Asparagus racemosus / Shatavari

Shatavari, vrouwenginseng
Shatavari wordt wel de Ginseng voor vrouwen genoemd. Uit klinisch onderzoek is gebleken dat Shatavari een ontstekingswerende en versterkende werking heeft op de eierstokken en de baarmoeder. Het poeder wordt toegepast bij onvruchtbaarheid, menstruatie en menopauzebezwaren. Tijdens de zwangerschap werkt het toniserend, na de zwangerschap bevordert het de melkvorming.
Je bent ingelogd als infoteur, de advertentieweergave is onderbroken.

De plant Shatavari
Shatavari, Asparagus racemosa is een klimplant uit de aspergefamilie (Asparagaceae) die uit Indië en Sri Lanka komt en die tot 7 meter hoog kan worden. Ze groeit in de Himalaya tot een hoogte van 1400 meter. Shatawari wordt ook wel Shatuli of Vrishya genoemd . In Nepal is het Kurilo. De naam Shatawari betekent genezer van honderd ziektes, shat is honderd en vari genezer.

Het poeder van de wortel is een belangrijk regeneratiemiddel en tonicum dat al duizenden jaren wordt gebruikt. Het is bijzonder voedzaam, verzachtend en kalmerend en heeft een positieve invloed op de vochthuishouding. Shatavari toniseert de slijmvliezen, bevordert de melkvorming gedurende het zogen en voedt en zuivert het bloed.
Gebleken is dat Shatavari de immuniteit verbetert. De plant verhoogt het vermogen van witte bloedcellen om micro-organismen te doden. Oude teksten vermelden dat Shatavari in staat is geheugen, intelligentie, immuniteit en jeugdigheid te bevorderen.

Farmacologische werkingen en toepassingen van shatavari
Zenuwstelsel en zintuigen
Werkingen: zenuw-, hersen- en ogentonicum.
Toepassingen: nervositeit, epilepsie, concentratiestoornissen, pijnen, oogziekten.

Hart en bloedsomloop
Werkingen: antihypertonisch, cardiotonisch.
Toepassingen: hartstoornissen, verhoogde bloeddruk.

Luchtwegen
Werkingen: milde expectorans.
Toepassingen: hoest bij kinderen en ouderen, bronchitis, keelontsteking.

Spijsvertering
Werkingen: eetlustopwekkend, maagsterkend, zuurbindend, krampopheffend, carminatief, middel tegen diarree.
Toepassingen: gastritis, maag en twaalfvingerige darmzweren, hyperaciditeit, chronische koliek, diarree, hemorroïden, verstopping (pittatype).

Urogenitaal systeem
Werkingen: regeneratiemiddel) voor het voortplantingsweefsel, zaadvormend en vermeerderend, diuretisch, melkvormend, tonicum voor de baarmoeder, ontstekingsremmend.
Toepassingen: impotentie, onvruchtbaarheid, zwangerschapstonicum, ontsteking van de borstklieren, ontsteking van de urinewegen, moeilijke urinelozing.

Weer veel, té veel wonderbaarlijke werkingen voor een plant. Echter, deze veelheid aan werkingen hangt samen met de algemene, versterkende werking, die al de zogenaamde adaptogenen hebben, waardoor er onrechtstreeks, effecten op verschillende orgaansystemen kunnen ontstaan. Van belang is ook dat adaptogenen persoonlijk afgestemd worden, om het gewenste effect te verkrijgen.

Enig wetenschappelijk onderzoek
Effect of Asparagus racemosus rhizome (Shatavari) on mammary gland and genital organs of pregnant rat.. Pandey SK, Sahay A, Pandey RS, Tripathi YB.
Rege NN, Thatte UM, Dahanukar SA. Adaptogenic properties of six rasayana herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine. Phytother Res 1999;13:275-91.
Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Chakrabarti A. Adaptogenic activity of Siotone, a polyherbal formulation of Ayurvedic rasayanas. Indian J Exp Biol 2000; 38:119-28.
Gaitonde BB,.Jetmalani MH. Antioxytocic action of saponin isolated from Asparagus racemosus Willd (Shatavari) on uterine muscle. Arch Int Pharmacodyn Ther 1969;179:121-9.



Asparagus racemosus--an update.
RK Goyal, J Singh, Harbans Lal
Pt. B. D. Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Science, Rohtak, Haryana, India

¤ Abstract
Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari) is recommended in Ayurvedic texts for prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers, dyspepsia and as a galactogogue. A. racemosus has also been used successfully by some Ayurvedic practitioners for nervous disorders, inflammation, liver diseases and certain infectious diseases. However, no scientific proof justifying aforementioned uses of root extract of A. racemosus is available so far. Recently few reports are available demonstrating beneficial effects of alcoholic and water extracts of the root of A. racemosus in some clinical conditions and experimentally induced diseases, e.g. galactogogue effect, antihepatotoxic and immunomodulatory activities. The present article includes the detailed exploration of pharmacological properties of the root extract of A. racemosus reported so far.

¤ Introduction
The genus Asparagus has been recently moved from the subfamily Asparagae in the family Liliaceae to a newly created family Asparagaceae. The Asparagus genus is considered to be of medicinal importance because of the presence of steroidal saponins and sapogenins in various parts of the plant.[1] Asparagus is the Greek word for “stalk” or “shoot”. About 300 species of Asparagus are known to occur in the world. Some of the European species to be mentioned are A. officinalis, A. sprengeri and A. acutifolius. A. officinalis is reported to be a popular vegetable consumed in many parts of the world.[2]
Out of several species of 'Asparagus' grown in India, A. racemosus, A. gonaclades and A. adsendens are most commonly used in indigenous medicine.[3] A. racemosus is commonly mentioned as a rasayana in the Ayurveda. Rasayanas are those plant drugs which promote general well being of an individual by increasing cellular vitality or resistance.
A study of ancient classical Ayurvedic literature claimed several therapeutic attributes for the root of A. racemosus (Hindi:-Shatavari) and has been specially recommended in cases of threatened abortion and as a galactogogue.[4] Root of A. racemosus has been referred as bitter-sweet, emollient, cooling, nervine tonic, constipating, galactogogue, aphrodisiac, diuretic, rejuvenating, carminative, stomachic, antiseptic[5] and as tonic. Beneficial effects of the root of A. recemosus are suggested in nervous disorders, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, dysentry, tumors, inflammations, hyperdipsia, neuropathy, hepatopathy,[6] cough, bronchitis, hyperacidity and certain infectious diseases. However no scientific proof, justifying all the above uses of the root of A. racemosus is available so far. This review describes various pharmacological properties of the root extract of A. racemosus evaluated/reported so far

¤ Gastrointestinal effects
The powdered dried root of A. racemosus is used in Ayurveda for dyspepsia. Oral administration of powdered dried root of A. racemosus has been found to promote gastric emptying in healthy volunteers. Its action is reported to be comparable with that of the synthetic dopamine antagonist metoclopromide.[7]
In Ayurveda, A. racemosus has also been mentioned for the treatment of ulcerative disorders of stomach and Parinama Sula, a clinical entity akin to the duodenal ulcer diseases. The juice of fresh root of A. racemosus has been shown to have definite curative effect in patients of duodenal ulcers.[8]
A. racemosus along with Terminalia chebula reported to protect gastric mucosa against pentagastrin and carbachol induced ulcers, by significantly reducing both severity of ulceration and ulcer index.[9] Decreased volume and increased pH of the secretions in drug treated rats suggest a reduced responsiveness of the gastric parietal cells to secretogogues and narcotizing agents.[9] Cytoprotective effect has been suggested to be due to increased output of mucus.
Singh et al[10] showed that Shatavari promptly and persistently relieve the pain and burning sensation as well as other dyspeptic symptoms due to duodenal ulcer. Since Shatavari did not have antacid and anti-secretory properties, the observed mild reduction in acid secretion may be due to some changes in gastric mucosa.
Shatavari has been suggested to heal the ulcers by potentiating defensive factors and many hypothesis have been put forward for its possible mechanism[10]:
(i) It may prolong the life span of mucosal cells, increase the secretion and viscosity of mucus and strengthen the mucosal barrier and thus reduces H+ ion back diffusion into the mucosa.
(ii) Shatavari may form a complex with mucus of other substances at the base of ulcer which may protect the ulcer from the corrosive and proteolytic effects of acid-pepsin.
(iii) It may have cytoprotective action like that of prostaglandins.
Other possible mechanism may be deactivation and binding of pepsin or of bile salts.
In addition to antiulcerogenic activity of A. racemosus in clinical trials, De et al[11] demonstrated similar effects of fresh root juice of A. racemosus in rats, using cold stress and pyloric-ligation induced gastric ulcer. In contrast to previous report[10] these workers suggested a reduction in acid and pepsin contents (aggressive factors) and increase in mucin-bicarbonate secretions and life span of the mucosal cells (defensive factors). Anti-ulcerogenic effect is suggested to be due to the regulation of the above two factors.[12]
Various extracts from the root of A. racemosus have been shown to cause contraction of smooth muscles of rabbit's duodenum, guinea pig's ileum and rat's fundal strip without affecting peristaltic movement. These actions were found to be similar to that of acetylcholine and were blocked by atropine, suggesting a cholinergic mechanism of action.[13] However, no effect was observed on isolated rectus abdominus.

¤ Galactogogue effect
The root extract of A. racemosus is prescribed in Ayurveda to increase milk secretion during lactation.[4] A. racemosus in combination with other herbal substances in the form of 'Ricalex' tablets (Aphali pharmaceutical Ltd. Ahmednagar) has been shown to increase milk production in females complaining of deficient milk secretion.[14] Gradual decrease in milk secretion, on withdrawl of the drug suggested that the increase in milk secretion was due to drug therapy only and not due to any psychological effect.
Systemic administration of the alcoholic extract of A. racemosus in weaning rats increased weight of the mammary glands, inhibited involution of lobulo-alveolar tissue and maintained milk secretion.[15] The same extract in estrogen-primed rats showed well developed lobulo-alveolar tissue and lactation. Increase in mammary gland weight and growth of the lobulo-alveolar tissue may be due to the action of released corticoids and prolactin.[16]
In an another study, A. racemosus alongwith some other herbal substances in the form of a commercial preparation, lactare (TTK Pharma, Chennai) is reported to enhance milk output in women complaining of scanty breast milk, on 5th day after delivery.[17] A significant increase in milk yield has also been observed in guinea pigs and goats after feeding lactare which also increased growth of the mammary glands, alveolar tissues and acini in guinea pigs.[18] Patel et al[19] have also shown galactogogue effect of roots of A. racemosus in buffaloes. However, Sharma et al[20] did not observe any increase in prolactin levels in females complaining of secondary lactational failure with A. racemosus suggesting that it has no lactogenic effect.

¤ Effects on uterus
Inspite of cholinergic activity of A. racemosus on guinea pig's ileum, ethyl acetate and acetone extracts of the root of A. racemosus blocked spontaneous motility of the virgin rat's uterus.[13] These extracts also inhibited contraction, induced by spasmogens like acetylcholine, barium chloride and 5-hydroxytryptamine whereas alcoholic extract was found to produce a specific block of pitocin induced contractions. On the other hand petroleum ether as well as ether extracts of the powdered roots did not produce any uterine activity. It indicates the presence of some particular substance in the alcoholic extract which specifically blocks pitocin sensitive receptors though not other receptors in the uterus,[13] confirming that Shatavari can be used as uterine sedative.
Further, a glycoside, Shatavarin I, isolated from the root of A. racemosus has been found to be responsible for the competitive block of oxytocin-induced contraction of rat, guinea pig and rabbit's uteri, in vitro as well as in vivo.[21]

¤ Immunomodulatory activities
Intra-abdominal sepsis are major causes of mortality following trauma and bowel surgery. Immunomodulating property of A. racemosus has been shown to protect the rat and mice against experimental induced abdominal sepsis.[22],[23] Oral administration of decoction of powdered root of A. racemosus has been reported to produce leucocytosis and predominant neutrophilia along with enhanced phagocytic activity of the macrophages and polymorphs. Percentage mortality of A. racemosus treated animals was found to be significantly reduced while survival rate was comparable to that of the group treated with a combination of metronidazole and gentamicin.[22],[23] Since A. racemosus is reported to be devoid of antibacterial action, so protection offered by A. racemosus against sepsis by altering function of macrophages, indicates its possible immunomodulatory property.[22]
Further, oral administration of total extract of A. racemosus has been shown to reduce all the three attributes of adhesions viz number, character and area markedly in an animal model of intraperitoneal adhesions.[24]
Dhuley[25] has reported the revival of macrophage chemotaxis and interleukin-I (IL-I) and tumor necrosis factor a(TNFa) production by the oral treatment of A. racemosus root extract in ochratoxin A treated mice.
Alcoholic extract has been found to enhance both, humoral and cell mediated immunity of albino mice injected with sheep red blood cells as particulate antigen.[26]

¤ Antihepatotoxic activity
Alcoholic extract of root of A. racemosus has been shown to significantly reduce the enhanced levels of alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase and alkaline phosphatase in CC14-induced hepatic damage in rats,[26] indicating antihepatotoxic potential of A. racemosus.

¤ Antineoplastic activity
Chloroform/methanol (1:1) extract of fresh root of A. racemosus has been reported to reduce the tumor incidence in female rats treated with DMBA (7,12­dimethyl benz (a) anthracene).[27] This action is suggested to be mediated by virtue of mammotropic and/or lactogenic[15] influence of A. racemosus on normal as well as estrogen- primed animals, which renders the mammary epithelium refractory to the carcinogen.[27]

¤ Cardiovascular effects
Alcoholic extract of the root of A. racemosus has been reported to produce positive ionotropic and chronotropic effect on frog's heart with lower doses and cardiac arrest with higher doses. The extract was found to produce hypotension in cats which was blocked by atropine, indicating cholinergic mechanism of action. The extract also produced congestion and complete stasis of blood flow in mesentric vessels of mice and rat. Slight increase in the bleeding time and no effect on clotting time was observed on I.V. administration of the extract in rabbits.[28]

¤ Effect on respiratory system
Higher doses of the alcoholic extract of root of A. racemosus are reported to cause dilatory effect on bronchial musculature of guinea pigs but failed to antagonise the histamine induced broncho-constriction. The extract has also been reported to produce depression of respiration in cat.[28]

¤ Effect on CNS
Neither stimulant nor depressant action of lactare on central nervous system has been reported in albino mice.[18] Shatavari did not produce catalepsy in experimental rats even with massive oral doses suggesting that its action may be outside the blood-brain barrier, similar to that of metoclopromide.[7]

¤ Miscellaneous effects
Alcoholic extract of root of A. racemosus was found to have slight diuretic effect in rats and hypoglycemic effect in rabbits, but, no anticonvulsant and anti­fertility effect was observed in rats and rabbits respectively. However, it did show some anti-amoebic effect in rats.[28]

¤ Toxic effects
In Ayurveda, A. racemosus has been described as absolutely safe for long term use, even during pregnancy and lactation. Systemic administration of higher doses of all the extracts did not produce any abnormality in behaviour pattern of mice and rat.[13] LD[50] of the product lactare has not been assessed since it did not produce mortality even upto the oral dosages of 64 gm/kg.[18]

¤ References

1. Oketch-Rabah HA. Phytochemical Constituents of the Genus Asparagus and their biological activities. Hamdard 1998;41:33-43.
2. Shao YU, Poobsasert O, Kennelly EJ, Chin CK, Ho CT, Huang MT, Garrison sA, Cordell GA. Steroidal saponins from Asparagus officinalis and their cytotoxic activity. Planta Medica 1997;63:258-62.
3. Rao SB. Saponins (Sapogenins) from Indian Medicinal Plants:- Part I Sapogenins from Asparagus. Indian J Pharmacy 1952;14:131-2.
4. Nadkarni AK. Indian Materia Medica. Bombay: Popular Book Depot; 1954. Vol I. pp.153-5.
5. Chopra RN, Chopra IC, Handa KL, Kapur LD.Indigenous drugs of India. Calcutta: Academic Publishers; 1994. pp. 496.
6. Sharma PC, Yelne MB, Dennis TJ. Data base on medicinal plants used in Ayurveda. Delhi: Documentation & publication Division, Central Council for Research in Ayurveda & Siddha; 2000. Vol I. pp. 418-30.
7. Dalvi SS, Nadkarni PM, Gupta KC. Effect of Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari) on gastric emptying time in normal healthy volunteers. J Postgrad Med 1990;36:91-4.  [PUBMED] [FULLTEXT]
8. Kishore P, Pandey PN, Pandey SN, Dash S. Treatment of duodenal ulcer with Asparagus racemosus Linn. J Res Indian Med Yog Homeo 1980;15:409-15.
9. Dahanukar SA, Date SG, Karandikar SM. Cytoprotective effect of Terminalia chebula and Asparagus racemosus on gastric mucosa. Indian Drugs 1983;21:442-5.
10. Singh KP, Singh RH. Clinical trial on Satavari (Asparagus racemosus Willd.) in duodenal ulcer disease. J Res Ay Sid 1986;7:91-100.
11. De B, Maiti RN, Joshi VK, Agrawal VK, Goel RK. Effect of some Sitavirya drugs on gastric secretion and ulceration. Indian J Exp Biol 1997;35:1084-7. [PUBMED]
12. Goel RK, Bhattacharya SK. Gastroduodenal mucosal defense and mucosal protective agents. Indian J Exp Biol 1991;29:701-14.  [PUBMED]
13. Jetmalani MH, Sabins PB, Gaitonde BB. A study on the pharmacology of various extracts of Shatavari- Asparagus racemosus (Willd). J Res Ind Med 1967;2:1-10.
14. Joglekar GV, Ahuja RH, Balwani JH. Galactogogue effect of Asparagus racemosus. Indian Med J 1967;61:165.  [PUBMED]
15. Sabins PB, Gaitonde BB, Jetmalani M. Effect of alcoholic extract of Asparagus racemosus on mammary glands of rats. Indian J Exp Biol 1968;6:55-7.     
16. Meites J. Proceedings of the first international pharmacology meeting. London: Pergamon Press; 1962. Vol I. pp. 151.
17. Sholapurkar ML. Lactare-for improving lactation. Indian Practitioner 1986;39:1023-6.
18. Narendranath KA, Mahalingam S, Anuradha V, Rao IS. Effect of herbal galactogogue (Lactare) a pharmacological and clinical observation. Med Surg 1986;26:19-22.
19. Patel AB, Kanitkar UK. Asparagus racemosus Willd. Form Bordi, as a galactogogue, in buffaloes. Indian Vet J 1969;46:718-21. [PUBMED]
20. Sharma S, Ramji S, Kumari S, Bapna JS. Randomized controlled trial of Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari) as a lactogogue in lactational inadequacy. Indian Pediatr 1996;33:675-7. [PUBMED]
21. Joshi J, Dev S. Chemistry of Ayurvedic crude drugs: Part VIIIa-Shatavari-2: Structure elucidation of bioactive Shatavarin-I & other glycosidesb,c. Indian J Chem 1988;27B:12-6.
22. Dahanukar S, Thatte U, Pai N, Mose PB, Karandikar SM. Protective effect of Asparagus racemosus against induced abdominal sepsis. Indian Drugs 1986;24:125-8.
23. Thatte U, Chhabria S, Karandikar SM, Dahanukar S. Immunotherapeutic modification of E. coli induced abdominal sepsis and mortality in mice by Indian medicinal plants. Indian Drugs 1987;25:95-7.
24. Regh NN, Nazareth HM, Isaac A, Karandikar SM, Dahanukar SA. Immunotherapeutic modulation of intraperitoneal adhesions by Asparagus racemosus. J Postgrad Med 1989;35:199-203.
25. Dhuley JN. Effect of some Indian herbs on macrophage functions in ochratoxin A treated mice. J Ethnopharmacol 1997;58:15-20. [PUBMED] [FULLTEXT]
26. Muruganadan S, Garg H, Lal J, Chandra S, Kumar D. Studies on the immunostimulant and antihepatotoxic activities of Asparagus racemosus root extract. J Med Arom PI Sci 2000;22:49-52.
27. Rao AR. Inhibitory action of Asparagus racemosus on DMBA-induced mammary carcinogoenesis in rats. Int J Cancer 1981;28:607-10. [PUBMED]
28. Roy RN, Bhagwager S, Chavan SR, Dutta NK. Preliminary pharmacological studies on extracts of Root of Asparagus racemosus (Satavari), Willd, N.O. Lilliaceae. J Res Ind Med 1971;6:132-8.


Medicinal properties in Ayurveda: In Ayurvedic system of medicine Shatavari is indicated as brain tonic, epilepsy and for Vata disorders. It helps to regulate cardiac disorders and hypertension. It is extensively used in disorders of male genital dysfunctions, oligospermia spermatogenic irregularities and other male disorders such as painful micturation. It used in Ayurvedic formulations for digestive discomfort, indigestion, amoebiasis and piles. In females it is indicated in habitual abortitions, weakness of uterus, excessive bleeding during menstruation. Researches of modern times have proved that Shatavari is antidiarrhetic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, antidysenteric, demulcent, diuretic, galactagogue, nutritive, mucilaginous, refrigerant, stomachic properties and works as tonic for humanbeings. It also indicated in Ayurveda for general weakness due to prolong illnesses. Improves immunity and protects heart, brain and other vital organs of body.
Main classical uses: Shatavari is used in large number of formulations in Ayurveda. Main formulations where Shatavari is as chief ingredient are- Shatavari ghrita, Narayana tail, Vishnu tail, Shatvaryadi churan, Shatmulyadi lauha and Shatavari panak.

1) Indian J Med Sci. 2003 Sep;57(9):408-14.Asparagus racemosus--an update.
Goyal RK, Singh J, Lal H.
Pt. B. D. Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Science, Rohtak, Haryana.
Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari) is recommended in Ayurvedic texts for prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers, dyspepsia and as a galactogogue. A. racemosus has also been used successfully by some Ayurvedic practitioners for nervous disorders, inflammation, liver diseases and certain infectious diseases. However, no scientific proof justifying aforementioned uses of root extract of A. racemosus is available so far. Recently few reports are available demonstrating beneficial effects of alcoholic and water extracts of the root of A. racemosus in some clinical conditions and experimentally induced diseases, e.g. galactogogue effect, antihepatotoxic and immunomodulatory activities. The present article includes the detailed exploration of pharmacological properties of the root extract of A. racemosus reported so far.

2) Indian journal of Pharmacology - RESEARCH PAPER Year : 2005 . Volume : 37 . Issue : 6 . Page : 376-380Hypolipidemic and antioxidant activities of Asparagus racemosus in hypercholesteremic rats
Visavadiya NP, R.L. Narasimhacharya AV
Department of Biosciences, Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar - 388 120. Gujarat, India
OBJECTIVE: To study the efficacy of Asparagus racemosus in reducing the cholesterol levels and as an antioxidant in hypercholesteremic rats.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Hypercholesteremia was induced in normal rats by including 0.75 g% cholesterol and 1.5 g% bile salt in normal diet and were used for the experiments. Dried root powder of Asparagus racemosus was administered as feed supplement at 5 g% and 10 gm% dose levels to the hypercholesteremic rats. Plasma and liver lipid profiles, hepatic HMG-CoA reductase, bile acid, malondialdehyde, ascorbic acid, catalase and SOD, fecal bile acid, cholesterol and neutral sterols were estimated using standard methods.
RESULTS: Feed supplementation with 5 g% and 10 g% Asparagus racemosus resulted in a significant decline in plasma and hepatic lipid profiles. The feed supplementation increased the HMG-CoA reductase activity and bile acid production in both groups (5 and 10 g% supplemented groups) with concomitant increase in fecal bile acid and fecal cholesterol excretion. The activities of catalase, SOD and ascorbic acid content increased significantly in both the experimental groups (5 and 10 g% supplemented groups). On the other hand, the concentration of malondialdehyde in these groups (5 and 10 g% supplemented groups) decreased significantly, indicating decreased lipid peroxidation.
CONCLUSION: The present study demonstrates that addition of Asparagus racemosus root powder at 5 g% and 10 g% level as feed supplement reduces the plasma and hepatic lipid (cholesterol) levels and also decreases lipid peroxidation.

3) Phytother Res. 2005 Aug;19(8):721-4.Effect of Asparagus racemosus rhizome (Shatavari) on mammary gland and genital organs of pregnant rat.
Pandey SK, Sahay A, Pandey RS, Tripathi YB.
Department of Anatomy, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005, India. pandeyskbhu@rediffmail.com

Asparagus racemosus (AR) Willd (family Liliaceae) is commonly known as Shatavari. The alcoholic extract of its rhizome was administered orally to adult pregnant female albino rats at a dose of 30 mg/100 g body weight, daily for 15 days (days 1-15 of gestation). The macroscopic findings revealed a prominence of the mammary glands, a dilated vaginal opening and a transversely situated uterine horn in the treated group of animals. The weight of the uterine horns of the treated group was found to be significantly higher (p < 0.001) but the length was shorter (p > 0.01). Microscopic examination of the treated group showed proliferation in the lumen of the duct of mammary gland. It was obliterated due to hypertrophy of ductal and glandular cells. Hyperplasia of the glandular and muscular tissue and hypertrophy of the glandular cells were observed in the genital organs. The parenchyma of the genital organs showed abundant glycogen granules with dilated blood vessels and thickening of the epithelial lining. The oviduct in the treated group showed hypertrophied muscular wall, whereas the ovary revealed no effect of the drug. The results suggest an oestrogenic effect of Shatavari on the female mammary gland and genital organs.

4) J Herb Pharmacother. 2006;6(1):13-20.Antisecretory and antiulcer activity of Asparagus racemosus Willd. against indomethacin plus phyloric ligation-induced gastric ulcer in rats.
Bhatnagar M, Sisodia SS. Department of Zoology, University College of Science, MLS University, Udaipur-313001, India. mbhatnagar@yahoo.com
OBJECTIVE: To study the antisecretory and antiulcer activity of Asparagus racemosus Willd. (methanolic extract) and its action against indomethacin (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) plus pyloric ligation (PL)-induced gastric ulcers in rats. METHOD: Indomethacin plus PL-induced gastric ulceration model was used in the study.
RESULTS: Treatment with Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari) crude extract (100 mg/kg/day orally) for fifteen days significantly reduced ulcer index when compared with control group. The reduction in gastric lesions was comparable to a standard antiulcer drug Ranitidine (30 mg/kg/ day orally). Crude extract also significantly reduced volume of gastric secretion, free acidity and total acidity. A significant increase in total carbohydrate (TC) and TC/total protein (TP) ratio of gastric juice was also observed. No significant change in the total protein was noted.
CONCLUSION: Asparagus racemosus was found to be an effective antiulcerogenic agent, whose activity can well be compared with that of ranitidine hydrochloride. The results of this study suggest that Asparagus racemosus causes an inhibitory effect on release of gastric hydrochloric acid and protects gastric mucosal damage.

5) J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Apr;91(2-3):251-5.Immunoadjuvant potential of Asparagus racemosus aqueous extract in experimental system.
Gautam M, Diwanay S, Gairola S, Shinde Y, Patki P, Patwardhan B.
Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Pune, Pune, Maharastra 411007, India. gautam_monty@hotmail.com
The immunoadjuvant potential of Asparagus racemosus (Willd.) Family (Liliaceae) aqueous root extract was evaluated in experimental animals immunized with diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTP) vaccine. Immunostimulation was evaluated using serological and hematological parameters. Oral administration of test material at 100 mg/kg per day dose for 15 days resulted significant increase (P = 0.0052) in antibody titers to Bordtella pertussis as compared to untreated (control) animals. Immunized animals (treated and untreated) were challenged with B. pertussis 18323 strain and the animals were observed for 14 days. Results indicate that the treated animals did show significant increase in antibody titers as compared to untreated animals after challenge (P = 0.002). Immunoprotection against intra-cerebral challenge of live B. pertussis cells was evaluated based on degree of sickness, paralysis and subsequent death. Reduced mortality accompanied with overall improved health status was observed in treated animals after intra-cerebral challenge of B. pertussis indicating development of protective immune response. Present study indicates applications of test material as potential immunoadjuvant that also offers direct therapeutic benefits resulting in less morbidity and mortality.



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