Ayurvedic Herbs

Shatavari

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Shatavari is one of my favorite Ayurvedic herbs. It boasts excellent hormone-balancing properties, and it builds ojas(vigor), strengthening immune function. As an herb that can be taken every day and is readily available, shatavari is a fantastic option for the modern woman. Its many amazing characteristics are the subject of this article. 

There are many terms for shatavari that reflect its sattvic (energizing, harmonious) quality and its unique capacity to promote love and devotion, as well as its long-standing fame as an aphrodisiac. The Sanskrit word shatavaricomes from the words shat(100) and avari, which is traditionally translated as “she who possesses 100 husbands,” suggesting its potent effects on female sexual vigor. Another synonym for shatavariis bahusuta (“many children”) because it helps support fertility. The herb is also called virundivari, meaning ittakes away the fear of getting married if there is a lack of hormonal flow. Other descriptors include pivari,meaning it’s an aid to continued marital bliss, and Narayani (another name for Lakshmi, the goddess who bestows fortune), as well as shatavirya, which refers to the herb’s reputation for having “100 times” the potency of other herbs, especially for strengthening shukra dhatu, or reproductive tissue.

Shatavari is wonderful for pacifying vataand pitta. Shatavari is guru(heavy), sheeta(cooling), tikta(bitter), and svadvi(sweet). It also has a pro-alkaline post-digestive effect. Most sweet tastes become acidic after digestion, but shatavari maintains a high pH even after digestion. These physical properties drive shatavari’s dosha-balancing effects.

Shatavari helps regulate functions in the lower part of the body, where dosha imbalances can lead to problems with menstruation, elimination, and the ebb and flow of hormones. Described as atisarajit, which refers to herb’s usefulness for relieving diarrhea caused by excess pitta, shatavari offers the perfect mix of physical attributes to calm and soothe overactive bowels.

These cooling and nourishing qualities also help pacify pittaimbalances in the eyes, contributing to their enduring health. Shatavari further benefits the eyes by instilling them with intelligence-enhancing properties so that they can better connect to the brain and the inner eye. The term medhagnipushtida, which refers to nourishing the agnis of the brain, is sometimes applied to shatavari, emphasizing its beneficial effects on mental functioning. 

The positive impact of shatavari on shukra dhatu(reproductive tissue) and other tissues are reflected in its traditional uses in Ayurvedic medicine, including the following*:

Overview

  • Serves as a nourishing tonic for women and men

  • Soothes and nurtures mucous membranes in the lungs, stomach, kidneys, and reproductive organs

  • Maintains a healthy female reproductive system

  • Supports healthy lactation

  • Encourages healthy production of semen

  • Promotes fertility and a healthy libido

Ayurvedic Energetics:

  • Rasa(taste): bitter, sweet

  • Virya(action): cooling

  • Vipaka(post-digestive taste): sweet

  • Doshas(constitutions): Balancing for vataand pitta; may aggravate kapha when used in excess

Suggested Use:
¼ to ½ teaspoon with warm water, once or twice daily, or as directed by your health practitioner.

Please consult with your health care practitioner before using of this product if you are pregnant or nursing, taking medications, or have a medical condition. Keep out of the reach of children.

Disclaimer
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

The sole purpose of this article is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease.

Featured Herb for Kapha- Punarnava

As we move closer to the change of season it is a good idea to support our system by reducing the Kapha build up during the winter. Expelling Kapha from our system will get us in shape for the change of season, supporting our immune system to avoid the flu, allergies, mucus and other Kapha -related conditions.  

The featured Ayurvedic herb for this month is Punarnava Boerhaavia diffusa. This water-loving, creeping perennial flowers during the monsoon and grows all over India and Sri Lanka. The whole plant is used for its high medicinal value. Punarnava literally means ‘the plant that makes one new again’. Its rejuvenative action works through its opening and cleansing activity allowing effective nourishment to reach the tissues, making it perfect for spring cleansing.

Punarnava is a unique herb that helps maintain efficient kidney and urinary functions, alleviates coughs, nourishes the heart, alleviates colic, it is diuretic, and rejuvenative. An extract from the root is used as a kidney and liver tonic. It works as a blood purifier, gives immunity to the body, and improves functioning of lungs. Because of these qualities and it’s ability to improve kidney function, it can be helpful in diabetes.

Being a diuretic and mild laxative, it helps in detoxification and prevents fluid retention such a as excess fluids, swelling, oedema, and congestion from excess Kapha is specifically useful in congestive heart conditions, fluid retention and arthritic swellings with pitting and coldness sensations. It can also effectively be used in swollen joints with fluid retention caused by moving toxic accumulations out of the joints and tissues and expelling them through the kidneys and urine. Therefore is beneficial in gout and arthritis.

Punarnava increases the digestive fire and is useful in a sluggish digestive system. It absorbs fluids from the digestive system and can be constipating, so it should not be taken in excess. It prevents intestinal spasms and pain helping to treat flatulence, bloating and worms. It also can be combined with other herbs and spices for specific conditions. For example, used with arjuna, guggulu and tumeric in heart deficiency from high Vata and Kapha. And combined with coriander, gokshura, kalamegha in urinary tract infections.


Ayurvedic Energetics:

  • Taste: bitter, sweet and pungent
  • Energy: cooling
  • Quality: dry and light
  • Doshas: Vata and Kapha reducing (in excess it increases vata)
  • Tissues: plasma, blood, fat, nerve and reproductive
  • Channels: digestive, urinary and plasma

Buy Punarnava

 

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.