Botanical name: Family: Liliaceae Names in other languages: Wild asparagus (English), Satavari, Abhiru (Sanskrit), Satavari (Malayalam).Wouldn’t it be great if you could grow nutrition and wellness in your backyard? Satavari or wild asparagus is an ideal choice. This climbing under shrub with a woody stem and recurved spine also gives the garden an added beauty with its white fragrant flowers. Its fruits are globular, pulpy berries, purplish black when ripe, and seeds with hard and brittle testa. It is classified under Kantaka panchamula group of spinous plants.
" From inhibiting cancer to aiding digestion and helping in sperm generation, wild asparagus offers immense health benefits. It is also an immuno-modulator. "
From aiding proper digestion to refreshing brain cells, cooling the body, working as an excellent diuretic and helping in sperm generation, wild asparagus offers immense health benefits. It is very useful in treating vitiated conditions of Vata and Pitha, nervous disorders, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, tumours, inflammations, burning sensation, hyperpiesia, throat infections, tuberculosis, cough, bronchitis, gonorrhoea, leucorrhoea, lep-rosy, epilepsy, fatigue, hyperacidity and general debility. It is also an effective medicine for antenatal care. The tuberous succulent root of Asparagus is used as a vegetable and medicine. The young shoots are edible and are prepared in a number of ways- they may be eaten raw as salad, stir-fried(Cantonese method),grilled, boiled or steamed (French way). Asparagus can also be pickled and stored for a long time. Asparagus roots contain 22 per cent protein, 6.2 per cent fat, 3.2 per cent carbohydrate, 0.36 per cent vitamin B, 0.04 per cent vitamin C and traces of vitamin A. It contains several alkaloids.
Ayurveda classifies satavari as below: Guna: Guru (heavy) and snigdh (slimy) Rasa: Tikta (bitter) and madhur (sweet) Virya: Sheet (cold) Digestion: Ayurveda uses wild asparagus in treating dyspepsia (amlapitha) and it has been shown to improve digestion by increasing the levels of amylase and lipase. Galactogogue: Extract of satavari has increased both the weight of mammary lobuloalveolar tissue and the milk yield. This effect was attributed to the action of released corticosteroids or an increase in prolactin. Satavari gulam, satavari ghritam, satavaryadi kashayam, saraswatharishtam, mahanarayana tailam, asoka ghritam, chandanasavam, etc are some of the Ayurvedic medications which contain Satavari as the main ingredient.
" The tuberous roots of asparagus are useful as medicine while the roots and young shoots are part of favourite health food across the world. "
Tubers of satavari boiled in milk is helpful in clinical conditions characterised by dysuria.
Taking medicated milk with wild asparagus is good for pregnant women. It helps in protecting the implanted foetus in the early stages of pregnancy.
Decoction of satavari with honey pacifies adho gata raktapitha.
Medicated ghee taken along with milk containing wild asparagus improves lactation.
Garden Asparagus is a herbaceous perennial. It can be cultivated alongwith other plants such as the tomato.The cultivation practices are relatively simple. It grows well on soils of average fertility and good drainage. Asparagus should be planted in spring. Planting may be done from seeds or crowns (crowns are the base and roots of 1-year old palnts).
RECIPE WITH ASPARAGUS
Asparagus with split pea and saffron Ingredients1/8 tsp saffron (optional) 2 tbsp olive oil 1 medium onion, diced 1 tsp cumin seeds 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp curry powder – use curry leaves (neem) instead if you can find them 1 tsp salt 1 1/2 cups dry split peas 4 cups water 1 lb asparagus, blanched 15 1/4 ozcorn Directions Dry roast saffron in large deep saucepan about 2 minutes. Add olive oil, cumin and fenugreek. Cook until seeds sizzle. Add onion, a pinch of asafaetida, curry powder and saute until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add split peas, salt and water. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to low and cook until peas are soft, about 40 minutes. Add asparagus and corn and stir to mix. Cook another 10 minutes and serve.
Asparagus is an immune-modulator. Animal studies found that the herb is capable of producing leucocytosis with neutrophilia. It also prevented myelosuppression by reducing cyclophosphamide-induced leucopenia. Asparagus has also been shown to inhibit drug induced mammary carcinogenesis (cancer). The hypothesis that macrophages play a pivotal role in the development of intraperitoneal adhesions and that modulation of macrophage activity may therefore prevent adhesions, was tested in an Indian study. The effect of asparagus was evaluated in an animal model of intraperitoneal adhesions. Asparagus reduced the severity of the adhesions and this correlated with a significant increase in the activity of the macrophages.
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Make a paste of ginger, and apply to the affected area. Massaging with eucalyptus oil is very effective. You can also make your own massaging oil. Take 2-3 cloves of garlic, and cut them into small pieces. Put them in 100 ml. of sesame oil or mustard oil (or any other oil if these two are not available). Boil on slow fire for about five minutes. Massage the area of backache with this oil.
Symptoms of premature ageing are excessively dry skin, skin wrinkles, dried up body tissues, limp muscles, and joint pains. These are general symptoms of ageing, but if these appear at an early age, one should pacify the aggravated vata dosha, since aging is caused by imbalanced vata. Vata dosha is usually aggravated by excessive stress and tension, overwork, irregular sleeping and eating habits, and by eating too much cold and dry food. Artificially preserved or frozen food, and chemical medicines tend to aggravate vata dosha, causing premature ageing. Excessive exposure to sunlight, chemicals and cosmetic also absorbs the body’s natural moisture and causes an imbalance of vata dosha.
Easy home remedies
Try this banana face pack for softening dry skin. Mix together half a banana (mashed), the juice of I lemon, 2 tsp of milk powder, and 2 cubes of mashed avocado. Apply this delicious mask all over your face and neck. Leave on for 20 minutes and wash off with milk.
The pineapple pack is also very good for dead, sluggish skin. Mix together a slice of pineapple (mashed), the juice of an orange and a lemon, together with the grated lemon rind and 2 tsp of wheat flour. Apply it to your face and neck. Wash off gently to reveal smooth skin. Massage in upward direction with almond oil or ghee (clarified butter) regularly for 20 minutes before bedtime.
Mix together a teaspoon of almond meal, the pulp of one apricot, a teaspoon of Ashwagandha powder, a teaspoon of carrot juice and a teaspoon of cabbage extract. Apply on your face and neck. Wash off gently to reveal smooth skin.
Milk, honey, yogurt and eggs are good for nourishing your skin. Including these in your diet regularly helps prevent premature ageing of skin.
Headaches & migraine
Headache can be caused by sinusitis, hypertension, constipation, over working, mental stress, indigestion, acidity, sleeplessness and fever. Often, it is also present as a symptom of another disease. As there are many different potential causes for headache and migraine, the treatment cannot simply be pain relief. Lifestyle and diet needs to be carefully considered and appropriate changes made.
Vegetables without oil or spices, vegetable and fruit juices and soups are recommended. Fruits like apples and grapes, and some sweets and dairy products can be taken moderately. Rice, salad and buttermilk are beneficial. In the morning, take a glass of water mixed with a teaspoon of honey. Avoid fried food, frozen or cold food, meat, spicy or dry food, tea, coffee, and food that cannot be easily digested. Yogurt should be avoided especially in the evening. Ayurveda also recommends against taking sour or acidic food. Minimise the consumption of pickled or smoked food, alcohol, cheese and chocolates as much as possible.
Some home remedies
Grind dry ginger and make a paste by adding water. Apply this on the temple.
Mix one teaspoon of clove, cinnamon, and almond powder together. Add a little water to make a paste. Apply this paste on the forehead.
Mix a pinch of clove powder in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon oil. Apply this mixture on the forehead or temples.
Take one tablespoon of almond oil and boil it. When it cools down, put two drops in each nostril.
Many benefits of honey
The commonly available honey, which contains the essence of a million flowers collected by the bees, is an excellent cure for may ailments.
Eyesight: Regular use of honey mixed with the carrot juice helps to improve the eyesight. It should be taken one hour before breakfast.
Cough: Mixture of equal quantities of honey and ginger juice is a good cough medicine.
Asthma: Mix half a gram of black pepper powder with honey and ginger juice mixture (equal quantity). Take this mixture at least three times a day. It helps to cure asthma.
Blood Pressure: Take one teaspoon of garlic juice mixed with two teaspoon of honey. It can be taken twice a day in the morning and evening. Regular use of this mixture is beneficial for high blood pressure.
Blood purification and fat reduction: Take one glass of warm water and mix 1-2 teaspoonful of honey and one teaspoon of lemon juice. Take this preparation daily. It helps to purify the blood. It also helps to reduce fat and to clean the bowels.
Heart tonic: One teaspoon of anise powder mixed with one or two teaspoonful of honey acts a very nice tonic for the heart. It strengthens the heart muscles and improves its functions.
The benefits of Triphala
Most people who consume triphala might not be aware of the logic that has gone into its prescription. Charaka has recommended that taking `harada powder’ in the morning, `vibhitaka’ powder before meals and `amla’ powder after meals is an excellent regimen to get rejuvenating effects. These three combined together make what is called “triphala.” “Tri” means “three” and “phala” means “fruit,” so literally translated triphala means “three fruits.” And the three fruits it contains are harada (Chebulic myrobalan), and vibhitika (Belliric myrobalan) amla (Indian gooseberry).
Triphala is highly regarded as a potent ayurvedic combination that promotes bowel movement. Ayurveda holds that most health afflictions of humans have their roots embedded in faulty or incomplete digestion. Triphala helps people to regularise their bowel movements. It also reduces serum cholesterol, improves circulation, exerts a marked cardio-protective effect, reduces high blood pressure, improves liver function, acts as an anti-inflammatory and exhibits anti-viral properties.
That apart, it has a high nutritional value. On account of its cleansing effect, it detoxifies the body simultaneously. These are the qualities that have attracted the pantheon of alternative medicine to it. The magic of triphala lies in its individual components. Each, interestingly, corresponds to three different body doshas – vata, pitta, and kapha – and thus exhibits specific, yet collective, action on these doshas.
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Pregnancy care We all know that the physical and psychological features of the child develop during pregnancy. The antenatal care of the mother is vital for giving birth to a healthy child and maintaining the health of the mother. Antenatal diet: The diet has been accorded a very important place in all the ayurvedic texts and this is especially true in the case of pregnant women. The proper development of the fetus requires a well-balanced diet that includes vitamins, minerals, proteins and substantial calories for its all-round development. An imbalanced diet can cause the following abnormalities in the foetus-
Abnormalities due to vata-vitiating diet: Deafness, idiocy, hoarse or nasal voice and multiple or missing organs.
Abnormalities due to pitta-vitiating diet: Baldness, absence of facial hair, paleness of skin and nails.
Abnormalities due to kapha-vitiating diet: Leprosy and anemia.
Generally the expectant mother should consume protein rich diet and her food should contain all the six rasas- sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. But the sweet taste should be dominant in her diet.
The food also has a bearing on the mental well being of the mother and the child. Ayurveda says that the expectant mother should consume fresh vegetables, fresh and dried fruits, salads, lentils, yogurt, milk, fresh butter, wheat, rye, barley, hazelnuts, almonds, rice and honey. This helps to increase the strength, vigor and vitality and improve the mental functions and the spirituality of the foetus as well as the mother. Food items like sugar, sweets, meat, cheese, fish, fried foods, egg, potatoes and other root vegetables are stimulating by nature, difficult to digest and produce ama or toxins in the body. Excessive consumption of such food during pregnancy makes the foetus aggressive, irritable and angry.
Alcohol, tobacco, sweet, fizzy drinks, and junk and snack food. Chocolate, ice cream, and foods containing preservatives and other chemicals can lead to personality disorders such as hyperactivity and mental disorders in the foetus and should be avoided totally.
Ayurveda recommends for the different stages of pregnancy. In the first trimester most women experience nausea and vomiting. In this period the pregnant women should consume a sweet, light and liquid diet. Such diet prevents dehydration due to vomiting and provides nourishment. Some suggestions are, rice cooked with milk, milk with honey, khichari, fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables.
From the fourth month onwards, the pregnant women should consume protein-rich diet and palatable food like, spinach, cabbage, sprouts, white butter (extracted from milk), boiled rice with curd, broccoli, cheese, eggs, butter, all kind of nuts, banana, peaches, apricots, carrot, soybean, cabbage, and lettuce. In this period powders of satavari and madhuyasti should be consumed with milk.
In the last month, ghee should be consumed in excessive quantity. Herbs like ashwagandha, bala mool, gokshuruadi churna, saptamrit loh and dhatri loh should be consumed from the sixth month until the last month. In the eighth and the ninth month vasti (enema) therapy should be done to prepare the mother for the delivery.