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Asparagamine A, Asparagus africanus, Asparagus gobicus, Asparagus officinalis, Asparagus racemosus, edible asparagus, gobicusin A, gobicusin B, iso-agatharesinol, Liliaceae (family), racemofuran, racemosol, Shatavari, sparagrass, Spargel (German), sparrow grass, sperage.
In its wild form in Ancient Greece and Rome, asparagus was used as a diuretic (increasing urine flow) to flush out the kidneys and prevent the formation of kidney stones. In Asian medicine, asparagus root is given for cough, diarrhea, and nervous problems. Asparagus roots and leaves are used in Ayurvedic medicine for female infertility.
Today, asparagus is most often used as a food. There is very limited research in human on the medicinal uses of asparagus.
Galactagogue (promotes secretion of milk):
Asparagus may help promote the secretion of milk in women. There is currently insufficient available evidence in this area. Additional study is needed.
There is currently no available scientific information about medicinal dosing for asparagus. Traditional dosing has used infusions, fluid extracts and alcoholic extracts for the treatment of urinary tract inflammation and kidney stones. A typical infusion dose uses 45-60 grams of cut herb in 150 milliliters of water and is taken daily by mouth. 45-60 milliliters of fluid extract has been taken daily by mouth. 225-300 milliliters of alcoholic extract (1:5 grams per milliliter) has also been taken daily by mouth.
There is currently no available scientific information about dosing for asparagus in children.
Known allergy/hypersensitivity to asparagus or other members of the Liliaceae family.
Allergic reactions have been documented for asparagus, including itchy conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye), runny nose, tightness of the throat, coughing, acute urticaria ("hives"), inflammation of the skin, and occupational asthma caused by asparagus inhalation
Asparagus is likely safe when consumed as a food. The primary adverse effects for asparagus are dermatological (skin reactions) and pulmonary (lung) allergic reactions.
Allergic reactions that have been documented include itchy conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye), runny nose, worsening of asthma symptoms, tightness of the throat, coughing, acute urticaria ("hives"), and inflammation of the skin.
Patients should not take asparagus if allergic to asparagus. Patients with edema due to impaired kidney or heart function should use cautiously, and should consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, before starting any new therapies.
Asparagus may have diuretic effects (increases urine flow), and may positively affect diuretic herbs and supplements. Caution is advised.
This information is based on a professional level monograph edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): Nicole Giese, MS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Mamta Vora, PharmD (Natural Standard Research Collaboration), Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).
Goyal RK, Singh J, Lal H. Asparagus racemosus--an update. Indian J Med Sci 2003;57(9):408-414.
Rieker J, Ruzicka T, Neumann NJ, et al. [Type I and type IV sensitization to Asparagus officinalis]. Hautarzt 2004;55(4):397-398.
Sharma S, Ramji S, Kumari S, et al. Randomized controlled trial of Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari) as a lactogogue in lactational inadequacy. Indian Pediatr 1996;33(8):675-677.
Tabar AI, Alvarez-Puebla MJ, Gomez B, et al. Diversity of asparagus allergy: clinical and immunological features. Clin Exp Allergy 2004;34(1):131-136.
Wiboonpun N, Phuwapraisirisan P, Tip-pyang S. Identification of antioxidant compound from Asparagus racemosus. Phytother Res 2004;18(9):771-773.
Yang CX, Huang SS, Yang XP, et al. Nor-lignans and steroidal saponins from Asparagus gobicus. Planta Med 2004;70(5):446-451.
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