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Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is a species of asparagus grown throughout India, traditionally used in Ayurveda. The name is translated as “she who possesses a hundred husbands”. This may be because this plant has been used traditionally for hundreds to thousands of years as a general female reproductive tonic and hormonal balancer by Ayurvedic healers. Shatavari is a plant with a woody stem that sends runners out, has needle like leaves, with small white flowers.

Ayurveda has evolved over 5,000 years, with its beginnings in the Himalayas. Around 800 BC the first Ayurvedic school was established by a man named Punarvasu Atreya. He and his students recorded their medical knowledge. This medical knowledge inspired a scholar named Charaka a hundred years later to write Charaka Samhita, which details over 1,500 plant species and identifies 700 medicinal plant species. Traditional Ayurvedic practitioners still use this book as a reference guide. Charaka’s second work titled Susruta Samhita was the basis for modern surgery. Traditional Chinese, Tibetan and Islamic medicine has their roots in Ayurveda. Ayurveda is one of the oldest modalities of traditional medical practices.

BENEFITS OF SHATAVARI

Shatavari has shown many fertility benefits for both men and women. It has adaptogenic, immunomodulator, diuretic, sexual tonic, galactogogue (promote breast milk flow), demulcent, antibacerial, digestive and antioxidant actions.

shatavary

  • Supports female reproductive system
  • Healthy levels of breast milk production
  • Supports already balanced female hormones
  • Supportive of male reproductive system as well
  • Soothing effect on the digestive tract
  • Healthy peristalsis of bowels
  • Moisturizing support of the respiratory tract
  • Promotes healthy energy levels and strength
  • Supports the immune system
  • Natural antioxidant properties

HOW SHATAVARI MAY HELP WITH FERTILITY

This plant has been shown to improve overall fertility with no toxic side effects reported with long term use. Steroidal sapponins called Shatavarins may be responsible for the hormone like effect Shatavari has on reproductive system.

  • Adaptogenic Actions Support Overall Stress Support

This plant has shown to protect the body from stressors. It combines well with Tribulus terrestris another herb shown to be beneficial for fertility. Satavari is very helpful for women with stress induced fertility issues. Because of its adaptogenic actions it has been used by men and women to support healthy fertility.

  • Immune Related Fertility Issues

Satavari may be very helpful with women who have stress related or immune-mediated fertility issues. Autoimmune fertility issues may be helped by proper immnological function supported by Shatavari.

In one study Shatavari was shown to increase phagocytic activity of macrophages in turn reducing intraperitoneal adheshions. These are adhesions within the abdomen specifically. Macrophages have been shown to play a role in adhesion development. But this is just one study, if Shatavari can increase phagocytic activity of the macrophages there is hope for it in reducing adhesions in the entire body. This may be great news for women suffering from adhesion damage causing fertility issues such as endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes, uterine fibroids, and damage from c-section, ovarian cysts.

  • Supports Mucous Membranes

Herbs that have a demulcent action contain mucilage. Mucilage lines the mucous membranes and acts as a protector and tonic for those membranes. Shatavari contains mucilage, this may be helpful for women with low Cervical Mucous.

  • Threatened Miscarriage

In cases where the uterus is contracting due to oxytocin release the saponin rich Shatavari has shown to have an antioxytocin effect that may help the uterine contractions to subside. Please talk to a skilled Ayurvedic practitioner or Naturopathic Doctor about the use of Shatavari for threatened miscarriage.

  • Menstrual Cycle Regulator

Shatavari’s main constituents are steroidal-saponins, suggesting its use as an estrogen regulator, the estrogen modulating in turn may contribute to menstrual cycle regulation.

  • Galactogogue

A galactogogue is an herb that helps to increase breast milk production. Some studies show that Shatavari may increase a mother’s milk supply. This herb has shown signs of contributing to prolactin production so women with the endocrine disorder hyperprolactinemia or high prolactin levels should use caution with this herb.

  • Reduces Fluid Retention

This herb has shown to greatly help with fluid retention and may be helpful for PMS related fluid retention, helping the body to eliminate excess fluid build-up.

Traditional Daily Dosage

A traditional suggested dosage amount would be 4.5 to 8.5 mL of dried plant extract or 1,000 – 2,000mg a day. This herb is commonly sold in capsule form as well.

How to Use Shatavari?

Shatavari can be taken as a powder or in tablet form. Ayurveda prefers the powder form of herbs because tasting the herb starts the digestive process and sends signals to the body to initiate the body’s own supportive mechanisms.

Shatavari powder (about ½ to 1 tsp for starters) is traditionally taken mixed in a glass of warm milk, with honey or sugar if desired. It can also be mixed with ghee, or actually cooked into an herbalized ghee, to reap its building and nourishing benefits.

 Shatavari tablets can be easier to use for those who desire the convenience of a tablet (traveling, on the go, at the office), or do not like the taste of the powder. You can still follow the tablets with a glass of warm milk if desired, or take with warm water.

Side Effects

Shatavari is well tolerated in traditional use, and no significant adverse effects have been reported.

Shatavari, as part of the asparagus family, should be avoided by anyone with an allergy to asparagus. Some say that asparagus can have a diuretic effect, and therefore, Shatavari should be used with caution in people taking diuretic drugs.

People with estrogen sensitivities, including estrogen sensitive tumors, are advised to use caution with foods and herbs containing phytoestrogens, which would include Shatavari.

Always consult your health care practitioner if you have questions related to your particular condition.

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Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is a species of asparagus grown throughout India, traditionally used in Ayurveda. The name is translated as “she who possesses a hundred husbands”. This may be because this plant has been used traditionally for hundreds to thousands of years as a general female reproductive tonic and...