Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) 野生蘆筍 – Nature’s Gift for Women
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) root is the main building tonic for women – rejuvenative to the female reproductive tract and the blood, and to build the body. Shatavari means “hundred husbands” so you get the idea. This herb increases fertility, and balances female hormones, strengthen the immune system, increase milk and sexual secretions (helps with vaginal dryness and dry skin), and as an aphrodisiac. It increases intellect, digestion, and physical strength. It also increases love, devotion, and compassion.
It is a cooling sweet and bitter herb, so it is particularly helpful herb for cooling pitta (fire) type constitution.
Shatavari is amphoteric (amphoteric here refers to a herb’s medicinal property to adjust in achieving perfect balance. In other words, it increases or decreases as per the individual’s state of hormone calls for) to the reproductive system Its balancing effect in female hormones is particularly useful to support different life stages. Hence, it supports infertility, breastfeeding and postpartum, and menopause – aren’t you loving shatavari yet?
What is also amazing about Shatavari is that it doesn’t contain any estrogens or similar – it just works through your body to enable the body systems to adjust and balance itself. That’s also why it’s also called a “women’s’ wonder herb”.
Does it mean that male should avoid shatavari then? Absolutely not. It also supports the male reproductive system too, as it is nutritive to the endocrine system, moisten mucous membranes (esp in stomach and lung), so we use shatavari to heal gastric ulcers and prevents aspirin-induced gastric irritation as well as relieves for dry and ticklish coughs.
In TCM, shatavari is contraindicated for damp spleen conditions. You can, however, add warming and drying herbs, such as ashwagandha, amla, etc. to counter its dampness in those situations. Quite often, Ashwagandha and shatavari make a perfect combo – Ashwagandha being warming and drying and shatavari being cooling and moistening, yet both support the HPA and Endocrine System in dealing with stress and different life stages regardless of your gender and age.
Parts used: root
Energy and flavors: cool, sweet, bitter
System affected: Reproductive System, HPA/Endocrine System, Nervous System，Lung, Stomach, and Kidney
Photo: Banyan Botanicals