Nutrition Meets Food Science

Queen of Herbs: Shatavari

It is no surprise to us that India is a powerhouse of natural remedies especially Ayurvedic medicines. It offers a treasure of potent herbs, each with unique benefits for our health and well-being. Of these, Shatavari is an especially fascinating herb that is frequently referred to as the “Queen of Herbs.” Native to India and the Himalayas, Shatavari (Asparagus Racemosus) is a perennial herb. In addition to promoting general health and well-being, it is frequently utilized in Ayurvedic medicine as a revitalizing tonic for the female reproductive system. Shatavari’s name, which translates to “who possesses a hundred husbands or acceptable to many,” suggests that it can boost vitality and fertility in females. Although this becomes specific to women, Shatavari’s benefits are universal.

Let’s talk about its active compounds present. The main is saponins, which are believed to have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Secondly, Isoflavones which are plant-based compounds that mimic oestrogen, helping to balance hormones. It is rich in antioxidants which reduces cellular damage caused by oxidative stress. And of course, vitamins & minerals, making it a popular supplement for promoting vitality and longevity.

Numerous health issues can be taken care of by consuming this plant in different forms. One of the most popular forms, Shatavari powder, can be combined with warm milk or water and often a little honey to make a nourishing drink that supports hormonal balance. This is especially helpful for women who are suffering from PMS, menopause symptoms, or irregular menstruation. Also because of the high levels of stress in today’s culture, infertility is one of the main health issues, and research suggests that Shatavari may have an impact on stress-mediated female infertility.  (1). It is also traditionally used to enhance milk production in lactating mothers, providing essential nutrients for both mother and child. For those who would rather not make the powder, capsules and tablets provide a simple option that is easy to include in daily routines and provide consistent dosing. Another convenient choice is liquid extracts, which enable the herb to be rapidly absorbed when combined with juice or water.

Beyond its dietary form, Shatavari can also be applied topically as creams and ointments. These can be used directly on the skin to utilize Shatavari’s anti-inflammatory and moisturizing qualities, which make it perfect for calming and nourishing the skin. Shatavari is used to improve digestive health, relieve gastrointestinal problems like ulcers and gastritis, and function as a natural diuretic. (2) Its adaptogenic qualities promote mental strength and clarity by assisting the body in coping with stress and anxiety. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, Shatavari may help maintain the health of the adrenal glands by improving physical stamina and endurance in mice. It may also improve the weight of exhausted adrenal glands following exercise stress. Thus, Shatavari can more successfully fulfil its function as a reproductive tonic by relieving the adrenals of their tension. (3)

Likewise, the immune system is strengthened by its immunomodulatory effects, which improve the body’s defences against infections and illnesses. The antioxidant qualities of this versatile plant help shield the body from oxidative stress, promoting general well-being.

Shatavari isn’t well studied in the human population hence, there is no particular safe dosage guideline available. However, it is usually safe for most individuals, but there are certain precautions to take and some side effects to be aware of. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should always consult a healthcare professional before starting with any new item in their diet, be it Shatavari or any other item. Shatavari should be avoided by those who are allergic to asparagus and people who are sensitive to other members of the order Asparagales including onions, leeks, garlic, and chives to avoid allergic reactions. Individuals who are on any other medications should also consult with their physician because Shatavari may have interactions with other medications like diuretics which have been shown to reduce potassium levels. Therefore, people with renal conditions should be cautious while using this herb. Also due to its ‘water pill’ effect taking Asparagus Racemosus may impair the body’s ability to eliminate lithium and thus increase lithium amounts in the body which will have negative effects on the body. (4) Shatavari is a helpful herb, but any possible hazards can be reduced with safe use.

Overall, Shatavari is a versatile herb with a wide range of health benefits, particularly for women’s health. Its gentle nature and adaptogenic qualities make it a popular choice for promoting balance and wellness in the body.



Ms. Anuja N Padte

Food Scientist - PFNDAI

Ms. Simran Vichare

Nutritionist, PFNDAI

Add comment

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.