Scientific name: Asparagus racemosus
Family name: Asparagaceae
Asparagus is an herbaceous, perennial plant growing to 100–150 centimeters tall, with stout stems with much-branched feathery foliage. The “leaves” are in fact needle-like cladodes (modified stems) in the axils of scale leaves; they are 6–32 millimeters long and 1 millimeter broad and clustered 4–15 together. The root system is adventitious and the root type is fasciculate. The flowers are bell-shaped, greenish-white to yellowish, 4.5–6.5 millimeters long, with six tepals partially fused together at the base; they are produced singly or in clusters of 2–3 in the junctions of the branch lets. It is usually dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants, but sometimes hermaphrodite flowers are found. The fruit is a small red berry 6–10 mm diameter, which is poisonous to humans.
Asparagus has been revered by ancient Greek and Romans as a prized delicacy for health and fitness. You are reading this article @loss of weight – Asparagus. One of the oldest recorded vegetable; it is thought to have originated along the coastal regions of eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor areas. Eat asparagus as part of a heart-healthy diet, as it contains no fat, no cholesterol and very little sodium. With growing importance of health and fitness in the modern world, the common man has begun researching on the nutritional plants, herbs, and their extracts. Asparagus is a herb which is rich in numerous essential nutrients. Asparagus is also a rich source of minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, sodium, iron, copper, calcium and manganese.
Health Benefits of Asparagus
Full of nutrients
Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.
Glutathione, found in asparagus, contains three amino acids (glumatic acid, glycine and cysteine) that combine into one molecule that serves as a powerful oxidation-reduction agent in our bodies. It is packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals.
Glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain types of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers. Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, asparagus is a fighter against various types of cancer. You are reading this article @ loss of weight – Asparagus.
Asparagus is also good for the heart. Folate present in asparagus regulates the amino acid homocysteine, which in high levels, can be a strong risk factor in heart disease. Asparagus is also helpful for people suffering from high blood pressure, as it lowers down the blood pressure levels.
It contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which serves as a natural diuretic, and increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts. It can also be used to treat swelling, arthritis etc.
Diet and digestion
A carbohydrate in asparagus encourages the growth of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, two bacteria that boost nutrient absorption, lower the risk of allergy and colon cancer, and help prevent unfriendly bacteria from taking hold in our intestinal tract.
Defects in newborn babies
It is also beneficial for nursing mothers, as it helps increase milk generation, besides preventing neural tube defects in the newborn. Healthy servings of asparagus can prevent a folate-deficiency in newborn babies.
It may help our brains fight cognitive decline. Like leafy greens, asparagus delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12 to help prevent cognitive impairment. It limits neuronal damage to the brain, which is why it beneficial for patients of Alzheimer’s disease.
This herb is traditionally used as medicine for PMS, amenorrhea, dysmenorrheal, menopause and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) like endometriosis. It is a good remedy for impotence and general sexual weakness. Asparagus racemosus is the best known as a female rejuvenanitive, used for stimulation of milk production in lactating women, useful for childlessness, decreased libido, threatened miscarriage and menopause. You are reading this article @loss of weight – Asparagus.
Uses of Asparagus
- Asparagus is used as an anodyne, aphrodisiac and galactogogue.
- The fresh juice of the roots, mixed with honey, helps in reducing the burning sensation pain in tumors, due to pitta.
- The paste of fresh leaves is used to apply on the burning sensation of the skin in smallpox and bullae.
- The roots are useful in nervous disorders, dyspepsia, tumors, scalding of urine, throat infections, tuberculosis, cough bronchitis and general debility.
- It is useful for the treatment of ulcerative disorders of stomach and Parinama Sula, clinical entity akin to the duodenal ulcer diseases.
- When taken with a cup of saffron milk, asparagus is good for post-menopausal women. You are reading this article @ loss of weight – Asparagus.
- Sufficient quantities of asparagus juice mixed with some raw honey, if consumed twice or thrice in a day, is healthy for the heart and also helps in heart enlargement.
Although asparagus is very important herb for your health and fitness but it has some side effects also. Increased levels of vitamin C can cause frequent urination. Consuming asparagus daily can contribute to a vitamin C overload and lead to this negative side effect. Many people who eat asparagus daily also notice a pungent odor to their urine within about 15 minutes following the meal. This odor occurs due to a specific sulfur-containing amino acid derivative of methionine, which the body produces during the breakdown of the asparagus. Eating asparagus daily causes excess gas that can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Some people are allergic to the vegetables of this family so before consuming this herb, you must consult your doctor or physician.