All Hail our Queen of Herbs!
Shatavari, or Asparagus racemosus, is a low-growing herb with thick roots and is native to Southeast Asia. It grows about 2 meters high, adorning small pine needles, white flowers, and dark purple berries. A part of the asparagus family, Shatavari is oftentimes referred to as “wild asparagus” or “Indian asparagus”. The tuberous roots are very thick, and often this plant grows close to 100 of them! Shatavari has been used for over 3000 years and is an unforgettable staple in Ayurvedic medicine. Traditionally it has been utilized as a reproductive tonic and for nourishing vitality and strength within the mind, body, and soul.
There are many interpretations of the name. Shatavari can be translated to “a thousand husbands”, which references this herb’s incredible ability to increase fertility and libido! It’s also said that the name translates to “100 roots”, which makes sense if you look at how thick and abundant this herb grows underground! Another name for Shatavari is “Shatawari” which translates to “curer of 100 diseases”.
While the leaves can be used medicinally, it is in the roots where most of the medicinal qualities of this herb live. The root is used primarily to support reproductive health, such as boosting libido and increasing milk production. Shatavari assists in stimulating the production of prolactin, the hormone that tells our body to produce milk. Shatavari balances hormones and can be very useful in treating symptoms of dysmenorrhea, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and menopause. It is a phytoestrogen, meaning the chemical structure mimics the hormone estrogen. Phytoestrogens can act as both estrogen and antiestrogen, so depending on the person and how the herb is used, Shatavari may assist in boosting or lowering estrogen levels and also contains anti-infective and antioxidant properties. Although a powerful reproductive tonic for women, Shatavari is also beneficial for men! Shatavari is useful for treating erectile dysfunction, improving fluid production, and supporting a healthy sperm count. Regardless of gender, this root is a powerful aphrodisiac that can light the spark in anybody!
Shatavari blesses us with overall longevity, immunity, cognitive function, and vitality. It is rich in minerals and is a great herb to add to your routine specifically if you are suffering from low levels of zinc. Shatavari will help your skin glow, too! By preventing the breakdown of collagen and reducing the damage of free radicals, this herb nourishes our skin and may help to prevent wrinkles. In addition, this queen may also be used for managing stress, supporting the cardiovascular system, easing headaches and heartburn, soothing coughs, and balancing pH.
This herbal queen walks in like a cool glass of water, working to balance excess heat in the body. Specifically in the stomach and lungs, the cooling nature of Shatavari helps to eliminate acidity and aggravation while boosting moisture and coating tissues and membranes, making it a great ally for treating ulcers, building a healthy stomach lining, and improving digestion.
Traditionally, Shatavari is enjoyed with warm milk, sugar or honey. For extra moisture and nourishment, some traditional recipes call for an infusion of Shatavari in ghee. YUM!
Thank you, Queen Shatavari, for your multiple millennia-long reign! May she help us all live a long life of vitality, strength, and fertility!
Banyan Botanicals. “Shatavari: Getting to Know Your Herbal Allies.” Banyan Botanicals Ayurvedic Products, Banyan Botanicals, 6 Apr. 2021, https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/blog-the-banyan-insight/details/getting-to-know-your-herbal-allies-shatavari-asparagus-racemosus/.
Chopra.com, The Editors at. “What Is Shatavari?” Chopra, Chopra, 11 May 2022, https://chopra.com/articles/what-is-shatavari.
Maya. “Shatavari: 24 Health Benefits [2022 Research].” Urbol.com, 21 Feb. 2020, https://urbol.com/shatavari/.Powers, Daniel. “5 Benefits of Shatavari: Dosage, Safety & More.” The Botanical Institute, 21 Dec. 2021, https://botanicalinstitute.org/shatavari/.