Shatavari

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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Drugs Containing Glycosides

The drug is derived from dried tuberous roots of Asparagus racemosus Willd., belonging to family Liliaceae.


SHATAVARI

 

Synonym

 

Asparagus.

 

Biological source

 

The drug is derived from dried tuberous roots of Asparagus racemosus Willd., belonging to family Liliaceae.

 

Geographical Source

 

The plant is a climber growing to 1–2 m in length found all over India.

 

Characteristics

 

The leaves are like pine-needles, small and uniform. The inflorescence has tiny white flowers, in small spikes. The roots are finger-like and clustered. The roots are cylindrical, fleshy raberous, straight or slightly curved, tapering towards the base and swollen in the middle; white to colour, 5–15 cm in length and 1–2 cm diameter, irregular fracture, longitudinal furrows and minute transverse wrinkles on upper surface and is bitter in taste.



                      Asparagus racemosus


Chemical Constituents

 

The active constituents are steroidal saponins, such as, Shata-varin I-IV (0.1–0.2%). The aglycone unit is sarsapogenin. In shatavarin I three glucose and one rhamnose molecules are attached whereas shatavarin IV possesses two glucose and one rhamnose molecules. The other compounds isolated from A. racemosus are β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, their glycosides, sarsasepogenin, spirostanolic acid, furostanolic saponins, 4,6-dihydroxy-2-O-(2’-hydroxy-isobutyl) benzaldehyde, undecanyl cetanoate and polycyclic alkaloid asparagamine A.



 

Uses

 

The root is alterative, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, demulcent, diuretic, galactogogue and refrigerant. It is taken internally in the treatment of infertility, loss of libido, threatened miscarriage, menopausal problems, hyperacidity, stomach ulcers and bronchial infections. Externally it is used to treat stiffness in the joints. The root is used fresh in the treatment of dysentery.

 

Marketed Products

 

It is one of the ingredients of the preparations known as K.G. Tone (Aimil), Menosan, Diabecon, Galactin, Abana (Hima-laya), Dhatuposhtik churna, Rhuma oil, Brahmi Rasayan, Mahanarayan tel (Baidyanath), J.P. Massaj oil, Painkill oil (Jamuna Pharma), Memoplus, Jeevani malt (Chirayu) and Satavari kalp and Satavarex granules (Zandu).

 

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