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Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Asparagus racemosus

The squeezed root is used for washing clothes[272].

  • Medicinal Use

    Shatavari (this is an Indian word meaning ‘a woman who has a hundred husbands’) is the most important herb in Ayurvedic medicine for dealing with problems connected women’s fertility[238]. The rhizome is a soothing tonic that acts mainly on the circulatory, digestive, respiratory and female reproductive organs[238].

    The root is alterative, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, demulcent, diuretic, galactogogue and refrigerant[240, 243]. It is taken internally in the treatment of infertility, loss of libido, threatened miscarriage, menopausal problems, hyperacidity, stomach ulcers and bronchial infections[238]. Externally it is used to treat stiffness in the joints[238]. The root is used fresh in the treatment of dysentery. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for use in treating other complaints[238].

    The whole plant is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, rheumatism, diabetes and brain complaints[243].

  • Edible Use

    Tender young shoots – cooked as a vegetable[272]. A preserve prepared from the blanched shoots is said to be very agreeable[2].

    The tuber are candied as a sweetmeat[2]. The only flavour is said to be that of the sugar[2]. The roots are 5 – 13cm long[243].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring or as soon as the seed is ripe in early autumn in a greenhouse. It usually germinates in 3 – 6 weeks at 25¡c[134]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer[K]. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.
Easily grown in any good garden soil[200]. Prefers a rich sandy loam[1]. This species is not very frost-hardy and generally needs to be grown in a frost-free or fairly frost-free climate[200, 238]. It can be grown as a half-hardy perennial in areas where the winter is too cold for it to survive outdoors. The tubers are harvested in the autumn, stored in a cool frost-free place and replanted in the spring[238]. The rots of this species are commonly collected from the wild for medicinal use. Overcollection in some areas of its range are causing conservation concerns[272]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
E. Asia – China, Japan, India.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.