Restorative herbs are called Rasayanas in Ayurveda, similar to adaptogen herbs. They are useful to help rebuild our health after prolonged stress, illness, or decline in health.
A Traditional Ayurvedic Herb for Women
Shatavari is an herb from the asparagus family, known for its anabolic effects - rebuiding the body after a period of exhaustion. It is found in India, Africa, Sri Lanka and Australia. In Ayurveda it is known as "100 husbands" due to it's reputation in restoring vitality in women.
Benefits For Women and Men
Though Shatavari has an affinity for women, it has been used in both women and men, to help restore hormone balance and libido. It also is used as a soothing demulcent to improve digestion and a tonic to enhance strength.
Research on Shatavari
Shatavari, like other adaptogenic herbs, is rich in bioactive compounds. Shatavari contains phytoestrogens, plant based compounds that act similarly to natural estrogens in the body. It has been shown to enhance breastmilk production. It also contains trace minerals - zinc, calcium, magnesium and selenium - which support the nervous system and immune system. Shatavari also contains trace amounts of the essential fatty acid GLA which acts to reduce inflammation. In fact, Shatavari has an inflammation-reducing effect especially in digestive problems such as gastritis and ulcers. Studies show that Shatavari compounds are active against H. pylori and help to heal ulcers.
Shatavari as a Rasayana
A rasayana is an herb that is used to restore health. Restorative practices are an art in Ayurveda - they include dosha-balancing diet, daily routines that keep you in harmony with the rhythm of the day/night/season, cleansing practices such as panchakarma, and herbs such as Shatavari. While we are used to stand-alone remedies in western medicine, in Ayurveda and other traditional healing practices, herbs are best used as a part of a healthy, balancing lifestyle. You can take Shatavari as a tea - 1/2 tsp powder steeped in boiling water, allow to cool a bit, strain and drink. You can also take it in capsules or extract form. If you are exhausted, have low libido and inflammation, this could be an herb to include in your health routine.