Known as the “Queen of Herbs”, the Shatavari plant has been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
Shatavari is a member of the asparagus family. Due to its variety of benefits, it finds a vast variety of applications in Ayurveda. It is sourced from the roots of the Asparagus racemosus plant and is available as a dietary supplement in forms ranging from pill to powder. It carries a range of benefits, particularly for the female reproductive system, and is also said to promote fertility. Being an apoptogenic herb it helps relieve emotional and physical stress. It also helps you prevent high cholesterol, and is helpful in the treatment of bacterial and fungal infection.
Continue reading to know more about the Satavari plant and its varied benefits.
Shatavari Plant Information
The Shatavari plant is found in parts of Australia, Africa, and Asia. It is a branched, woody, and spinous climber that grows to a length of one to two meters.
The Shatavari plant has bell-shaped, white flowers with a pink tinge. These Shatavari flowers further fruit into berries that are initially green and subsequently turn black-purple as they are ripe. The Shatavari seed is brittle and black.
Shatavari leaves are needle-shaped. The woody stem is sparsely covered in spines. The Shatavari plant roots are tuberous, succulent, and spindle-shaped, carrying wrinkles on the surface. The roots are milky inside.
Shatavari plant is known by many names in different parts of the world:
Some common names are Indian Asparagus, Asparagus-fern, Water Root, Buttermilk Root, and Sparrow Grass.
Ayurveda refers to the Shatavari plant as the Satamuli plant. It is also referred to by many names:
Shatapadi, Satavirya, Indavari, Narayani, Bahusuta, Rushyaprokta, Atirasa, Peevari, Vari, Dveepika, Sukshmapatra, Madabhanjani, Dveepishatru, and Urdhvakantaka.
The Shatavari tree is known as the Satmuli tree in Hindi. In Sanskrit, it is referred to as Challagadda, and Hiranyasringi. It has many names across different Indian states. Other Hindi names of the herb are Shatavir, Satavar, and Sootmooli.
Health Benefits of Shatavari Plant
The benefits of the Shatavari medicinal plant are aplenty. It possesses cooling, calming properties that help to soothe and balance both Vata and Pitta dosha. Shatavari plant is often used to improve digestive health. Shatavari plant also has nourishing effects on reproductive health. Here we look at some major Shatavari plant properties and health benefits:
- It has antioxidants
Free radicals can cause a variety of damage to the cells of the body. Shatavari has antioxidants that prevent such damage. These antioxidants also prevent oxidative stress that causes the development of cancer.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties
Shatavari has anti-inflammatory properties due to a compound called Racemofuran which is present in its extract
- Shatavari may help improve your immune system
Shatavari is a natural immunity booster.
- It may help relieve cough
The juice from the roots of the Shatavari plant is useful as a natural cough remedy. However, to determine the mechanism of how Shatavari relieves cough, more research is needed.
- It may help treat diarrhoea
In Ayurvedic practice, the Shatavari plant has been used as a remedy for diarrhoea.
- It may act as a diuretic
Shatavari has been found to influence diuretic activity without any side effects. Diuretics aid the body in getting rid of excess fluid.
- It may help treat ulcers
Shatavari plant may help treat gastric ulcers and prevent them from turning into serious complications such as perforation and bleeding.
- It may help in treating kidney stones
Shatavari root extract helps prevent the formation of oxalates and avoid the occurrence of kidney stones which are made of oxalates.
- It may help in maintaining blood sugar
Shatavari plant has proven beneficial in helping maintain blood sugar levels. It also shows a promising impact in treating diabetic nephropathy. This is a form of kidney damage that results due to poor management of blood pressure and diabetic conditions.
- It may be anti-aging
The damage caused by free radicals results in wrinkles on the skin. The antioxidants in Shatavari root extract reduce free radicals. It also assists in preventing the collagen breakdown that maintains the elasticity of the skin.
- It may help treat depression
Shatavari is used in Ayurveda for treating the symptoms of depression. It is a mood enhancer and helps treat problems such as anxiety, dementia.
- Benefits of Shatavari For Female Reproductive System
Shatavari helps treat many hormonal problems. It may also be very helpful in improving fertility. It may also improve ailments such as (PCOS) or polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Breastfeeding and pregnancy
Shatavari may be useful in boosting milk production during breastfeeding.
- Reducing symptoms of menopause
Shatavari, along with a combination of other herbal medicines, may reduce symptoms of menopause.
- Shatavari benefits for the Male Reproductive System
The Shatavari root powder is extremely useful for maintaining wellness and treating ailments of the male reproductive system. Conditions such as hypospermia, teratospermia, and oligospermia that relate to the low volume, abnormal shape, and count of sperm respectively in males. It also improves sperm production.
- Shatavari Enhances Libido
Shatavari is a natural aphrodisiac. It stimulates the hormones that increase libido. This is effective for both men and women. It also helps in reducing mental stress that aids this.
- Promotes Cardiac Functioning
Shatavari herb is a natural antioxidant and promotes enhanced cardio health. It has shown a beneficial role in treating many heart ailments.
- Aids in Weight Loss
Shatavari assists the body in shedding the extra weight faster. It has a lot of dietary fibres. When it is taken regularly, it prevents overeating by satiating the hunger pangs.
- Relieves Respiratory Troubles
Shatavari has anti-asthmatic properties. It is considered a remedy for a variety of respiratory issues.
How to Use Shatavari Plant?
Shatavari is consumed in various forms - Churna, tablets, and syrup are a few of those.
- Shatavari Churna – The most favoured form of intake, Shatavari churna can be taken with milk and honey after lunch and dinner. The recommended dosage is half a teaspoon two times a day.
- Shatavari balls – Made from Shatavari churna, these can be taken with warm milk or water.
- Shatavari tablets or capsules – one to two tablets or capsules can be taken with warm water. These can be taken after lunch and dinner.
- Shatavari juice or syrup – recommended being taken with warm water on an empty stomach.
- Shatavari Gulam – This is an ayurvedic preparation similar to a jam and is prepared along with jaggery. Shatavari Gulam is useful in treating liver complications and UTI infections.
- Shatavari churna can be taken twice a day, a half teaspoon at a time, with warm water or milk
- Three to six grams of churna can be taken in a day at your convenience.
- The dosage of Shatavari tablets and capsules is up to 500 milligrams per day, can be taken twice a day.
- Dosage of Shatavari extract – for up to three times a day, up to 30 drops (from one to two tablespoons). You can take this in water or juice.
An effective dosage of Shatavari varies depending on the age, body type, and strength of the person. The exact dosage also depends on the existing medical conditions of the patient. You are recommended to consult your doctor so that your medical condition can be evaluated and effective dosage and form can be recommended.
Here, let us look at two popular Shatavari Ayurvedic preparations:
This is usually used for aggravated Vata Dosha. It stimulates neuromuscular functions, strengthens muscles, and revitalizes the nerves.
- Ingredients: Equal parts of Shatavari, Pippali, Padmaka, Ashwagandha, Ajwain, Sonth, Saunf, Kachur, Gandha Prasarini, Gokshura, and Rasna
- Cow’s Ghee (as per requirement), and
- Twelve Parts of shuddha Guggulu
- Powder all the ingredients separately.
- To remove moisture, keep the powdered ingredients under direct sunlight.
- Sieve the powders to remove solid impurities.
- Add a little ghee in the mortar and then pour the Guggulu.
- Grind this into a fine powder using the pestle.
- Add the finely powdered ingredients one at a time. Keep adding ghee with every powder.
- Mix everything to achieve a semisolid consistency.
- Roll out or laddoo or round balls from this herbal mixture.
- You can store this in a jar in a dry place.
- Consuming Shatavari Guggulu
You can take one to two laddoos a day. This can be taken with water or warm milk. You can take this either on an empty stomach, or one to two hours after your meal.
Shatavari Kapla is also an ancient ayurvedic preparation. It enhances the production of breast milk, reduces pain and fatigue as well as general weakness in mothers. It provides overall nourishment to new mothers and balances the Pitta dosha and Vata dosha. Women of all ages can consume this. It will help during menstruation, the postnatal period, and pregnancy. It strengthens immunity and improves stamina
- one-part Shatavari - Asparagus racemosus root
- one-part sugar
- Elaichi or cardamom to taste
- Wash the cardamom and Shatavari under running water.
- To remove the moisture, keep these washed ingredients under the sun for 4-5 days.
- Grind both the ingredients together into a powder.
- Pass this powder through a sieve.
- Melt the sugar in a vessel
- To the molten sugar, add the powdered ingredients and thoroughly mix
- Allow the paste to cool and roll into small granules. Let them dry.
- These can be stored in a jar and a dry place.
- How to take Shatavari kalpa
You can take one to two teaspoons of these granules with warm milk preferable, twice a day - in the morning and evening
How Does Shatavari Plant Work?
To understand how the Shatavari plant works and renders its benefits, you should understand the chemical composition of the herb.
- Phytochemicals – Shatavari plant has an excess of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals strengthen the immune system and also shield the body against innumerable infections, thus promoting overall wellbeing.
- Beneficial Chemical compounds -
- Active components of the Shatavari plant have anti-carcinogenic properties and help in treating cancer conditions.
- Alkaloids such as saponins, sarsasapogenin are beneficial components.
- Flavonoids like rutin and quercetin help in shedding excess weight faster by fighting free radicals.
- Healthful nutrients –
- Shatavari plant has minerals such as manganese, copper, zinc, potassium, cobalt, selenium, magnesium, and calcium.
- Gamma-linolenic acid and other essential fatty acids.
- Vitamins such as ascorbic acid and Vitamin A.
- These nutrients help treat various conditions in cases of arthritis, diabetes, depression and are beneficial in heart diseases as well.
Shatavari Plant for Hair
Shatavari is also considered to be beneficial for hair growth. Let us see how Shatavari stimulates hair health.
- Anti-inflammatory property- Shatavari helps to soothe the scalp. Thus, inflammation due to skin irritation is avoided and this promotes hair growth.
- Adaptogen properties – Shatavari, due to its adaptogen properties, helps the body in dealing with physical and emotional stress. We must remember that stress a major reason for hair loss. Stress avoidance due to Shatavari promotes hair growth.
- Strengthening hair – Shatavari helps in strengthening the roots of the hair and restores hair colour and lustre.
According to Ayurveda Pitta Dosha causes an impact on the health of the hair. Pitta Dosha is increased by hot climatic conditions, excess spicy food intake, tea, coffee, alcohol and eat consumption, excessive salty and sour food intake, and excessive smoking. Pitta balancing herbs such as Shatavari improve the quality of Asthi Dhatu and are beneficial in treating hair fall.
The Shatavari plant has immense benefits for your body. This incredible herb is not only useful in treating stress and anxiety but also helps in ensuring better working of the heart, controls diabetes, aids in digestion, improves the overall stamina and immunity of the body, and is also an aphrodisiac.
It is only apt that the Shatavari plant is conferred the title of “Queen of the Herbs”.
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Dr. Shailendra Chaubey, BAMS
A modern-day Vaidya with 11 years of experience. He is the founder of Dr. Shailendra Healing School that helps patients recover from chronic conditions through the Ayurvedic way of life.