Botanical Name :: Asparagus officinali
Indian Name :: Shatwar, Soot mooli and Halyan
The Asparagus is cultivated mostly for its tender shoots, commonly known as spears. This vegetable is of great importance in the diet because of its valuable salts, vitamins and for its large amount of cellulose contents. The Asparagus is a perennial plant, with underground fleshy root-stock. The young shoots are eaten when 6 to 15 cm. high.
Origin and Distribution of Asparagus
Asparagus is native of the eastern Mediterranean lands and Asia Minor. The Romans cultivated the plant in 200 BC. It has, over the centuries, been taken into gardens from the wild and progressively improved by selection. In China, there a.re several wild species; the tuberous roots of some of which are used as food as well as in medicine. Asparagus is now an important crop, especially in Taiwan where the shoots are canned for export. It is widely grown in East Africa and Malay asia
Minerals and Vitamins
|Moisture – 93.0%||Calcium – 22 mg|
|Protein – 2.2%||Phosphorus – 62 mg|
|Fat – 0.2%||Iron – 1.0 mg|
|Fibre – 0.7%|
Magnesium – 20 mg
|Carbohydrates – 3.9%||Vitamin C – 33 mg|
|* Values per 100 gm’s edible portion||Vitamin A – 900 IU**|
|Calorific Value – 59||Small amount of Vitamin B Complex|
|** International Unit|
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Asparagus
The Asparagus has multipurpose therapeutic properties. It is an alkaline foodstuff. It is an excellent body cleanser and its use will prevent or combat blood acidity. It has a nitrogenous content called ‘asparagin’ which has diuretic properties. It is said that the liberal use of the young shoots acts as a rejuvenator. However, the use of Asparagus should be avoided in goitre, liver and kidney diseases and in case of excess mucus, especially cetarrhal mucus.
- Rheumatism :- The Asparagus is a valuable food medicine in rheumatism on account of its potash content. But it should be steamed and not boiled as in boiling about four-fifths of the valuable salts are lost. An infusion prepared from this vegetable is also considered highly beneficial in the treatment of rheumatism and chronic gout. It should be given in doses of. 30 to 60 ml. It should, however, be avoided in advanced stages of kidney diseases.
- Heart Disease :- The Asparagus is an excellent food for strengthening the heart. A food medicine for weak or enlarged hearts is prepared by mixing the freshly expressed juice of this vegetable with honey and taking a teaspoonful three times daily. Patients with heart disease will also benefit by eating the cooked vegetable provided the cooking is done conservatively, preferably in steamed form.
- Sexual Debility :- The dried roots of Asparagus are used in Unani medicine as an aphrodisiac which arouses sexual desire. It is available in the market as Safed musli. Roots boiled in milk are used as demulcent or soothing medicine. Its regular use thickens the semen and is valuable in impotency