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Shatavari, also known as wild asparagus, is an Ayurvedic herb used for centuries for many issues, including as a reproductive tonic for both men and women, as a digestive soother, and an herb that helps one adapt and cope with stress. It is rich in antioxidants and helps to promote healthy energy levels and strength. It is also well-known for its ability to increase breastmilk production in breastfeeding mothers. It’s considered an “herbal Domperidone” and helps to get things flowing. It's the perfect herb for women who are breastfeeding, who want to keep their milk supply up while trying to conceive another baby. It helps to increase the vital fluids in the body.
For women, Shatavari helps with the following:
- Rejuvenating tonic for the female reproductive system.
- Shatavari is the primary uterine tonic in the Ayurvedic system.
- Helps female reproductive issues from menarche (the start of the menses) through the childbearing years and into menopause.
- Helps with fertility, as it nourishes the ovum and helps support reproductive fluids
- Balances the pH of the vagina
- Helps to provide ample flow and quality of breastmilk in nursing mothers
- Menopause - helps to quell hot flashes, irritability, memory problems, and dryness (including vaginal dryness).
Shatavari is also an excellent reproductive tonic for men as well.
Other traditional uses include:
- Helps to promote all vital fluids in the body (including breastmilk)
- Nourishes and calms the nerves
- Nourishes the brain and helps support the brain and body to regain balance
- Restores moisture to the digestive tract, helping to soothe the digestive system
- Restores moisture to the lungs and respiratory tract, making it helpful for dry, spasmodic cough and/or bronchitis-type situations.
NOTES: As Shatavari is of the asparagus family, it should not be used by those with asparagus allergies. Further, asparagus (including Shatavari) may have some diuretic effects, so those on diuretic medications should avoid this herb as well. Due to its ability to increase moisture to the digestive tract, it may cause loose stool in some. To the opposite effect, it may also help to alleviate constipation in others. Shatavari should not be used by those with celiac disease or other malabsorption issues as the herb is a mucilage and may interfere with the absorption of medications or nutrients. Take the herb at least 3 hours apart from medications or foods in these cases. There is speculation that Shatavari should not be used during the first trimester of pregnancy (meaning that it's suspected but nothing has ever been proven). As we work very conservatively, out of an abundance of caution, we also will not recommend it during the first trimester. Later trimesters and during breastfeeding is fine.
For those interested in the Ayurvedic information, Shatavari….
- Balances: Pitta and Vata
- Increases: Kapha
- Taste: bitter, sweet
- Energy: cooling
- Quality: unctuous, heavy
Shatavari is an effective demulcent for dry and inflamed membranes. Its use can increase breastmilk, it nurtures mucous membranes, and both nourishes and cleanses the female reproductive system. It is good for menopause, and for women who have had hysterectomies, as it regulates female hormones. Energetically, it increases love and devotion. Note: Vitex also helps to balance the female hormones and can be used in conjunction with Shatavari. This is especially useful for breastfeeding mothers wanting to conceive again. Conception is much easier to achieve if one's hormones are in balance.
Written by Pam Caldwell, Certified Herbalist; Pregnancy, Birth, Postpartum & Lactation Specialist
with help from Shakti Smith, Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner. Please see her information about Ayurveda and her contact info HERE.