheal nature, Antimicrobial action of this amazing herbs.
It is also useful in depression and low libido of both men and women.
It is a known Adaptogenic effect and an excellent anti oxidant.
For breast feeding mothers
1. Shatavari medicated milk in breast feeding mothers:
1 or 2 fresh or dry roots of asparagus is added to a cup of milk and it is cooked for 5 – 10 minutes. Filtered. It is given to the new mothers, early in the morning to improve breast milk production.
Even in cattle, this practice is found where the veterinary doctors advice to administer raw Shatavari to the cattle.
2. Shatavari root powder remedy for fatigue, lethargy, loss of libido:
3-5 gram of root powder of Shatavari is administered along with powdered sugar candy, twice a day. This relieves work exhaustion, numbness, neuritis, fatigue, lethargy, loss of libido etc.
3. Root powder with honey in recurrent urinary tract infections:
5 gram of the powder of Shatavari if consumed regularly during night time recurrent UTI, spermaturia, haematuria and backache are cured successfully.
4. Asparagus cold infusion in burning urination and bleeding from urethra:
Fresh asparagus is cut into small pieces and soaked in water or else the 5-10 gram powder is added to 300 ml water and kept for a while. This is macerated and filtered.
This is given to the individuals, suffering from burning urination and bleeding from urethra. Good health benefits are assured in such conditions.
To improve sperm count
5. Shatavari- Ashwagandha remedy to improve sperm count:
Fine powder of equal quantity of Shatavari, Ashwagandha and Kapikacchu are taken and mixed together. This is taken in the dose of 3-5 grams of else this is cooked with a cup of milk for 5 minutes, filtered and consumed.
This promotes sexual libido and increases the sperm count too.
To improve weight
6. Shatavari and pippali powder to improve weight:
This is a simple and effective practice of North Karnataka. Equal quantity of Shatavari and Pippali powder is taken and mixed well. This is taken in a dose of 3-5 gram during night or early in the morning along with Banana juice/ Banana milkshake. Good weight gain is observed if this is carried for 30-40 days.
Classical Ayurveda prescribes hundreds of formulations derived form Shatavari. It has several indications also. Among over the counter sold products of Ayurveda, Shatavari powder takes a major proportion as it is safe, efficacious and has wider utility. Also the well appreciated rejuvenation benefit of this drug makes it to accept by people at large.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD