Human health is an intangible treasure that holds greater value than all the gems of the world combined. People spend their entire lives chasing fame and fortune when the real fortune stems from health. Our ancestors understood this better than most and made great strides to ensure that people lived healthy, fulfilling lives. They realized that we could only achieve true peace and happiness when the temple that is our body was fit and healthy. Ayurveda serves as the means of achieving this lofty ideal.
Ayurvedic cures do not discriminate between the sexes. However, there are certain herbs and formulations which tend to work better for either of the sexes. Shatavari, aka Asparagus racemosus, is one such herb. This herb has been used to treat and remedy female health conditions (specifically reproductive issues) since ancient times. Shatavari can be loosely translated to have the meaning “a thousand spouses” which highlights its ability to improve fertility. The male counterpart to Shatavari is the herb Ashwagandha.
The herb was a commonly observed plant throughout the Indian and Himalayan regions. However, owing to excessive harvesting in combination with environmental destruction, Shatavari is now classified as an endangered species. It is more commonly known as Buttermilk root or Wild Asparagus to native English speakers. Although the entire herb has medicinal properties, the roots, fruits and leaves of the herb are considered to have greater curative properties.
The herb has a simple form and easily fades into the surrounding vegetation. The leaves are small and pine shaped with fragrant, white flowers and black-purple berry-like fruits. The roots are present in clusters and are tuberous. Despite the long list of properties attributed to the herb and its long history of use, very few scientific studies and reports exist on Asparagus racemosus. One thing that most papers agreed on is that Shatavari possesses several potent pharmacological constituents like the steroidal sapogenins, racemofuran, kaepfrol and others that may be responsible for its properties.
Some simple DIY recipes one can make using Shatavari are mentioned below with instructions on how to use them.
Recipe 1: Shatavari Tonics
A few simple tonics involving the use of Shatavari powder that women can consume are listed below.
1. General Tonic – Mix one teaspoon of the powder in a glass of milk along with a spoonful of honey.
2. Tonic for heavy menstruation – Mix the Shatavari powder along with a spoonful of fresh Aloe Vera gel (make sure to wash the gel well before consumption)
3. Tonic for dry, light periods –Consume Shatavari powder along with a spoonful of Ghee.
4. Tonic for miscarriages – Take equal parts of Manjistha, Ashoka and Shatavari powder and mix it into a spoonful of Ghee.
5. Hot Flashes during Menopause – Mix a spoonful of Shatavari powder in a glass of coconut water.
How to Use: Follow the recipe instructions provided above depending on the condition that ails you and consume the tonic early in the day, preferably after breakfast.
Purpose: Owing to the various active compounds present in the herb, Shatavari serves to remedy various female reproductive issues such as excessive bleeding during periods, recurrent miscarriages, etc.
Recipe 2: Shatavari-Pomegranate Juice
Add one spoonful of Shatavari powder into a glass of Pomegranate juice and mix well. To mix things up a little, you can also add Licorice root and Aloe Vera to the juice.
How to Use: Consume the juice mix when needed.
Purpose: Shatavari has active compounds that soothe inflammation and provides relief to people plagued with ulcers. Ayurvedic texts describe it as being a Madhur Rasam and Madhur Vipakam according to its Dravyaguna. Studies have also concluded that the herb helps in reducing the gastric emptying time. Hence it is helpful for constipation related issues as well.
Recipe 3: Shatavri-Neem paste
For this recipe, take a few fresh Neem leaves and a spoonful of Shatavari powder. Grind the Neem leaves and add the powder to it. Ensure that the paste is thick and consistent.
How to use: Consume the paste mix early in the morning. If swallowing the thick paste is a problem, you can also dilute it with some warm water.
Purpose: This paste contains Neem and Shatavari, both of which have been described as being potent cures for sickness and fevers. The recipe combines the natures of both the ingredients to increase the efficacy of treatment.
Recipe 4: Rejuvenating Shatavari-Milk
This recipe involves the use of Dates, Almonds, Shatavari powder and Milk. Soak 4 dates and 10-12 almonds in water for ten minutes. Grind the soaked almonds and dates and dates along with milk in a blender. Once it becomes thick and creamy, pour the mix into a saucepan and heat it over a medium flame. To this add the Shatavari powder.
How to Use: Allow the milk to cool and drink either after breakfast or dinner.
Purpose: In addition to the already listed benefits of Shatavari, it is also useful in rejuvenating the body and building Ojas. This milk-based recipe aims to revitalize the mind and body and helps to prepare you for a day of hard work.
Recipe 5: Shatavari Latte
To prepare this recipe, take one glass of milk, a quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder, ginger powder and cardamom powder and one teaspoon of Shatavari powder. Take the milk in a saucepan and boil it. To the boiling milk add the above powders and heat over a low flame for 3-4 minutes. Add a spoonful of Jaggery or Sugar to the mix and serve.
How to Use: This recipe can be taken at any time of the day and serves as a healthy replacement to Coffee or Tea.
Purpose: Breastfeeding mothers are recommended to reduce the intake of caffeine after childbirth as it may affect the health of the newborn child. This recipe serves to act as a healthy and tasty replacement to your morning coffee. In addition to Shatavari, it contains several ingredients that bolster your health and also increase the levels of lactation in breastfeeding women.
It goes without saying that health is the cornerstone of a happy and fulfilling life. As Buddha once said, “To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear”.
If reading this article prompted you into taking action, check out some of our various products that can help you maintain your physical, mental and spiritual health. We are also proud to inform you that we at Amrutam have recently launched 10 new single-powder herbal churnas, one of which is the Shatavari churna!!