Ayurveda recommends intake of various herbs, spices, roots, fruits, etc. during the winter season in order to enhance our energy levels and boost the immune system.
In previous blogs, we had mentioned some specific herbs/roots which are mainly beneficial for men, e.g. Ashwagandha. In this article we will discuss briefly about a unique herbal plant called “Shatavari”. In English, it is called Indian Asparagus or Wild Asparagus, and its botanical name is Asparagus Racemosus.
Shatavari is one of the most commonly used roots in Ayurveda. According to several Ayurvedic texts, Shatavari is like a boon for women, granted by Mother Nature. Of course, this does not mean men cannot benefit by taking this wonderful herb. In fact, this herb is beneficial for everyone. As the woman in the family not only takes care of herself but also cares for all the other family members, similarly, this herb which is mainly useful for women, can also benefit men and children.
Regarding its qualities, Ayurveda says that Shatavari is “Guru”, meaning it is a bit heavy (to digest); ‘Sheit”, meaning it is cooling; taste wise, it is “Tikta” and “Madhur”, meaning a bit bitter and sweet; “Medha Vardhak”, meaning it enhances intellect; “Agni Vardhak”, meaning it boosts vital heat in the body; “Paushtik”, meaning it increases strength and stamina; “Snigdha”, meaning it is lubricating and nurturing; “Netrya”, meaning it is beneficial for the eyes; “Gulmajit”, meaning it destroys/corrects any kind of unnatural cell growth, particularly in the stomach and abdomen, which can result in cancer.
Ayurveda says that there are different forms of “Gulma” (unnatural tumorous growth, e.g. cysts in the ovaries, lumps in the breast, fibroid, etc.). Shatavari works on all of them, and particularly it is very effective on the tumours which are caused by Vata (air element) aggravation.
Shatavari also helps to correct excessive diarrhea, IBS and other ailments relating to the stomach and the digestive system. In Ayurveda, there are mainly seven categories of IBS/disturbed bowels mentioned, e.g. Vataja (caused by Vata/air disorder), Pittaja (caused by Pitta/fire aggravation), Kaphaja (caused by excessive and disturbed Kapha/mucus), etc. In general, Shatavari works in all these categories, but it is the most effective on IBS/disturbed bowels caused by Vata (air) imbalance. In addition to the above, Shatavari is also beneficial in increasing breast milk for nursing mothers, and it purifies the blood, thus it can help to correct several skin disorders.
There are two kinds of Shatavari, i.e. small and big. As far as herbal/medicinal efficacy is concerned, both are similar, just that the bigger one also works as a tonic for the heart and can be helpful for men who have semen/sex related issues, which are mentioned later in this article.
According to Ayurveda, Shatavari is one of the most unique herbs which is used to correct many health issues, caused by imbalance of any of the three doshas, i.e. Vata (air), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (mucus).
How does Shatavari work to correct the imbalance of all the three doshas?
Because Shatavari is “Snigdha” (lubricating) and “Guru” (heavy); hence it helps to correct ailments caused by the drying effect of Vata, such as light-headedness, feelings of disorientation, disturbed sleep, anxiety, etc.
Since Shatavari is “Madhur” (sweet) and “Snigdha” (moisturising); it helps to pacify the heaty and drying effect of the Pitta dosha (fire).
And due to its “Tikta” (bitter) taste, is also helps to eliminate and balance excess Kapha dosha (mucus).
Generally, 5 – 10 grams of the powder of the Shatavari root is taken in different ways, by mixing it with specific items as per the need of the individual. In some cases, Shatavari oil and also Shatavari ghee (clarified butter) is prescribed/recommended. Some of the medicinal usages of Shatavari are as follows:
A) For women:
- Regular intake of 5 gms of pure Shatavari root powder with about 250 ml of fresh hot milk, twice a day, can help to subside the symptoms associated with PMS, irregular menstruation, scanty or excessive menstrual flow, abdominal cramps, lower back pain, anaemia, hormonal imbalance, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, irregular ovulation, sterility, frigidity, tilting/prolapse of uterus, vaginal infection, fibroids, lumps in the breast, etc.
- For Leucorrhea (thick whitish, yellowish or greenish discharge from vagina) – this is a common problem amongst modern working women. Mix 15 – 20 ml of the juice of fresh Shatavari root, with 1 tablespoon pure raw honey or pure maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil. Drink this twice a day from the third day onwards from the start of the menstruation, till the commencement of the next menstrual cycle. Avoid eating/drinking anything for about 48 minutes (2 ghadis) before and after taking this mixture. Regular intake of this simple natural remedy can help to correct this problem in a very short period of time, no matter how chronic the problem is.
- It is recommended in Ayurveda that during pregnancy, women should rub Shatavari oil gently on their lower abdomen, lower back and in the groin area. This helps to improve blood circulation in the pelvic region and around the uterus, thereby reducing back ache and ensuring proper growth of the baby in the womb.
- Also, inserting a small quantity of pure Shatavari oil inside the vagina, up to the mouth of the cervix, during the ninth month of the pregnancy, can help ensure normal delivery of the baby.
- Massaging the breast with Shatavari oil can help with lactation – it can increase the quantity of milk and also improve the quality of the breast milk.
- Regular breast massage with Shatavari oil can also prevent feelings of hardness and pain in the breast and soreness/oversensitivity in the nipples.
- Regular intake of Shatavari powder after the age of 35, can help women to go through their menopause period very naturally, without experiencing unhealthy and abnormal symptoms caused by hormonal imbalance. Hence they may not need to undergo HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy).
B) For men:
- Shatavari is called “Vrishya” in Ayurveda, which means it can enhance virility in men.
- For wet dreams – mix 20 grams of Shatavari powder, 3 grams of green cardamom powder and 10 grams of ground rock sugar, in 300 ml cow’s milk (fresh milk). Boil it on a medium flame while stirring, for about 8 – 10 minutes. Then drink it whilst it is still hot/warm, 30 minutes before going to bed. Regular intake of this Shatavari milk for 42 days can help to stop/control wet dreams and hence prevent many health issues caused by this, e.g. lack of concentration, poor memory, lack of confidence, irritability, suspicious nature, anxiety, depression, etc.
- Boiling about 10 grams of powder of the big variety of Shatavari, 3 grams of cardamom seed powder, 3 grams of cinnamon powder and a little rock sugar/raw cane sugar in 300 ml fresh cow’s milk, on a medium flame for about 8 – 10 minutes and drinking it whilst it is still warm, every night, 30 minutes before going to bed, for 6 weeks, can help to resolve sex/fertility related problems in men.
- This simple recipe/formula can help to increase the quantity of semen, improve its quality/consistency, and thereby correct the most increasingly common issues of men in modern society, like low libido, insufficient volume of semen at ejaculation/emission, premature ejaculation, emission without ejaculation, ejaculation without emission, low sperm count, weak sperms, erectile dysfunction, etc.
- This unique powder can also help to correct venereal disease (VD) and prostate gland related problems.
C) For common people:
- For Pitta related issues, e.g. hypertension, acidity, giddiness, trembling/shaking of the limbs, etc. – take 1 teaspoon of melted Shatavari ghee, mixed with 1 teaspoon ground rock sugar, twice a day, followed by a glass of hot milk. This can help to correct such symptoms.
- To stop issues relating to passing blood with urine – mix Shatavari powder and Gokhru (Tribulus Terrestris) powder, 1 tablespoon each with one cup (100 ml) water and one cup (100 ml) fresh milk. Boil this mixture on a medium flame till the quantity of the liquid/milk is reduced to about half cup (50 ml). Cool it down and drink it with the powders in it. Take this twice a day. By taking it continuously twice a day for seven days, it can help to stop bleeding while urinating.
- In UTI (urinary tract infection) and kidney infection: scanty urine/Dysuria, burning sensation while passing urine/painful micturition, losing albumen with urine, pus with urine, etc. – mix 50 ml juice of fresh Shatavari root with 50 ml fresh cow’s milk and drink it twice a day. Or boil 50 gm of Shatavari powder in 300 ml water on a medium flame till the quantity of water reduces to 50 ml. Add 1 teaspoon of ground rock sugar and 1 teaspoon raw honey to it after cooling it down to room temperature (if you are diabetic, then add equal quantity of fresh coconut water instead), and drink it. Take this twice a day. Avoid eating/drinking anything for at least 48 minutes (2 ghadis) before and after taking the above natural remedy to make it more effective.
- For kidney stone – either take 50 ml Shatavari root juice with 50 ml of fresh cow’s milk OR mix 10 gm of Shatavari root powder in a glass of hot milk or warm water and drink this twice a day, 30 minutes after breakfast and 30 minutes after dinner. This remedy can break the kidney stone and eliminate it with the urine within a short period of time, without causing much discomfort.
- Piles – when some pain and discomfort is experienced due to internal piles, and defecation is incomplete due to the inflamed piles, take 1 tablespoon of Shatavari powder and 1 tablespoon of natural psyllium husk, mixed in 250 – 300 ml fresh hot milk or hot water, twice a day – 1 hour after breakfast and 1 hour after dinner. This can help to pacify the symptoms in a couple of weeks’ time.
- Last but not least – since Shatavari has the qualities of “Vrishya”, which enhances vitality & vigour; and “Rasayan”, which has a rejuvenating effect, it is helpful for everyone – young children, adults and elderly people – for boosting the immune system and to increase vitality in the body at the physical, mental and intellectual levels.
Many more benefits are mentioned in ancient Ayurvedic texts about the use of Shatavari powder and its juice, in different forms, mixed with different herbs and spices, as per the need of the individual. We have shared just a few of those above for the benefit of our readers.
If you need more information regarding the usage of this unique herb, please feel free to contact us.
DISCLAIMER: This information is intended for educational purposes only & does not constitute expert medical advice, nor is it meant to replace medical recommendations by a medical practitioner. Always consult a qualified Ayurveda Doctor/Health Professional/Yoga Guru for your specific medical needs before taking any herbal health supplements, and/or practicing Ayurveda & Yoga.