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Asparagus officinalis

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Shivani Kagra* & K.L. Dahiya**

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* Pursuing Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgeory; Lal Bhadur Shastri Mahila Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Bilaspur (Yamuna Nagar), Haryana, India

** Kurukshetra Global City, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India

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Vernacular name:

Bengali: Hikua, Hillua

English: Asparagus, Garden asparagus, Sparrow grass, Sperage

Hindi: Halyun

Marathi: Halyun

Urdu: Haliyoon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Kingdom: Plantae – plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants

Subkingdom: Viridiplantae

Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – land plants

Superdivision: Embryophyta

Division: Tracheophyta – vascular plants, tracheophytes

Subdivision: Spermatophytina – spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames

Class: Magnoliopsida

Superorder: Lilianae – monocots, monocotyledons, monocotylédones

Order: Asparagales

Family: Asparagaceae

Genus: Asparagus L. – asparagus

Species: Asparagus officinalis L. – Asparagus, Garden-Asparagus, Garden Asparagus, Sparrow grass

Phytogeography: Believed to be native to the east Mediterranean and the Middle East. It thrives along sandy riverbanks, shores of lakes and wet, salty coastal areas. It is very salt tolerant. Today it grows “wild” across many of the areas around the world where it is grown for food.

Description: Grows into a tall upright bush. Has a very short shelf-life due to its high respiration rate: 60 mg CO2/kg/h at 5° C.

Leaves: Harder to define. They can’t even remind of what usually defines a plant. The leaves barely have the shape of scales.

Flowers: Small, with two yellowish-green rings of petal-like tepals. Still, the asparagus flower is looked by the bees, the asparagus being honey-bearing.

Propagation: Seeds.

Parts used: Whole plant, roots, berries

Phytochemical Constituents: b-sitosterol; 1-methoxy-2-hydroxy-4-[5-(4-hydroxyphenoxy)-3-penten-1-ynyl] phenol; 2-aminoadipic acid; 3″-methoxynyasol; Acetylenic compounds; Aldehydes; Amino acids; Arginine; Asparagine; Asparagoside A; Asparagoside B; Asparagoside C; Asparagoside D; Asparagoside E; Asparagoside F; Asparagoside G; Asparagoside H; Asparagoside I; Asparagosides; Asparagusic acid; Asparagusic acid; Asparasaponin I; Asparasaponin II; Asparenyol; Asparinin A; Asparoffin A; Asparoffin B; Asparoffin C; Asparoffin D; Bitter glycosides; Calcium; Citric acid; Dihydroasparagusic acid; Diosgenin; Essential oils; Ethyl esters; Ferulic acid; Flavonoids; Flavonoids; Folic acid; Fumaric acid; Galactogogue; Gobicusin B; Hyperoside; Inorganic compounds; Inulin; Iron; Kaempferol; Ketone vanillin; Magnesium; Malic acid; Methyl esters; Nyasol; Phosphorus; Polysaccarides; Quercetin;

Quercetin-3-glucuronide; Quercetrin; Resins; Rutin; Saccharopine; S-acetyl dihydroasparagusic acid; Saponin glycosides; Sarsasapogenin glycoside; Sarsasapogenin; Selenium; Shatavarin I-IV; Spirostanol glucoside; Steroidal glycosides; Steroidal saponins; Tannins; Thiazole; Thiophene; Tyrosine; Tyrosine; Vitamin A; Vitamin B; Vitamin C; Vitamin E.

Pharmacological actions: Antibacterial; Anticancer; Anticonvulsant; Antidepressant; Antifungal; Anti-inflammatory; Antimutagenesis; Antioxidant; Antipyretic; Antitumour; Anxiolytic; Bechic; Cardiotonic; Cytotoxic; Diuretic; Galactagogue; Hepatoprotective, hepatocuritive; Hypolipidemic; Laxative; Phytotoxic; Sedative; Tonic.

Medicinal uses: Anaemia; Asthenia; Calculus; Convulsions; Cystitis; Diabetes; Dysuria; Gout; Hepatosis, hepatopathy, hepatitis; Inflammation; Jaundice; Neuritis; Pyelitis; Rheumatism; Urolithiasis.

Vegetable eaten raw or boiled, the asparagus has surprising medicinal properties. The asparagus is indicated in some general illnesses like asthenia, anaemia, rheumatism, diabetes as well as renal lithiasis. It is firstly a fortifier. From the asparagus offshoots decoction, juice, syrup and tincture are prepared. Very often used is the asparagus juice, a preparation practically accessible to anyone.

Decoction of the fasciculated roots given in checking congestion of the liver. Berries used in liver disorders.

Other uses: The uses of the medicinal plants are found from ancient times with the origin of human beings. The history of cultivation of Asparagus officinalis as a vegetable herb dates back to 2000 years. The shoots are served as salad because of having onion flavor. The shoots are a good source of carbohydrate, protein, vitamins and dietary fiber. Stem is also used in traditional dishes.

Dosage and administration: Root 3-6 gm powder.

Adverse reactions: Asparagus plant severely inhibits the growth of curly cress (Lepidium sativum L.). Therefore, should not be planted with curly cress. It is generally regarded as safe when taken in the recommended doses. However, if someone kidneys are inflamed or if have diarrhea, do not use Asparagus. Also, do not take Asparagus supplements if someone has kidney disease.

References:

Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Committee, 2008, “The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part I, Volume VI,” New Delhi, India: Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH).

Divya M.P., Mrudula G. and Rabbani S., 2016, “Antidepressant Activity of Aqueous Extract of Asparagus officinalis In Mice and Role of Combination of Extract on the Side Effects of Imipramine,” RESEARCH JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES; 7(3): 226-235. [Web Reference]

Flowers of India, “Garden Asparagus,” Retrieved on June 17, 2017. [Web Reference]

Hartung A.C., Nair M.G. and Putnam A. R., 1990, “Isolation and characterization of phytotoxic compounds from asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) roots,” Journal of chemical ecology; 16(5): 1707-1718. [Web Reference]

Iqbal M., et al., 2017, “Review on Therapeutic and Pharmaceutically Important Medicinal Plant Asparagus officinalis L.,” Journal of Plant Biochemistry and Physiology; 5(1): 180. [Web Reference]

ITIS, 2017, “Asparagus officinalis L.,” Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, June 13, 2017. [Web Reference]

Khare C.P., 2008, “Indian Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Dictionary,” Springer Science & Business Media.

Li X.-M., et al., 2017, “Two new phenolic compounds and antitumor activities of asparinin A from Asparagus officinalis,” Journal of Asian natural products research; 19(2): 164-171. [Web Reference]

Prakash U.N.K., et al., 2014, “Antioxidant activity of common plants of Northern Tamil Nadu, India,” International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science; 6(4): 128-132. [Web Reference]

Quintans L.J., et al., 2008, “Plants with anticonvulsant properties: a review,” Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia; 18: 798-819. [Web Reference]

Rani S., 2014, “INDIAN HERBAL MEDICINE AS HEPATOPROTECTIVE AND HEPATOCURATIVE: A REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE,” LIFE SCIENCES LEAFLETS; 50: 61-115. [Web Reference]

Shimoyamada M., et al., 1990, “Antifungal activity of the saponin fraction obtained from Asparagus officinalis L. and its active principle,” Agricultural and Biological Chemistry; 54(10): 2553-2557. [Web Reference]

Villanueva, M. J., et al. "Physical, chemical, histological and microbiological changes in fresh green asparagus (Asparagus officinalis, L.) stored in modified atmosphere packaging." Food Chemistry 91.4 (2005): 609-619. [Web Reference]

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