Other Names of Asparagus: Sperage, sparagus, aspharagos or asparagos, asparag, sparrow grass, aspar grass or asper grass, sparrow’s guts, asperge, asparago aspargo, spÃ¡rrago spargel, spÃ¡rga, shatavari, ashadhi, majjigegadde or sipariberuballi, mai farang, and mang tÃ¢y.
Useful Parts of the Plant: Young shoots, roots, leaves
Asparagus is a flowering plant that grows throughout the year. Its fruit is a berry that is poisonous in nature. Asparagus is widely seen in Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia. Asparagus is ubiquitously used for culinary as well as medicinal purposes. As an appetizer or salad, asparagus has now found its way to the dining tables across the globe. When pickled, asparagus lasts for a couple of years. Asparagus is a plant with high moisture content and respiration rate. Hence, it should be consumed as fresh as possible.
Nutritional information and properties of Asparagus
Asparagus is a reservoir of vitamins and essential nutrients. Vitamin B6, magnesium, and zinc are found in the asparagus shoots. Asparagus is known to be an excellent storehouse of potassium and folates. It meets more than the average daily requirement of a person. The reason that asparagus is a very attractive food to eat is that it contains only traces of sodium and calories. Vitamins A, C, E and K are also found in asparagus shoots along with the essential minerals like phosphorus, copper, manganese and selenium. Chromium, a mineral that helps insulin take glucose from the blood to the cells, is also present in asparagus. The amino acid, asparagines, is also abundantly present in this plant. Green asparagus also abounds in vitamin C.
Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses of Asparagus
Asparagus possesses various health benefits and therapeutic uses, owing to its richness of vitamins and minerals. It is renowned as an excellent provider of folate, which is especially essential for pregnant women.
Asparagus also provides plenty of potassium in our diet, which is believed to prevent the depletion of calcium from our body.
Asparagus is believed to balance and rejuvenate the reproductive system in women. It promotes lactation in nursing mothers.
The paste of asparagus leaves are used as a topical application in the case of small pox or other skin burns or irritations.
The juice or decoction from the roots of asparagus acts as a good tonic for the body. It is a good diuretic and cleanses the body of toxic matter.
Asparagus is also believed to be a mood booster, and it can be used to combat depression.
The herb also acts as a demulcent for the dry and swollen membranes of the lungs and stomach.
Being a good nerve tonic, asparagus allays the onset and intensity of epilepsy and hysteria.
Asparagus contains inulin, which consumes the bacteria in the large intestine; thus, it is helpful in maintaining a healthy digestive system.
Vitamin K in asparagus prevents osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, as the vitamin helps in the repair and formation of the bones.
Asparagus is believed to produce estrogens, and hence, it helpful in combating the symptoms of menopause. It also helps provide estrogen to women who have had their ovaries or uterus removed.
Asparagus is believed to possess anti fungal, antiviral and anti-cancer properties. It is a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier.
Being an alkaline food and a natural diuretic, asparagus prevents urinary and bladder infections and the growth of stones.
Known for its cholesterol reducing property, asparagus also lowers blood pressure in a natural manner.
Medicated oil prepared from asparagus is used for massage of the head and provides a cooling effect.
The massage with the medicated oil reduces inflammations, lower back pain, and sciatica, and it is also used in treating paralytics.