• Shatavari: A Favorite Fertility Herb

    by Lilla DiFlorio, ND
    on Mar 16th, 2017

Medicinal herbs for fertility offer therapeutic support in beautiful ways. In my

toolbox as a naturopathic doctor and fertility specialist, I use herbs in most of my

treatment plans. Over time, I have developed a fondness for particular herbs along

the way. One such herb is Shatavari.


Asparagus racemosus, known commonly as Shatavari, is native to India, the

Himalayas and Sri Lanka. Its medicinal history is rooted in the Ayurvedic tradition,

where it is known as a female reproductive tonic. In fact, Shatavari translates to

“she who possesses 100 husbands”, indicating its positive effect on the female

reproductive system. Studies have since supported this claim by identifying its

phytoestrogenic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, adaptogenic and

immunomodulatory properties, all of which are supportive to fertility.


The actions of Shatavari are important for fertility in the following ways:


Phytoestrogenic: Due to their phytochemical structure, these herbs have the

capacity to bind to estrogen receptors throughout the body. This can either elicit an

estrogenic response when estrogen levels are low or help protect the body from

excess estrogen by inhibiting estrogen to bind. Modulating estrogen is imperative

for healthy fertility.


Antioxidant: Oxidative stress due to normal metabolic processes as well as lifestyle

choices and a sub-optimal environment is one of the biggest negative impact on the

exquisitely sensitive egg and sperm. Though our body mitigates oxidative stress

beautifully, we are still susceptible to it, so taking antioxidants is important.


Anti-inflammatory: Inflammation is a normal, necessary response that our body

uses to heal. It also plays a vital role in ovulation and endometrial receptivity.

However, lifestyle choices, genetic predispositions and our environment often lead

to a chronic elevated level of inflammation in our bodies, which is detrimental to

fertility. Maintaining a healthy inflammatory response is essential to healthy

fertility.


Adaptogenic: Excessive stress, especially when chronic, negatively impacts our

physiology and therefore affects fertility. Adaptogenic herbs enhance our ability to

mitigate stress. Shatavari is one of these herbs.


Immunomodulatory: Our immune system is remarkably able to protect us from

foreign pathogens. However, in some cases the immune response attacks our own

tissues causing an autoimmune reaction. Fertility is affected by certain autoimmune

conditions so modulating the immune response is very important in these cases.

In my practice, I immediately think of Shatavari for women with signs of declining

estrogen, such as scanty or absent fertile cervical fluid, painful intercourse, dry skin

or erratic periods. I have been pleased time and again with the positive results.

The fact that Shatavari has so many other fertility-supportive actions, including

making my female patients feel “juicier” makes this one of my favorite herbs to use.


A note of caution: although Shatavari is safe for long-term use, it does increase the

hormone prolactin, which causes lactation and interferes with ovulation. Therefore,

do not use if your prolactin is elevated or even on the higher end of normal.


References:

Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari): A Versatile Female Tonic

http://www.ijpba.info/ijpba/index.php/ijpba/article/view/305/220


Plant profile, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari): A review

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027291/#b84


In-vivo anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activity of asparagus racemosus roots

http://ijpsr.com/bft-article/in- vivo-anti- inflammatory-and- anti-arthritic- activity-of- asparagus-

racemosus-rootsin- this-research- work-we- elucidated-the- anti-inflammatory- and-anti- arthritic-

activity-of- hydroalcoholic-extract- of-asp/?view=fulltext


A Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial for Evaluation of Galactogogue Activity of Asparagus

racemosus Willd.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3869575/


Shatavari: Fertility Herb from India

http://natural-fertility- info.com/shatavari-fertility.html


Author Lilla DiFlorio, ND In our work together we will dive deeply into unraveling the contributors to your sub-fertility. As a Naturopathic Doctor I use clinical discernment and diagnostic tools such as labs and imaging to identify the cause of your subfertility. I formulate a personalized treatment plan and make recommendations with regard to lifestyle, diet and supplements. ​I refer to other professionals when appropriate and I am a resource for you as you navigate this often-difficult process. It is my priority to understand your fertility and work relentlessly to help you grow your family. I have the gift of deeply listening, relentlessly searching and intuitively understanding the intricate web affecting fertility. I create meaningful, therapeutic relationships, which yield results in the mental, emotional and physical planes. ​My heart-centered, compassionate approach provides a safe space for your journey.

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