When the shift from summer to autumn happens, heat has accumulated to the MAX and the chill winds of the changing season increase the dry air our bodies are exhausted. We have fire (pitta) trapped and dryness (vata) in all crevices leaving us needing some demulcent, cooling, nourishment.
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) in an adaptogenic root, cut and sifted or ground down to a fine powder that has been used for centuries in Ayurveda for these exact qualities. Shatavari translates into "having one hundred roots" or "one hundred husbands." This is quite fitting as it is a star herb for supporting our reproductive systems women and men alike, although it has an affinity for the female organs. In younger women and men is focuses on fertility and cooling any excess heat or frustration trapped there. In older women, it is a great menopause support as it helps cool hot flashes and adds moisture in order to still enjoy a healthy sex life. For older men, Ashwagandha is usually a better choice to support virility.
"Shatavari increases female libido, moistens dry tissues of sexual organs, reduces and cures inflammation of sexual organs, and enhances ovulation. Thus Shatavari is very beneficial for female infertility. It also is known to assist in the prevention of miscarriages and prepares the womb for conception."(2)
As a root medicine, it grounds us back to the earth (kapha) when we are trapped in our heads or feel anger rising. Shatavari contains the happy chemicals flavonoids, polyphenols, and saponins. These all aid in reducing the cortisol chemicals we experience during stressful experiences. In addition, this helps regulate hormones in women, which offer easier premenstrual and menstrual cycles. Pain, gas, bloating, irregular or scanty bleeding can all be soothed by this herb.
Besides reproduction, the nourishing properties of Shatavari are used traditionally to support a number of systems and functions in the body:
- Healthy levels of breast milk production*
- Supports already balanced female hormones or levels slightly hyperthyroid
- Morning sickness in pregnant women
- Soothing effect on the digestive tract in the event of excess heat
- Healthy peristalsis of bowels
- Moisturizing support of the respiratory tract
- Promotes healthy energy levels and strength
- Supports the immune system through its' building, nourishing properties
- Natural antioxidant properties
- Antacid and Anticolic -- used in hyperacidity, heartburn, gastritis, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis
- Antispasmodic -- spasms or abdominal cramps experienced during menstruation
- Uterine tonic -- used in menorrhagia, uterine prolapse
- Binds stools -- good for IBS, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, e.t.c.
- Heart and brain tonic -- good for migraines, vision problems
It is easy to take in capsule/vitamin form but it is optimally used medicated in ghee to reap its bitter, sweet qualities that aid you in reaping its building and nourishing benefits. Sattvic (pure, harmonious) in nature, Shatavari calms the mind and promotes love and devotion. Ask an Ayurveda Practitioner near you if you feel this sweet little root calling to you.
3 Frawley, David, and Vasant Lad. The Yoga of Herbs. Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin; 2001. 183-184.
4 Plant profile, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari): A Review reviewhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027291/