Asparagus racemosus

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Asparagus racemosus.JPG
Shatawari plant photographed at Pune
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Asparagoideae
Genus: Asparagus
Species: A. racemosus
Binomial name
Asparagus racemosus

Asparagus racemosus (satavar, shatavari, or shatamull) is a species of asparagus common throughout Nepal, Sri Lanka, India and the Himalayas. It grows one to two metres tall and prefers to take root in gravelly, rocky soils high up in piedmont plains, at 1,300–1,400 metres elevation.[2] It was botanically described in 1799.[1] 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.[citation needed]

Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari) is recommended in Ayurvedic texts for the prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers and dyspepsia, and as a galactogogue. A. racemosus has also been used by some Ayurvedic practitioners for nervous disorders.[3]

A few recent reports demonstrated some additional beneficial effects of this herb including antihepatotoxic, immunomodulatory, immunoadjuvant and antilithiatic effects.[4]

Shatawari has different names in the different Indian languages, such as shatuli, vrishya and other terms. In Nepal it is called kurilo. The name "shatawari" means "curer of a hundred diseases" (shatum: "hundred"; vari: "curer").

Leaves, flowers and fruits[edit]

Close-up on flowers

Satavar 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.


Asparagus racemosus is an important plant in traditional medicine in tropical and subtropical India. Its medicinal usage has been reported in the Indian and British Pharmacopoeias and in traditional systems of medicine such as Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha.[citation needed]

The roots are used in Ayurvedic medicine, following a regimen of processing and drying. It is generally used as a uterine tonic, as a galactogogue (to improve breast milk), in hyperacidity, and as a best general health tonic.

Chemical constituents[edit]

Asparagamine A, a polycyclic alkaloid was isolated from the dried roots[5][6] and subsequently synthesized to allow for the construction of analogs.[7]

Two new steroidal saponins, shatavaroside A and shatavaroside B together with a known saponin, filiasparoside C, were isolated from the roots of Asparagus racemosus.[8]

Five steroidal saponins, shatavarins VI-X, together with five known saponins, shatavarin I (or asparoside B), shatavarin IV (or asparinin B), shatavarin V, immunoside and schidigerasaponin D5 (or asparanin A), have been isolated from the roots of Asparagus racemosus.[9]

Also known is the isoflavone 8-methoxy-5,6,4'-trihydroxyisoflavone 7-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Asparagus racemosus information from NPGS/GRIN". Germplasm Resources Information Network. USDA. August 6, 2002. Retrieved April 25, 2009. 
  2. ^ Robert Freeman (February 26, 1998). "LILIACEAE - Famine Foods". Centre for New Crops and Plant Products, Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture. Purdue University. Retrieved April 25, 2009. 
  3. ^ Asparagus racemosus--an update. [Review] [28 refs] Goyal RK. Singh J. Lal H. Indian Journal of Medical Sciences. 57(9):408-14, 2003 Sep.
  4. ^ Alok, Shashi; Jain, Sanjay Kumar; Verma, Amita; Kumar, Mayank; Mahor, Alok; Sabharwal, Monika (2013-06-01). "Plant profile, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari): A review". Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease. 3 (3): 242–251. ISSN 2222-1808. PMC 4027291Freely accessible. doi:10.1016/S2222-1808(13)60049-3. 
  5. ^ The Ley Group: Combinatorial Chemistry and total synthesis of natural products Archived May 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Structure of Asparagamine A (I), a Novel Polycyclic Alkaloid from Asparagus racemosus
  7. ^ Total Synthesis Of The Antitumor Agent Asparagamine A retrieved 11-02-2011 Archived April 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Steroidal saponins from Asparagus racemosus. Sharma U. Saini R. Kumar N. Singh B. Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 57(8):890-3, 2009 Aug.
  9. ^ Steroidal saponins from the roots of Asparagus racemosus. Hayes PY. Jahidin AH. Lehmann R. Penman K. Kitching W. De Voss JJ. Phytochemistry. 69(3):796-804, 2008 Feb.
  10. ^ A new isoflavone from the roots of Asparagus racemosus. Saxena VK. Chourasia S. Fitoterapia. 72(3):307-9, 2001 Mar.

External links[edit]