Asparagus shoots are well-known as a delicious springtime food. The root is considered one of the finest "Yin tonics" in Chinese traditional health. Among traditional Chinese health practitioners it is a custom to reserve the sweetest and best-quality asparagus root for themselves, family and close friends. This is because it is believed that the root of this herb, taken in small amounts regularly, will increase feelings of compassion and love (probably because of the steroidal glycosides).
In India, "shatavari," as it is called, is similarly used as a hormonal tonic for the female reproductive system. It can be used to help support women to promote fertility, support menstrual pains, increase breast milk and generally nourish and strengthen the female reproductive system.
It can also be used as a nutritive tonic for the lungs and consumptive health problems. As such, it is excellent for advanced strength/muscle loss such as TB and immunity deficiencies. Similarly, it should be prescribed for dry throat and lungs, blood-tinged sputum.
For "kidney Yin deficiency," severe adrenal deficiency, or what we may otherwise experience as "burnout" or chronic exhaustive syndrome, asparagus root makes an excellent tonic. Some associated symptoms for this not uncommon condition include fatigue, exhaustion and aching lower back, knees and joints. It is also effective for sports burnout, with attendant exhaustion and fatigue.
The root is contraindicated for individuals with edema, weight gain and damp , unless combined with spices such as pepper, cinnamon and ginger.
The sprouts and roots of the asparagus plant, or sparrowgrass as it is sometimes called, support the lungs and kidneys of the body with nutrient, diuretic, laxative, cardiac, a mild sedative, and demulcent actions. The shoots can be used to help support bladder infections while the roots have been used for consumption, immunity deficiency, lung and throat dryness, gynecological complaints, female hormones, and its alleged ability to foster patience, love and compassion. The biochemical constituents include steroidal glycosides and bitter glycosides, asparagine, sucrose, starch and mucilage.
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