Shatavari: Queen of Herbs, Benefits for Women

Shatavari is an ancient ayurvedic herb that has immense medicinal application especially for women. Shatavari is also referred to as ‘Queen of Herbs’ just like Ashwagandha is the king of the herbs. It is found predominantly in the Himalayas. It is used in Siddha, Homeopathic and Ayurvedic medical systems for making medicines. It is one of the most ancient herbs as its name is found in most ancient works on Ayurveda.

Shatavari in Sanskrit means one that has hundred roots (because of the numerous roots branching out from its trunk) or one that has a hundred husbands (because it is highly beneficial for the female reproductive system).

In fact in Ayurveda there are other popular names for this herb as well like Shatapadi, Vari, Sukshmapatra,, Narayani, Dveepika, Satamuli, Satavirya, Atirasa, Dveepishatru, and Urdhvakantaka are few such names.

Introduction:
Shatavari is a herb which is obtained from the roots of a tree that grows in the Himalayas called Asparagus racemosus.It was botanically first described in the year 1799 but it has been used in Ayurvedic medicinal compositions since ancient times in India.

This is native to Australia, Africa, India and some other parts of Asia. It is a branched, woody, climbing shrub. It attains a height of 1-2 metres. This plant grows well in well-drained, fertile clayey-loam to sandy-loamy soil, rocky, gravelly soils and it is found in forests, moist places, shady places, forest borders, hilly slopes, fallow lands and plains from the coast areas.

Shatvari has bell-shaped, scented, racemose white flowers with a pink hue. The flower generally blooms from June to July. As we have discussed the plant has hundreds of roots that are succulent, tuberous and spindle-shaped with lots of phytochemicals with medicinal applications. Leaves are shaped like pine-needles shaped. Shatvari also gets its name from being an absolute remedy for almost 100 types of diseases.

Shatavari contains a wide range of phytochemicals which play an instrumental role in immunity boosting, hormonal balance and maintaining general wellbeing. This plant is now an endangered species. Hence, we need to make efforts to preserve it.

Now let’s discuss the immense medicinal benefits of Shatavari and how we can use it.

Benefits of Shatavari:


Dr. David Frawley is his monumental work The Yoga of Herbs discussed in great detail the benefits of Shatavari. He mentioned that it benefits women in different phases of their lives. It nourishes the female reproductive system and purifies it. In Ayurvedic traditions Shatavari is used to boost fertility of women. It can also help the ladies keep themselves calm and peaceful during the menstruation cycle.

Let’s take a look at some benefits of Shatavari.

⦁ Boosts Female Reproductive Health: The most traditional and profound application of this herb is for strengthening female reproductive systems. ⦁ A review published in Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy in 2018 suggested that Shatavari may improve conditions such as hormonal imbalances and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
⦁ Prevents Anxiety and Depression: Traditionally this herb has been used for uplifting mood and fighting anxiety. This has not been tested for humans but a research on rats published in Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behaviour in 2009 suggests that shatavari extract had antidepressant effects. It is considered as a powerful mood enhancer, and beneficial for treating different psychotic problems like depression, dementia, etc.

⦁ Reducing symptoms of menopause: A recent study suggests that a combination of herbal medicines, including A. racemosus, might be effective in reducing the symptoms of menopause. In 2018 a small-scale study tested the effects of herbal medicine on symptoms of menopause in 117 women. It was observed that after taking A. racemosus and other herbs for 12 weeks, women reported reduced hot flashes and night sweats.

⦁ Antioxidant effects: Antioxidants are the compounds which protect us body from free radicals and ions which can react with and damage cells. This can lead to the development of tumours and other health issues. Shatavari is filled with antioxidants which help us fight the oxidative stress.

⦁ Improves Lactation: Shatavari is a galactagogue that enhances the lactation in women. This is good for nourishment of the offspring. Shatavari is highly beneficial for improving lactation in women.

⦁ Balances Hormones: Balancing hormones in females is also one of the prime benefits of Shatavari.

Other than these Shatavari also aids digestion, helps fight diabetes, cardiac functioning, heals wounds and ulcers, treats diarrhea, aids weight loss etc.

Who Should Not Use It?

As per Ayurveda anyone with high ama, or toxins, in the body should not take Shatavari. It should also not be used by someone experiencing excess congestion. People sensitive to phytoestrogens or has an estrogen sensitive tumor, shatavari should also not consume Shatavari. For better understanding consult a qualified medical professional.

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