Shatavari – Learn About A Great Herb For Balancing Hormones


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Shatavari (Indian asparagus, or asparagus racemosus) is a powerful herb that gives a lot of bala (strength).

There are two varieties: shatavari (sometimes called red shatavari) and mahashatavari (sometimes called white shatavari). The Ayurvedic texts describe slightly different effects for each, with mahashatavari being the more powerful herb. Both herbs are excellent for men and women, but they are especially helpful for balancing the hormones in women. Shatavari and mahashatavari are estrogenic.

Interestingly, the asparagus you can buy in the store has almost the same properties of mahashatavari and can be taken as a medicinal food.

Shatavari Balances the Hormones

The Sanskrit word, shatavari, comes from the word shat (meaning one hundred) and avari (meaning that the person who takes this plant can get married a hundred times). Another synonym of shatavari is bahusuta (many children) because it helps to support fertility.

It is also called virundivari (taking away the fear of getting married if there is a lack of hormonal flow), pivari (helping to continue marital bliss), narayani (Lakshmi – the goddess who bestows fortune), shatavirya (giving “100 times” more potency than other herbs, especially for strengthening shukra dhatu, or reproductive tissue).

Mahashatavari, shatavari’s big sister, is sometimes called sahasravirya (it gives”1000 times” more potency than other herbs). This shows that mahashatavari, which is a larger variety of asparagus, is also more powerful. If you were to take the figure of speech literally, mahashatavari would be 10 times more potent than shatavari.

The word virya can be taken several ways. It can simply mean the potency of the herb. It can also mean that if you use the herb, it will make you more potent (more libido, more mental and emotional strength).

In another sense, the word virya (potency) is sometimes used as a synonym for shukra dhatu (reproductive tissue). This understanding fits well with shatavari’s shukrakari prabhava (its special property to increase the quantity of the reproductive fluid). Of course, mahashatavari takes this further, and is listed as a vrishya herb (it has the property of not only increasing the quantity of shukra dhatu but also of increasing its quality.

Shatavari Is Great for Pacifying Vata and Pitta

Shatavari is guru (heavy), sheeta (cooling), tikta (bitter) and svadvi (sweet). It also has a madura vipak (pro-alkaline post-digestive effect). Most sweet tastes become acidic (amla vipak) after digestion but shatavari maintains a high pH even after digestion. These physical properties give shatavari the ability to pacify pitta and vata doshas.

Which subdosha of pitta does shatavari help most? Sadhaka pitta, the pitta of the heart, is cooled by shatavari and mahashatavari more than any other pitta subdosha. In fact, mahashatavari is said to be hridya (helping to give long healthy life to the heart), according to Bhava Prakash.

And which subdosha of vata, does shatavari help most? Apana vata is balanced more than the other vata subdoshas. This is due to the fact that shatavari and mahashatavari help balance the hormones, which affect the lower part of the body most (governed by apana vata).

Shatavari is also said to be atisarajit (helpful to reduce high-pitta diarrhea). This is because its cooling, bitter and heavy qualities balance the heating effects of amavisha (reactive toxins) that cause high-pitta diarrhea. The herb also gives more intelligence to the colon (governed by apana vata) so that it can properly regulate how much to retain and how much to eliminate.

According to Bhava Prakash, mahashatavari can even improve the Ayurvedic disease known as grahani (where the absorption system of the colon is abnormal, sometimes giving diarrhea, sometimes constipation, and poor absorption of nutrients). And mahashatavari is able to help with small hemorrhoids (laghurarshapaha), another high pitta and apana vata problem.

Shatavari Is Helpful For The Eyes, Brain and Reproductive Tissue

In each case, mahashatavari is more potent than shatavari.

Shatavari is said to be netrya (giving long healthy life to the eyes). This is due to the cooling, nourishing influence of soma in shatavari. The eyes have lots of pitta, and need the cooling influence of soma.

Shatavari also gives the intelligence-enhancing influence of marut to the eyes so that they can connect to the brain and the inner eye properly. Mahashatavari takes this a step further. It is described by Bhava Prakash as nayanamayaghna (helpful to actually reverse eye diseases).

Shatavari is described as medhagnipushtida (nourishing the agnis of the brain). Vaidya Mishra explains the medhagnis of the brain in detail in this audio file. Please take a few minutes to download the 99¢ MP3 on this page for listening at your leisure.

Mahashatavari does even better than shatavari for the brain. It is a medhya herb. Medhya herbs not only nourish the medhagnis of the brain (the gaps between dhi, dhriti, and smriti), they also improve dhi (power of learning), dhriti (power of retention or assimilation of knowledge) and smriti (power of recall) directly. You can learn more about this in the audio file with Vaidya Mishra.

Finally, when we look at the effect of shatavari on shukra dhatu (reproductive tissue), shatavari is said to be shukrasthanyakari (improving the quantity of reproductive fluid and breast milk). Mahashatavari goes further. It not only improves the quantity of shukra dhatu, but improves the quality of this tissue as well, which is why mahashatavari is called vrishya (able to improve the quality of shukra dhatu).

What You Will Learn in This Section of the Course

In this 34 minute audio lecture, you will learn directly from the Sanskrit text, Bhava Prakash, about shatavari and mahashatavari. The text, which Vaidya Mishra translates and explains word for word, describes in detail the many facets of this important Ayurvedic herb.

How to Use the Course Materials

When you download the zip file for this section of the course (and unzip it using a free unzip program like 7-Zip), you will find a PDF file (which can be opened with the free Adobe Reader) and an MP3 file (which can be played on any MP3 player such as iPod or iTunes).  You can listen to the audio alone, but for the first time through (at least), we recommend that you follow along with the PDF document to make sure that all of the concepts are clear.  The PDF’s sometimes contain visual diagrams in addition to the Sanskrit verses.  If you learn visually, reading along with the PDF will be helpful.

We also recommend reviewing the PDF, and re-listening to the MP3 file many times, so that you begin to recognize the knowledge and own it.  These MP3 files are especially good to put on your MP3 player so you can listen in the car.  Just as it is easy to remember songs you hear over and over on the radio, you will find that the knowledge in these lectures will stick to you with no effort when you hear them over and over.  You will also find that your understanding of the material deepens each time you hear them.

Shatavari In Our Herbal Products

Shatavari Herbal Memory Nectar

  • Contains only the subtlest essence of the shatavari (the herbal memory).
  • Bypasses the liver, which may be in poor shape due to modern lifestyle, and delivers the prabhavas (special qualities) of shatavari directly to the tissues.
  • Travels quickly, without delay of digestion, to the shukra dhatu, heart, brain, colon, and other tissues and begins acting right away.
  • Should be added to 1 to 2 liters of cool, neutral pH spring water and sipped throughout the day.

Shatavari Powder

  • Contains the full power of this rasayana herb.
  • Requires more digestive strength than the Shatavari Herbal Memory Nectar.
  • The digestion and liver must be strong enough to process this herb so that it can be helpful to the rest of the body.

The Following Products Contain Shatavari as an Ingredient


This product and statements have not been evaluated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and are not intended to be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All of the information above is intended for educational purposes only and may not be used to replace or complement medical advice.


The sole purpose of this blog is to provide information about the alternative healing modalities of Shaka Vansiya Ayurveda (SVA) as practiced in Vaidya Mishra's ancestral family tradition. The information contained herein is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a licensed health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Otherwise, for more information, you may call Vaidya Mishra's Prana Center toll free in the USA at 1.888.3CHANDI (888.324.2634). or 1.818.709.1005 globally, or email us at: You may also visit:, or

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