Ladies, this one's for you today.
While shatavari benefits all mankind, it's the women who can be helped the most.
If you haven't already heard of the many benefits of shatavari, it's time to take a closer look.
Shatavari is an ayurvedic plant known by various names. Some people know it as satavari while others call it satavar.
Since it is a species of the asparagus plant family, it's even common for people to just call it asparagus.
Its scientific name, however, is Asparagus racemosus. In the health niche, Shatavari is well known as an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogenic herbs are those which help your body cope with stress - both at the physical and emotional level.
Since stress affects virtually every aspect of your health, most natural health professionals agree that shatavari can help improve overall wellness.
Shatavari has a long history of use in Ayurveda, predominantly originating in India.
It is chiefly an herb meant for the treatment and/or management of problems affecting the female reproductive system, including hormonal issues.
Despite the fact that shatavari has not been extensively researched, studies such as this one have highlighted the beneficial roles of shatavari as a general health tonic and in the management of female reproductive complications.
Let's take a closer look at its benefits.
Many of the health benefits of shatavari are focused on the genitourinary system since most of the issues managed by this herb are those of the reproductive and urinary system.
Consider the following:
Shatavari is rich in phytoestrogens, which are responsible for balancing various hormones in the body. These hormones are known to regulate several emotions and feelings.
For instance, shatavari stimulates the production and release of “happy” hormones such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins - all of which help with intimacy.
Moreover, studies have shown that shatavari actively improves blood flow to the female genital area, particularly to the clitoris.
As a result, it actively enhances sexual stimulation, increases the sensitivity of the clitoris, and improves lubrication of the vaginal walls.
These functions make it a go-to product for women who have achieved menopause and are finding it hard to improve their libido.
It also works just as well for pre-menopausal women who just want to boost their desire for sex.
While success can be achieved using shatavari alone, most people argue that its effects are heightened when used simultaneously with ashwagandha.
The major constituents of shatavari also happen to be steroidal saponins, which act as potent regulators of estrogen.
As a result, they can help regulate menstrual cycles, alleviate painful menstrual cramps, and will significantly regulate the amount of blood lost during periods.
Steroidal saponins in shatavari can also help regulate the symptoms of menopause such as vaginal dryness, insomnia, and hot flashes.
Shatavari also contains mucilage that supports the mucous membranes of the vagina. As a result, it helps keeps these membranes well lubricated and allows free movement of sperm during intercourse.
These saponins also have some anti-oxytocin effects. Oxytocin is the hormone that initiates uterine contractions. By antagonizing this hormone, shatavari actively reduces painful cramps.
Shatavari is a perfect gut cleanser that should be tried by anyone wanting to support a healthy gut. It achieves this by boosting the process of digestion.
It has been shown that shatavari can improve the activity of lipase and amylase, which are both digestive enzymes.
Physiologically, lipase is responsible for the digestion of fats while amylase takes part in the digestion of carbohydrates. By modulating the activities of both enzymes, shatavari can protect against stomach discomfort and unnecessary bloating.
Besides, shatavari enhances the processes of gastric emptying because it normalizes the motility of the GI tract.
Intestinal motility refers to the contraction and relaxation of smooth muscles in the intestines.
When the gut loses its ability to coordinate muscular activities, such as in the case of intestinal paralysis, you can use shatavari to reverse the condition and maintain optimal gut health.
When it comes to boosting your immune system, shatavari works just as effectively as common steroidal compounds.
Its primary compound is sapogenin - a potent immune stimulator. It works by stimulating the activity of immune cells and priming them to deliver effective counteractive measures when you are struck by disease.
By stimulating the production of immune cells that fight infection, shatavari is one of the best herbs that can be used to clear infectious diseases.
Moreover, studies have shown that animal models treated with shatavari have an increased number of antibodies to help fight off infections.
Another important use of shatavari is in the management of patients with a compromised immune system.
Your immune system becomes compromised when you are suffering from conditions that overwhelm your immunity as in the case of autoimmune disease.
In such circumstances, shatavari can help restore the functionality and competence of immune cells to help fight the offending disease(s).
Kidney stones are hard deposits that usually form in the kidneys and are passed down through the ureters into the bladder, then into the urethra and out of the body.
Sometimes the stones are so big that they get lodged in the region they find themselves in. This results in excruciating pain in your lower abdomen.
So how does shatavari help in all this?
Most kidney stones are formed from oxalates – compounds found in foods like French fries, spinach and beets.
In 2005, a study revealed that the extracts of shatavari root were used to prevent the formation of oxalate stones in rats - the test models for that experiment.
Although the same test has not been replicated in humans, it can be hypothesized that the same mechanism which worked for the rats can work similarly for humans and prevent the formation of oxalate-based kidney stones.
There are three major forms of shatavari:
Now the question becomes - which form of shatavari is the best?
That depends on how you want to use it and what your taste buds can handle, but ultimately, all forms work similarly.
Ayurveda prefers the powder form because just tasting the herb is enough to send signals to your system that help initiate its immune-supportive mechanisms.
Shatavari powder is often mixed with warm milk and honey. You can also mix shatavari powder with ghee.
If you don’t like the taste of shatavari powder, you can opt for shatavari tablets, which are convenient for people on the go, in an office, or a public place.
Liquid extracts are the best in terms of long shelf life, easy assimilation, and convenience.
Like all herbal products, you should seek professional opinion from your doctor before you start using shatavari.