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Shatavari

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Asparagus racemosus known as Shatavari in India is a species of asparagus common throughout India. It grows one to two meters tall and prefers to take root in gravelly, rocky soils high up in piedmont plains, at 1,300 - 1,400 meters elevation. The plant is growing through out tropical and subtropical regions of India. It is common in forests. The root is commonly used as a drug in ayurvedic and healthcare products.
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Botanical Names
Asparagus racemosus
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Shatavarr, Satmuli Bengali : Satamuli Gujarati : Saatawari, Ekalakanto Hindi : Shatavari, Satawar Malayalam : Shatavali, Satavari Marathi : Satawarmul, Satavari Kannada : Aheru balli Tamil : Shimai-shadavari, Ammaikodi, Kilwari Telugu : Challagadda, Pilligadalu, Kilwari
Chemical Constituents
Major active constituent found in Asparagus racemosus are Saponins responsible for therapeutic activity of drug. It also includes Saponin A4 (Sarsasapogenin-glu-rha), Shatavarin-I, Shatavarin-II, Shatavarin-IV, -sitosterol and stigmasterol glucoside, Diosgenin, Sarsasapogenin, Quercitin-3-glucuronide, Undecanylcetanoate. Other chemicals constituents are mucilage, starch, flavones, tannins and proteins.
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the marker substances or the ‘active’ ingredient. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants.Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herb is to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E.coli which are causative agent for various gastro-intestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersentivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Pharmacology
Asparagus racemosus is an important medicinal plant of tropical and subtropical India. Its medicinal usage has been reported in the Indian and British Pharmacopoeias and in traditional systems of medicine such as Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha. Besides use in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery, the plant also has antioxidant, immuno stimulant, anti-dyspepsia and antitussive effects. It is generally used as a uterine tonic, as a galactogogue, and as a general health tonic. Asparagus racemosus is recommended in Ayurvedic texts for the prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers, dyspepsia and as a galactogogue. A. racemosus has also been used successfully by some Ayurvedic practitioners for nervous disorders.
Health Benefits
Asperagus racemosus is widely used for multiple purposes and its medicinal importance has been recognized by Ayurveda for centuries. Although almost all parts of this plant have some medicinal properties, roots and young shoots are of higher significance. Asparagus racemosus may be useful as a source of novel anti diabetic compounds or a dietary adjunct for the management of diabetes. Clinical findings indicate that anti hyperglycaemic activity of A. racemosus is partly mediated by inhibition of carbohydrate digestion and absorption, together with enhancement of insulin secretion and action in the peripheral tissue. A. racemosus was more effective in reducing gastric ulcer in indomethacin-treated gastric ulcerative rats. The activity of Asparagus racemosus for healing and preventing duodenal ulcer was investigated and extensive clinical trials were preformed. The extract and root powder of Shatavari has been found to possess a galactogogue action in lactating animals.
Research References
• www.pubmed.gov Pubmed, a well known site has listed important studies going on around the world in various universities. These include….. 1) Immunomodulatory activity of Asparagus racemosus on systemic Th1/Th2 immunity: implications for immunoadjuvant potential.(Gautam M, Saha S, Bani S, Kaul A, Mishra S, Patil D, Satti NK, Suri KA, Gairola S, Suresh K, Jadhav S, Qazi GN, Patwardhan B.J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jan 21;121(2):241-7. Epub 2008 Nov 8.PMID: 19038322). 2) Antisecretory and antiulcer activity of Asparagus racemosus Willd. against indomethacin plus phyloric ligation-induced gastric ulcer in rats.(Bhatnagar M, Sisodia SS.J Herb Pharmacother. 2006;6(1):13-20.PMID: 17135157). 3) Antiulcer and antioxidant activity of Asparagus racemosus Willd and Withania somnifera Dunal in rats.(Bhatnagar M, Sisodia SS, Bhatnagar R.Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Nov;1056:261-78.PMID: 16387694). 4) Antilithiatic effect of Asparagus racemosus Willd on ethylene glycol-induced lithiasis in male albino Wistar rats.(Christina AJ, Ashok K, Packialakshmi M, Tobin GC, Preethi J, Murugesh N.Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 2005 Nov;27(9):633-8.PMID: 16357948). 5) Effect of Asparagus racemosus rhizome (Shatavari) on mammary gland and genital organs of pregnant rat.(Pandey SK, Sahay A, Pandey RS, Tripathi YB.Phytother Res. 2005 Aug;19(8):721-4.PMID: 16177978). 6) Immunoadjuvant potential of Asparagus racemosus aqueous extract in experimental system.(Gautam M, Diwanay S, Gairola S, Shinde Y, Patki P, Patwardhan B.J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Apr;91(2-3):251-5.PMID: 15120447. 7) Evaluation of antibacterial activity of Asparagus racemosus willd. root.(Mandal SC, Nandy A, Pal M, Saha BP.Phytother Res. 2000 Mar;14(2):118-9.PMID: 10685109). 8) Antioxytocic action of saponin isolated from Asparagus racemosus Willd (Shatavari) on uterine muscle.(Gaitondé BB, Jetmalani MH.Arch Int Pharmacodyn Ther. 1969 May;179(1):121-9. No abstract available. PMID: 5348388). 9) Asparagus racemosus willd--form bordi, as a galactogogue, in buffaloes.(Patel AB, Kanitkar UK.Indian Vet J. 1969 Aug;46(8):718-21. No abstract available. PMID: 5389557).
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