|Plant photographed at Pune|
Asparagus racemosus (satavar, shatavari, or shatamull, shatawari) is a species of asparagus common throughout Nepal, Sri Lanka, India and the Himalayas. It grows 1–2 m (3 ft 3 in–6 ft 7 in) tall and prefers to take root in gravelly, rocky soils high up in piedmont plains, at 1,300–1,400 m (4,300–4,600 ft) elevation. It was botanically described in 1799. Because of its multiple uses, the demand for Asparagus racemosus is constantly on the rise. Because of destructive harvesting, combined with habitat destruction, and deforestation, the plant is now considered "endangered" in its natural habitat.
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Shatavari has small pine-needle-like phylloclades (photosynthetic branches) that are uniform and shiny green. In July, it produces minute, white flowers on short, spiky stems, and in September it fruits, producing blackish-purple, globular berries. It has an adventitious root system with tuberous roots that measure about one metre in length, tapering at both ends, with roughly a hundred on each plant.
Shatavari is important in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Extracts made from dried roots are used for various reproductive and hormonal issues in women. It is also used in cases of gastric ulcers and indigestion.
Despite its long history of use in Ayurveda, few studies exist to support health effects of shatavari. Studies of its effects on lactation have shown mixed results. Its safety has not been well studied, however small trials have found no adverse effects in mothers or their babies. The key pharmacologic constituents of shatavari are steriodal saponins, mucilage, and alkaloids.
- Shatavar Vatika Herbal Park, Hisar, Haryana—a herbal park in India for the research, preservation and propagation of shatavari.
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- Sekine, T. (2010). "ChemInform Abstract: Structure of Asparagamine A (I), a Novel Polycyclic Alkaloid from Asparagus racemosus". ChemInform. 26 (5): no. doi:10.1002/chin.199505264.
- Total Synthesis Of The Antitumor Agent Asparagamine A retrieved 11-02-2011 Archived April 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- Sharma, U; Saini, R; Kumar, N; Singh, B (2009). "Steroidal saponins from Asparagus racemosus". Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 57 (8): 890–3. doi:10.1248/cpb.57.890. PMID 19652422.
- Hayes, Patricia Y.; Jahidin, Aisyah H.; Lehmann, Reg; Penman, Kerry; Kitching, William; De Voss, James J. (2008). "Steroidal saponins from the roots of Asparagus racemosus". Phytochemistry. 69 (3): 796–804. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2007.09.001. PMID 17936315.
- Saxena, V. K.; Chourasia, S (2001). "A new isoflavone from the roots of Asparagus racemosus". Fitoterapia. 72 (3): 307–9. doi:10.1016/s0367-326x(00)00315-4. PMID 11295314.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Asparagus racemosus.|
- Nice picture of A. racemosus flowers from "Flowers of India" website
- Caldecott, Todd (2006). Ayurveda: The Divine Science of Life. Elsevier/Mosby. ISBN 978-0-7234-3410-8. Contains a detailed monograph on Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari) as well as a discussion of health benefits and usage in clinical practice. Available online at https://web.archive.org/web/20101001013838/http://www.toddcaldecott.com/index.php/herbs/learning-herbs/331-shatavari