What is Shatavari?
Shatavari is a Sanskrit word that means the one who can possess 100 husbands. ‘Shat’ means 100 and ‘var’ means groom or husband. The name of this potent herb explains why it is considered a women’s best friend to increase fertility and virility. This article contains 23 proven benefits of Shatavari and how to take it.
Shatavar, Shatavari or Asparagus racemosus, is a beautiful plant that bears fruit and flowers. The powder of its root is taken as Shatavari powder to help women deal with every problem right from their puberty to menopause. It is known as a reproduction potion for women.
It is an adaptogenic herb which means it helps the body to cope with the stress, whether emotional or physical. It is found in the wild in India and Australia. It is a Rasayan in Ayurved which means this is from a class of herbs that are known to increase the life force and boost immunity in the body.
Nutritional Facts of Shatavari
Shatavari or Asparagus racemosus contains phytochemicals, minerals, and Vitamin A, and C in abundance. These phytochemicals help in fighting diseases and preventing aging. The minerals provide strength to the body.
But Shatavari is not known for just being an immunity-booster and a multivitamin herb, It is known for being one of the most potent herbs or Rasayana for women.
Phytochemicals in Shatavari
Various phytochemicals present in Shatavari are Isoflavones, Alkaloids, Oligosaccharides, Mucilage, and saponins (antioxidants) which are also known as Shatavarins. Various sterols are also present in Shatavari root. These sterols are plant hormones that help in reducing cholesterol levels in humans.
Flavonoids such as quercetin and rutin are present in the fruit and flowers of the Shatavari plant. Flavonoids are the phytonutrients that provide protection to the body against many neuromuscular problems.
Some antioxidants in shatavari are aspargamin A, racemosol along with recently found racemofuran (1). Antioxidants are those substances that protect the body from oxidative stress or prevent cell aging and death. In simpler terms, antioxidants are anti-aging substances.
Minerals in Shatavari
Almost every mineral is present in the Shatavari plant. Ranging from zinc, cobalt, manganese, calcium, potassium, selenium, and potassium, to copper and magnesium, etc. So if you are taking this powder/tablet in any form, you are very much taking your multivitamin tab.
Vitamins in Shatavari
Apart from being a rich source of Vitamin A, Shatavari is enriched with vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and gamma-linolenic acid as well. The much-hyped retinol for wrinkles and fine lines comes from Vitamin A. We all swear by the vitamin C serums and their effects on lightening acne scars and helping the collagen formation as well.
The gamma-linolenic acid present in Shatavari is none other than the omega-6 fatty acids. They are essential for our hair growth, reproductive health, brain health, and even muscular health.
Do I need to tell you more or we can now jump to the real juicy benefits of Shatavari we can reap. And stay tuned to know more about how to take it for the best results.
Benefits of Shatavari
Health benefits of Shatavari for Women
1. Regulating the Periods.
Well, we all know how we schedule our important events as per the date of our periods. How our chums regulate the mood we are in, how gloomy our uterus makes it when it is about to bleed. On top of it, irregular periods are such a horror. You never know when you will be hit by it. This Scribble by Sarah puts it quite aptly –
Isn’t it so relatable! Well, Shatavari can save you from such horror and menstrual cramps, PMS symptoms, heavy or low bleeding, and other period add-ons that come free with it such as bloating and bodyache, etc. Don’t forget to follow the menstrual-hygiene rules.
A study on Shatavari in Thailand has proven the effect of Shatavari to prevent wrinkle formation near the chin area. I don’t see any reason why it won’t be effective on any other part of the body. Why not give it a try, they mixed it with oil to keep the application smoother, you can mix it with any base of your choice.
3. Breast milk production.
As per this 2003 study in bioline, the galactagogue effect of Shatavari is well-proven. It’s been used as a breast-milk enhancer for centuries in India. It increases breast-milk production safely without harming the baby. This 2011 study proves that it increases the prolactin hormone levels three folds to boost milk production in women. Here are many more galactagogues that increase breast-milk production safely and faster.
Not just in humans, it has been used in animals as well to get better milk production. It is far better than the hormonal injections that can harm the animal as well as the milk consumer.
4. Mood Swings.
Don’t get me started on this. We all become our cranky selves when we are near our period. The same happens when a woman is near menopause.
Can you believe it! the uterus is always angry when it’s not pregnant and when it can’t be. Whether it is PMS or menopause, Shatavari can keep you in your senses and stop you from becoming a pressure-cooker-ready-to-burst-at-any-given-moment.
5. Shatavari for PCOS.
As stress can lead to poor reproductive health, the administration of Shatavari can decrease both physical and mental stress levels. The administration of this potent adaptogenic herb can improve your monthly cycle, regulate hormones and make you more fertile as well, this study suggests.
So even if you are diagnosed with PCOS, don’t fret, try taking it with your supplements but don’t forget to consult your doctor before that. This will avoid any drug interactions and any allergic reactions you might have.
6. Improvement in Reproductive Health.
Right from Improving the libido to boosting fertility, Shatavari is going to do it all. If you are struggling with low sex drive we have another libido-enhancer in our armory.
7. Bone Health.
After getting tested on women who have achieved their menopause, Shatavari has passed with flying colors for its effect on small joints. It has improved muscle function such as hand-grip in those post-menopausal women in the study.
However, it needs more trials to confirm its effect on big muscles and large joints such as the knee and hip. Meanwhile, you can do these knee exercises with a pillow if your knee pain is troubling you.
8. Increase in Breast Size.
Many of us may want to increase their breast size, those females can take Shatavari too. It is known to increase breast size with regular use. Do remember, you are beautiful the way you are but if your breast size is bothering you, now you have a solution.
9. Weight gain and Weight-loss.
No, I am not writing in my sleep! This potent herb helps to reduce your water weight but can increase the production of adipose tissue if you are underweight. So it can make you lose weight or gain it. Use it wisely! If you are looking for a no-fail diet plan for weight loss, try the 7 Days GM diet plan
10. Hormonal Acne.
I am not lying! Being an acne-prone person myself, I have given it a try. My hormonal acne did calm down for good but for that, I had to finish one bottle of Himalaya Shatavari Capsules. It was in capsule form so it was not hard to take for a lazy person like me. If you are in India then Use this link to buy Shatavari Capsule from Himalaya. I have used just these so I can’t comment on any other brand for that.
Other Health Benefits of Shatavari
Ya, that was not all! It can do more than just being your uterus’s best friend. It can be your brain’s and your gut’s best friend too. Here are a few more laurels in its hat –
11. Neuro-nutraceutical Effects.
Nutraceuticals are those products that can be used as a nutrition-rich supplement as well as a medicine. The good news is that Shatavari has those properties as proven in this recent 2021 study. Like any nutraceutical, it delays aging and promotes better health.
The study concluded that it has nootropic properties (helps in cognition) as well and more trials should be conducted on humans so that it can be prescribed to people suffering from neurological disorders. After that, Shatavari will be used for depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s as well.
12. Best for UTI.
If you get urinary tract infections frequently then you can use Shatavari. It is a diuretic, so it will make you urinate quite often to detoxify the body and clear the inflammation. It will also protect you from recurrent UTIs. Here are more ways to protect yourself from urinary tract infections.
13. Good for Gut Health.
Shatavari is considered a good home remedy for better liver health along with avoidance and treatment of gastric problems such as ulcers and infections. But it is highly recommended that you must not take it without your doctor’s advice if you have any known gastric disorder as it can aggravate it as well.
14. Immunity Booster.
The presence of Saponins in Shatavari boosts immunity. This is why It can be given to those patients who have immunocompromised diseases. The use of Shatavari in COVID and Sars is also being studied nowadays to help the covid patients recover faster. As per Healthline, Shatavari has great anti-inflammatory properties as well.
15. Balances all three Doshas.
According to Ayurveda, there are three doshas in our body named Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha. These three doshas must remain in harmony with each other to keep the person healthy. Shatavari maintains that balance in the body.
16. Blood Sugar Control.
This herb has shown promising results in studies done on animals in controlling blood sugar levels. However, we need a human study to make sure that it is effective in humans as well.
17. Joint pain treatment.
A. racemosus is effective on small joint pains but its effect on large joints in the body is still under question. So if your small joints are troubling you such as fingers, thumb, etc then you can take Shatavari for pain relief. But if you have pain in big joints like the knee, shoulder or hip, etc then some other measures need to be considered.
18. Helps in De-addiction.
It can’t get any better than this! Shatavari also helps in alleviating the alcohol withdrawal symptoms(3). This can increase the success rate of rehabilitation when used in alcoholic patients who are going through a de-addiction process.
19. Diarrhoea and Dysentery treatment.
Being a gut-health promoter, it can even treat your loosies without harming your gut bacteria. Although, these effects are yet to be proven by a study.
20. Anti-cough Remedy.
It has been used as an anti-cough Rasayana in Ayurvedic medicine for ages. It also treats dyspepsia (pain in the upper part of the stomach). Take this with ghee to treat dry cough.
I am not saying that it is a Godsend plant but are you even looking at all the bounty of benefits Shatavari provides! This A. Racemosus (I now can take this name in my sleep, I have read sooooo much about it!) has also shown promising results in anti-cancer effects in mice. It is yet to be performed on human subjects to be proven effective for cancer.
Shatavari Benefits for Men
You can give these Shatavari Capsules to your husband as well, that too without any worries!
A recent 2020 study found the ergogenic effects of Shatavari in Men. The effect of one 500 mg Shatavari tablet is noted as compared to the placebo tablets. Men who were given the Shatavari tablet showed better performance in the gym training exercises. That’s why it is known as the strength booster. If you want better stamina in the gym tomorrow, maybe choose Shatavari tea tonight!
Shatavari is also an aphrodisiac and people like to think of it as a reproductive potion for men as well. However, there is no scientific evidence for that but you will perform better in the gym, it’s proven, Do you get my point?
Shatavari Benefits for Weight Gain
Its Benefits for weight gain are known and proven. It increases the weight of underweight individuals. However, it decreases the water retention in the body as it is a diuretic herb. So those who have a lot of water weight can expect weight loss after taking Shatavari. It increases the fat cells in your body when taken regularly for 12 weeks.
Shatavari for Thyroid
Shatavari lowers the T3 and T4 hormone levels in thyroid disorders. So it works well in the case of hyperthyroidism but no studies have been done on humans till now. So more research is needed to check the effectiveness of Shatavari in thyroid diseases.(4)
Shatavari for Hair Growth
If your hair loss is due to stress, then yes Shatavari can help you as it has adaptogenic properties. It helps the body fight stress and doesn’t fall victim to the circumstances or situations. In other words, it will help you cope with stress without spinning your head and losing your hair.
Shatavari Dosage & Supplements – How to take?
- It can be taken in powder form for good absorption. Take ¼ to 1⁄2 teaspoon powder with the liquid of your choice and reap the benefits. A thick liquid like honey, milk, or ghee is the best way to take it with. It is best to take it after meals.
- To those who don’t want any such hassle, Shatavari Capsules/tablets are available as well. You can take a 500 mg tablet twice daily after consulting your doctor. For Indian Readers, Follow this Shatavari Capsules link.
- Shatavari extract is also available in the market that needs to be taken about 30 drops in juice or water up to three times daily, as per Healthline.
- I personally think that making a Shatavari Tea with half a teaspoon of Shatavari powder is a good option. You can add some honey to it and drink it. Or You can add some Shatavari powder to your usual green tea. By the way, do you know about the benefits of green tea?
- To my surprise, you can make a Shatavari Bread as well! Yes, you read it right. Just incorporate a small quantity of Shatavari powder (like yeast) in your bread dough and its qualities remain the same even after baking. Although no flavonoids were found in the bread in this study, but all other good phytochemicals for hormonal treatment remained intact. I am going to give it a try soon. If you have not baked any bread yet, then try this super easy vegetarian banana bread recipe.
Side Effects and Risks of Shatavari
- As per research, it has been one of the safest herbs to take. No side effects are noted in the research that I have read till now for this article. But I still insist that you consult your Ayurveda doctor before starting this magic potion for women.
- People allergic to asparagus should avoid it as Shatavari is also from the asparagus family so you might be allergic to this as well.
- If you are taking any other medicines or supplements then ask your Ayurveda specialist doctor to monitor your dosage.
- Stop taking it if you experience any rash, dizziness, or itching after taking Shatavari.
- Obesity can be a side-effect of Shatavari but it can decrease your weight if you have just water weight.
- Dehydration can occur as it is a diuretic.
- If you have any heart condition, then you are not advised to take any diuretics without consulting your doctor.
How to Grow Shatavari?
Isn’t it the best Idea to grow it on your own! You can buy a plant and add it to your garden or you can keep it in a big planter if you are into container gardening. This plant’s beautiful white flowers are known for their beautiful fragrance as well. It will add beauty to your outdoor garden for sure.
One thing you need to consider is that the Shatavari powder we are singing praises of is actually the root of the plant. You need to take out the tuberous root of the plant to consume it. As one plant can grow hundreds of tuberous roots (maybe another reason why it is Shat-a-vari) you can take out only a few and let it grow again by repotting it.
After harvesting the roots, they are peeled and air-dried. Then they can be ground to make powder so that it can be stored for future use. You can buy two or more plants in one go so that you always have new supplies of this shrub. This will help you avail the benefits of Shatavari without any adulteration in it.
FAQs About Shatavari
Question 1. Does Shatavari increase estrogen levels?
Answer. Shatavari regulates estrogen levels. As both high and low estrogen can be quite harmful to the body. So Shatavari helps in regulating it and keeping it at the optimum level. That’s why it’s great for hormonal acne and PCOS.
Question 2. Does Shatavari Increase Breast Size?
Answer. Surprisingly, Yes! As it is a phytoestrogen, galactagogue (increases breast milk production), and hormone regulator. It is also known to increase breast size with regular use. It is advised to consume it with ghee to reap the benefits.
Question 3. Can Stress Cause infertility?
Answer. Yes, stress can decrease the quality of your eggs and thereby can create problems in getting pregnant. Shatavari being an adaptogenic herb, can help you cope with the stress and keep your reproductive health in the best shape.
Question 4. Can I take Shatavari Daily?
Answer. As per the research, you can take Shatavari tablets of 500 mg daily or even twice a day. It is advised to consult your Ayurveda practitioner to decide the dosage as per the requirements.
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