The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

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Asparagus

Scientific Names

Asparagus

  • Asparagus officinalis L.
  • Liliaceae
  • Lily family

Common Names

  • Sparrow grass

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Parts Usually Used

Young shoots, seed, and root
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Asparagus is a perennial plant; the short, horizontal rootstock has long, thick roots and sends up the young shoots that we eat as vegetables. If allowed to mature, these become branched stems that reach 5 feet in height. What look like leaves on the stem and branches are actually filiform branches which are clustered in the axils of the scaly, inconspicuous leaves (actually branches functioning as leaves). In May and June the plant bears small, solitary, pendulous, bell-shaped, greenish-white, seldom noticed, flowers. The fruit is a red berry, about 1/3 inch in diameter, containing black seeds and ripening in August.
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Where Found

Generally cultivated for food but may be found growing wild around old garden sites and in waste places.
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Medicinal Properties

Aperient, diaphoretic, diuretic, nutritive, demulcent
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Biochemical Information

Asparagin, sucrose, starch, and mucilage, folic acid, steroidal glycosides
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Asparagus is a highly regarded herb worldwide. Chinese pharmacists save the best roots of this plant for their families and friends in the belief that it will increase feelings of compassion and love. In India, asparagus is used to promote fertility, reduce menstrual cramping and increase milk production in nursing mothers. In the Western world, it has been touted as an aphrodisiac. These customs and beliefs are not mere superstition: the root contains compounds called steroidal glycosides that directly affect hormone production and may very well influence emotions. High in folic acid, which is essential for production of new red blood cells. Eat the young shoots and seeds.
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Uses

Acts to increase cellular activity in the kidneys and so increases the rate of urine production. Do not use asparagus when the kidneys are inflamed. Encourages evacuation of the bowels by increasing fecal bulk with undigested fiber. Recommended for gout, dropsy, and rheumatism. Not recommended for podagra. The powdered seed relieves nausea and calms the stomach. Japanese report green asparagus aids protein conversion into amino acids. The roots considered diuretic, laxative, induce sweating. Chinese report that the roots can lower blood pressure. Seeds have antibiotic properties.
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Nutrient Content

Asparagus nutrients

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How Sold

Supermarkets for vegetable tops Seed in powder form
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Warning

May cause dermatitis. Do not use asparagus if diarrhea is present. Do not use if kidneys are inflamed, because it increases the rate of urinary production.
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Bibliography

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! Culpeper’s Complete Herbal & English Physician: Updated With 117 Modern Herbs, by Nicholas Culpeper, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1990, (reprint of 1814)

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Old Ways Rediscovered, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, published from 1954, print 1988

Buy It! Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

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