Hello there! Today I would like to introduce you to something more exotic, a plant grown in an environment way away from our Western world, the country of India.
Indian herbal tradition goes back millennia, and is rich in all aspects of healing herbs, some of which grow exclusively on that continent—because, as many of you probably know, India is a territory huge enough and different enough for it to be referred as a continent!
A lot of Indian herbs are specific to an ancient healing system known as Ayurveda. Ayurveda is an science that includes a wealth of healing knowledge–both ancient and current.
Shatavari which actually, in Hindu, means “she who has a hundred husbands”! , is probably the most important and main building tonic for women. However, it does also help men in similar ways, so I don’t want anyone to feel excluded here! It actually has a huge reputation as a “rasayana”. What rasayana means (according to Wikipedia!) is:
Path (āyana) of essence (rasa–a term that in early ayurvedic medicine means the science of lengthening lifespan!
Guess what! Shatavari is actually an Indian version of Asparagus, the vegetable a lot of us love and some of us grow in our summer gardens. I am not sure our Asparagus has similar qualities—it probably does, but not as strong as Shatavari. Fortunately, Shatavari is easily found in the West.
So how does Shatavari work in our system?
Shatavari is a Hormonal/Immune systems powerful botanical.
The root is both bitter and sweet in taste, which is a unique and rare combination in plants.
The bitter quality in plants is reducing to tissues – meaning, it dries up excess liquids and other unnecessary substances—while sweet is tonifying—meaning, it strengthens, repairs, rebuilds.
It is this unique combination that gives it the following actions: demulcent, galactogogue, aphrodisiac, anti-inflammatory, adaptogen, nervine, antibacterial, and more! (no room in this blog, but next week I will try to explain the above terms one by one, so keep reading us!)
So Shatavari has been used successfully to increase fertility, for vaginal dryness, balancing female hormones (and male ones, too, actually), it helps in menopausal issues, and it increases milk in breast feeding.
Aside from the above, it also strengthens the immune system, moisturizes the membranes of lungs and of the digestive track, as well as the kidneys and urinary tract!
What more can we expect from a plant???!!!
How to take it: Drs. and well known Herbalists Dr. Tierra and Dr.Khalsa, in their fascinating book on Ayurvedic Herbs, tell us that a great way of using this herb is “as a milk decoction combined with ghee, raw sugar, and honey.” I haven’t prepared that myself, but I trust it would be great, knowing the work of these two Herbalists!
Actually, we can just take it as a hot tea.
Hope you enjoyed this blog, so keep on reading and next time I will explain some terminology, so everyone can understand me!!!
If you have questions on any of the above herbs and their use, please contact me:Ask Charoula about Herbs
All answers are posted on our website E-Wellness.com, on the following Friday.
Thanks for reading!
Holistic Health Advisor
BC Polarity Therapy Practitioner
Questions and Answers
Q: So, if our Asparagus is not as strong as Shatavari, and I decide to grow lots of it in my backyard, can I double the amount I eat and thus increase its benefits to match Shatavari?
A: I suppose if we eat lots of Asparagus daily, we might get more out of it. I like to mildly boil lots of Asparagus, remove them from the water, and mash them into a smooth blend, to which I add a bit of butter or cream. Thus prepared, maybe I do almost partake of the benefits of Shatavari!!!
But, honestly, I do believe Shatavari is stronger than our common Asparagus.
Q: What exactly is “ghee”?
A: Ghee is an Indian form of butter, but stronger and with higher potency than our own butter. It is basically boiled down, separating all the solids, until it turns it down to clarified liquids.
Please do consult your Holistic Health Practitioner, and most importantly your Herbalist before you use any herb, whether as a tincture, a tea, or a standardized extract. Herbs are powerful!!!
I would love to hear more of your questions on any of our blogs, and specifically on any Issues you are wondering about! Thanks for sending in your questions!