Sunday, 4 September 2016

Medicinal plants around the home, around the village - Shatavari

Salava gaddalu – Asparagus racemosus (L), 
Shatavari (H), 
Thaneer vittan kizhangu (Tml),                          
Shatavari (S)

As we go down the bed of our seasonal stream we find this feathery creeper going over the thorny bushes. As we search and dig out the roots, sometimes we a bunch of roots, sometimes even get two feet roots. In summers the plant is dried up, but in the rains it regenerated.

It was traditionally known as a medicinal plant, but people lost the practice. In ayurveda it is a medicine of great value. And based on those details  people have restarted using it.

The milk decoction (by adding crushed peices of the root in a mixture on one glass of milk and one glass of water and boiling it till all the water evaporates) is taken. In families where the milk is unaffordable, just a decoction in water is taken.

Bleeding piles, excess menstrual bleeding and vaginal white discharge are addressed by this decoction. Eashwaramma used it first on Dr. Girija's advice, to address her white discharge and anaemia. She benefitted substantially. After that many other women have used it for their menstrual complaints. Simhadri uses it when he has an episode of bleeding piles and recovers well.  A diet without  hot and sour items is advised till the patient recovers from his complaints.

Lakshmikantha after spending vast unaffordable sums for her bleeding piles, switched to regular use of shatavari, and managed to completely address her condition.
Annapurna's mother came to me and said she wanted ayurvedic medicine for 'B.P' ! As her symptom was 'bhramam' or giddiness, the medicine for that was bala (Sida cordifolia) - shatavari milk decoction. Both herbs commonly available. With much zest, Kanthamma started making and having the decoction daily, halving her allopathic tablet. The next day she brought another old lady from a neighbouring village telling her that I would treat her 'BP' !
Shatavari is also extrememly good for lactation for nursing mothers. It is very good for children (and adults) as a tonic. It is also good for epilepsy !

Eashwaramma says that this works better than all the purchased ayurvedic medicines ! That is as per the ayurvedic text - that drugs growing wild are always far more potent.

Every time in the village we go on a trip down the stream for shatavari. While walking down when I mentioned to Eashwaramma that with so many people using it, there would be less and less, she simply asked, 'let everyone use  - should only we benefit ?'

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