We all have an idea about the power of a real Queen!
She has the potential to serve people in her kingdom. Similarly, in Ayurveda, there is a queen herb known as Shatavari, which can be translated as “one with hundred roots” and also referred to as “She who possesses a hundred husbands."
This is a herb that is nutrient-packed, soul-soothing, and longevity boosting properties and it has been traditionally used for centuries in Ayurveda. Today, we would like to highlight its effect on the female reproductive system as it is suitable for every season in the life of a woman.
It is said in Ayurveda that a woman is the origin of life for future generations. So, the protection of women from all ailments from her birth to death is of prime importance. Menstruation, ovulation, pregnancy, conception, motherhood, and menopause, she is on a journey that involves physical, mental, and emotional changes. In these seasonal cycles of a woman's life, Shatavari is an amazing herb for helping her to stay active and healthy.
A member of the asparagus family, the Shatavari plant thrives in many parts of tropical India and Asia. The plant is a thin climber with a slender stem covered with thorns. It has long green leaves similar to pine needles with an abundance of white fragrant flowers, and numerous tuberous roots which are in a cluster of about 100 tuberous fleshy roots, used as a food as well as a dietary supplement.
Shatavari supports female health from menarche to menopause, conception to postpartum by restoring hormonal imbalance, increasing libido, and fighting fatigue. It is a good remedy for pre, peri, and post-menopausal syndromes, and the formation of breast milk. In addition, it has immune-boosting, rejuvenating properties that are beneficial for digestive, respiratory, urinary, and male reproductive health.
Shatavari is traditionally taken mixed with a glass of warm milk and sugar or honey but can be mixed into a wide range of dishes, drinks, and teas.
The ayurvedic view is based on the term Rasapanchaka, which were the tools used by ancient sages to assess the properties of a herb. It uses the sense organs as well as the effect on the body after usage as the methods to analyze the pharmacological effects of a herb.
Shavavari balances Pitta and Vata dosha. It helps by correcting hormonal imbalances, reducing mood swings, pain, discomfort, and burning sensations. Shatavari increases Kapha with its bittersweet taste and nourishing, calming, and relaxing properties.
Health benefits of Shatavari as follows:
• Anti-inflammatory effect in the menstrual cycle
• Anti-oxidant effect to neutralize free radicals
• Carminative effect to prevent bloating, gas formation, and abdominal distension
• Estrogenic effect as it contains phytoestrogen, which balances estrogen level stops bleeding and supports the restoration of the endometrium.
• Galactagogue effect as it promotes lactation
Shatavari is similar to the female reproductive hormone estrogen. Hence, if a woman has an elevated estrogen level condition, it may cause breast tenderness. Also, it is inadvisable for people with excess mucus and existing digestive conditions to intake Shatavari.
Ancient wisdom is applicable in all stages of life with the support of research and the consultation of physicians. Shatavari acts as a preventive as well as a curative herbal remedy. In the west, its medicinal value is very unknown, but Shatavari is the queen herb that can be used as a food as well as a great health supplement.
Contributed by Sewanti Educator
Dr. Jaya Lakshmi V BAMS, MD (Ayurveda)