There are more than 300 types of asparagus plants that grow around the world. Asparagus officinalis is the variety most often consumed in Europe, where the roots are steamed and eaten as a vegetable, often eaten with fresh salmon. Asparagus racemosus
Is native to the Indian subcontinent and the Himalayan regions, where it has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. The word “asparagus” comes from the Greek meaning ‘stalk’ or ‘shoot’.
  It is known in the Ayurvedic system of medicine as the Queen of Herbs, and is said to promote love and fidelity, presumably because it helps a woman’s fertility, lactation and assists in the treating of symptoms associated with the menopause such as dryness of the vaginal walls. It contains phyto-oestrogen and the root powder is drunk in milk flavoured with saffron to help with PMT, and menopausal problems. It seems to be able to stop uterine contractions and so is used to prevent spontaneous abortions and to generally strengthen the uterus and promote fertility. It is also supposed to be effective in calming negative emotions such as anger, jealousy and irritability.
   It is used as well for giving a restful sleep undisturbed by dreams. The juice from the root is mixed with honey and used in the treatment of diarrhea and to relieve the pain caused by gastric ulcers. Although medical evidence does not yet support these claims, experiments on laboratory animals seems at this time to show that there may be some foundation for these uses of this variety of asparagus.
  It has been shown to be effective in reducing the pain caused by gastric ulcers and may go some way to prevent them forming. The juice from Asparagus racemosus when mixed with hareer (Terminalia chebula) is used in Ayurvedic medicine to protect against gastric ulcers.
   For centuries Asparagus racemosus has been used to treat men’s sexual health problems, especially when combined with safed musli and kali musli. In traditional medicine in the Indian subcontinent it is thought to help with increasing the sperm count and its volume and helping with erectile dysfunctions and premature ejaculation.
   The roots when crushed and mixed with water can be put over the hair, left for ½ an hour and then washed off, and used instead of shampoo. If you add sweet smelling herbs such as rosemary and lavender to the paste, your hair will smell good too.
    A paste made with water and the fresh leaves can be applied to the skin to stop burning and other skin irritations. The tubers can also be candied and eaten as sweets.

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