Shatavari: Fertility Herb from India

Shatavari: Fertility Herb from India

Shatavari FertilityShatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is a species of asparagus grown throughout India, traditionally used in Ayurveda. The name is translated as “ she who posses a hundred husbands”. This may be because this plant has been used traditionally for hundreds to thousands of years as a general female reproductive tonic and hormonal balancer by Ayurvedic healers.

A Brief History of Ayurveda

Ayurveda has evolved over 5,000 years, with its beginnings in the Himalayas. Around 800 BC the first Ayurvedic school was established by a man named Punarvasu Atreya. He and his students recorded their medical knowledge. These writings inspired a scholar named Charaka a hundred years later to write Charaka Samhita, which details over 1,500 plant species and identifies 700 medicinal plant species. Traditional Ayurvedic practitioners still use this book as a reference guide. Charaka’s second work titled Susruta Samhita was the basis for modern surgery. Traditional Chinese, Tibetan and Islamic medicine have their roots in Ayurveda. Ayurveda is one of the oldest modalities of traditional medical practices.

What is Shatavari?

Shatavari is a plant with a woody stem that sends runners out, has needle like leaves, with small white flowers. If you look closely at the buds before they bloom they look like very thin asparagus, just like their larger relatives that some of us love to eat here in the States.

Shatavari has shown many fertility benefits for both men and women. It has adaptogenic, immunomodulator, diuretic, sexual tonic, galactogogue (promote breastmilk flow), demulcent, antibacerial, digestive and antioxidant actions.

This plant has been shown to improve overall fertility with no toxic side effects reported with long term use. Steroidal sapponins called Shatavarins may be responsible for the hormone like effect Shatavari has on reproductive system.

How Shatavari May Help With Fertility

Adaptogenic Actions Support Overall Stress Support
This plant has shown to protect the body from stressors. It combines well with Tribulus terrestris another herb shown to be beneficial for fertility. Very helpful for women with stress induced fertility issues. Because of its adaptogenic actions it has been used by men and women to support healthy fertility.

Immune Related Fertility Issues
Satavari may be very helpful with women who have stress related or immune-mediated fertility issues. Autoimmune fertility issues may be helped by proper immnological function supported by Shatavari.

In one study Shatavari was shown to increase phagocytic activity of macrophages in turn reducing intraperitoneal adheshions. These are adhesions within the abdomen specifically. Macrophages have been shown to play a role in adhesion development. But this is just one study, if Shatavari can increase phagocytic activity of the macrophages there is hope for it in reducing adhesions in the entire body. This may be great news for women suffering from adhesion damage causing fertility issues such as endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes, uterine fibroids, damage from c-section, ovarian cysts.

Supports Mucous Membranes
Herbs that have a demulcent action contain mucilage. Mucilage lines the mucous memebranes and acts as a protector and tonic for those membranes. Shatavari contains mucilage, this may be helpful for women with low Cervical Mucous.

Threatened Miscarriage
In cases where the uterus is contracting due to oxytocin release the saponin rich Shatavari has shown to have an antioxytocin effect that may help the uterine contractions to subside. Please talk to a skilled Ayurvedic practitioner or Naturopathic Doctor about the use of Shatavari for threatened miscarriage.

Menstrual Cycle Regulator
Shatavari’s main constituents are steroidal-saponins, suggesting its use as an estrogen regulator, the estrogen modulating in turn may contribute to menstrual cycle regulation.

Galactogogue
A galactogogue is an herb that helps to increase breast milk production. Some studies show that Shatavari may increase a mothers milk supply. This herb has shown signs of contributing to prolactin production so women with the endocrine disorder hyperprolactinemia or high prolactin levels should use caution with this herb.

Reduces Fluid Retention
This herb has shown to greatly help with fluid retention and may be helpful for PMS related fluid retention, helping the body to eliminate excess fluid build-up.

Traditional Daily Dosage

A traditional suggested dosage amount would be 4.5 to 8.5 mL of dried plant extract or 1,000 – 2,000mg a day. This herbs is commonly sold in capsule form as well. It is important to be mindful of potential risk for heavy metal contamination when purchasing herbs from India.

Click here to purchase a product with this ingredient.


References:

1. www.naturesformulary.com/userfiles/file/Shatavari_select_clinical.pdf
2. Aviva Romm, 2010: Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health, Churchill Livingstone
3. Andrew Chevallier, 1996: The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, DK Publising, Inc.

Comments

Let your voice be heard... Leave a brief comment or question related to this article.

 characters available

[+] 32 Comments
  1. Hi
    can shatavari be taken along with progestrone supplements during pregnancy??
    I was taking shatavari to reguralise periods and got pregnant. doc suggested progestrone supplements to support pregnancy . so can both be taken together?

    • Hi Sangeetha,

      Congratulations on your pregnancy! We do not recommend continuing Shatavari into pregnancy, nor combining it with prescription hormone medications, including prescription progesterone. If you are worried about suddenly discontinuing the Shatavari, begin taking less and less over a week until you are no longer taking it.

      Best Wishes for a very healthy and happy pregnancy!

  2. Update 2014 – We are back! We have been away for a while and we sure have missed all of your wonderful questions and thoughts on our articles. I apologize for not being able to reply to all past comments. Moving forward, one of our staff herbalists will be here to respond to comments! We look forward to connecting with our readers once again!

  3. My huband and I have been TTC for 4 years, finally did in December on Femara and I miscarried in February (they couldn’t find a heartbeat on u/s and did a D&C). We did Femara this month, but I’m honestly tired of it all. We didn’t get pregnant and the costs are going through the roof. I just want to take a break. I start Meca 500mg BID yesterday, and a friend told me about shatavari today. I see above that the two are safe to take together, but it looks like you’re only supposed to take Shatavari for about 9-10 days a month, after you stop bleeding until you ovulate. Is that correct?

  4. Hi Darlene,
    I am 46 years old trying to conceive. I tried IVF and was put on heavy does of stimulants which I did not respond well too. My period was regular every 28th days until I started this IVF process 3 years ago. Now my period is irregular and i have not seen my period in 2 months. I am currently taking Royal Jelly, Maca, Omega 3,6,9, CoQ10 and Vitex. Occasionally I drink red clover, Rose hips and nettle tea. should I stop taking Vitex and use Shatavari instead. Should I continue taking all this herbs?

    Thank you
    Mary

  5. Hi! I’m 24 years old. I got married 2 years back.I have irregular periods right from my puberty. After 5 months of my mariage,I had 1 miscarriage at 7th week of my pregnancy.There was no heartbeat in the foetus. Now, i want to get pregnant.Doctor said that i have hormonal imbalance.Can shatavari help me out to get rid of this?How to consume it and how much dose i should take?

  6. Hi,
    I am 32 years old and am trying to conceive . I have started taking Shatavari. I want to know which days should i take the capsule.

  7. Sir,

    My wife having higher Rate of LH & FSH ,please confirm which indian herbs are effective to do lower rate of FSH an LH.

  8. Hello, My husband and I have been trying to conceive a second child for 10 months now. It took us 2 1/2 years to conceive our first child naturally. I have been taking Shatavari at 500 mg regularly – actually every day, but I read above that I should not take it between ovulation and the end of menstruation. My cycles have become shorter (went from 28-26 days) – could this be a result of the Shatavari? Also, is it possible that I have miscarried from taking it throughout my entire cycle? I was almost certain that I conceived this month because of cramping and a slight dip in temperature on day 21, but then I spotted on day 25 with actual flow on day 26. I’m 37 and so hope that it doesn’t take as long this time! Also, what are your thoughts on the standardized extract of Shatavari? Thanks so much for your time. I was delighted to find this site.

  9. Hi dalene,

    Im 28 years old.. Got married almost a year plus now.. I’ve been trying so hard to conceive but it seems nothing work for me.. Actually i just want to share with u that i used to do abortions before because i cant pregnant during my working time..i was a flight attendant and still under contract that time.. That was 2 years ago..And after that i started taking birth control pills called ‘yasmin’ ..And i stop taking that pills on july last year because im ready to get pregnant but it seems so so hard to me.. I also facing vaginal dryness and painful intercourse most of the time.. But last month my cousins introduced me to this shatavari.. She said her gynea told her that this pills is good and highly recommended..So i went to the pharmacy yesterday to buy it, and after i told the pharmacist my probs, she recommend me to take shatavari and kapikachhu together for the best result..so is it ok to take both together?

  10. My fallopian tubes are damaged due to T.B. and hence am unable to conceive naturally.Can Shatavari be helpful in my case.If so from where can i get this product.Is it in capsule form or powder.

  11. This question may not be particularly appropriate in view of the title of website but having read other questions re endometriosis I wondered if shatavari would be useful to use during menopause. I have suffered endometriosis for many years and infertility. Now it seems, although I have no pain now due to absence of periods I now suffer all the symptoms of the menopause such as hot flushes, mood changes insomnia etc. I have tried many remedies but unfortunately they seem to bring back painful symptoms of endo such as bladder and bowel problems as this is where the endo is mainly. As endometriosis is a hormone dependant disease, would shatavari help as it seems this herb would not increase oestrogen levels but balance them. What do you think?

  12. Hi,
    I am 35 yrs old and had ovarian cysts/endo in the past. I don’t have them now. My issue is mostly facial hair and acne on my chin. I suffer from severe hair fall and as a result of this, I have very thin hair. I am taking Shatavri (one cap twice a day) for past 3 months along with fish oil capsules. My hair fall has decreased a little. But for the past one month, my bowel movement has become very irregular. And the stool is pebble like. Also I feel that I start having burps after eating a little. In short my digestion has become less efficient. Can you please advise if Shatavri can cause this? Or should I take it with some other herb? Thank you so much in advance.

  13. Hi, is it safe to use eve care and shavatari daily when ttc?

    Jada.

  14. Hi,
    my ayurvedic health practitioner prescribed me shatavari ( and some other herbs too) for my increased prolactin levels ( I have prolactinoma) , PMS symptoms and peri-menopause symptoms with low progesteron. Now I have read that shatavari may increase prolactin levels and I’m confused. My prolactin levels are lowered since I’m on ayurvedic herbs, but I’m still not sure if shatavari is the right herb for me?
    thanks!

  15. hi i am thirty five years old trying for 4 years to conceive but it seems nothing work can u please help us like herbal

    • Hi ishu,

      I am sorry, but I just don’t have enough information about you to guide you in the right direction. I am not sure what you mean at the end of your post…perhaps you are wondering which herbs are best for you. Please consider a consultation! Our consultations provide detailed information as to which fertility herbs, supplements and therapies may be right for your unique situation.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  16. Hello, I have been taking Shatavari at 500mg (due to ovarian cysts and irregular periods)…I went from having a cycle every 30 days to every 26 days..not fun. My husband and I are also wanting another child..we have been trying for a year now. I have only taken Shatavari pill four times and I have to say that I now have bigger and sore breast. Although I will add that my menstrual is expected in four days, however, my symptoms are not like that. I also feel more relaxed, but, I have been a quite a bit giggly for the last two days, especially in the morning time. Laughter is good..I do feel stress free. Although this sounds quite strange, I am quite serious. I am wondering if this is normal? Should I take a lower dosage. As I stated, my ultimate goal is to eliminate ovarian cyst, regulate my menstrual and become pregnant. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Vandi,
      So, you have only taken Shatavari 500mg for 4 days. 1 pill each day. You may correct me if I am wrong. Whenever we first introduce an herb that may affect our hormones, we must expect that it will take time for our body to adjust and feel different as it begins to utilize the herbs action. Ovarian cysts are linked to estrogen dominance. Shatavari has been found to have estrogen modulating properties. If you choose to continue on with this herb, I would say it may be best to only use it from after your period ends, up to ovulation and not after. We find there are remedies that work better than Shatavari for ovarian cysts, you can learn about them here: http://natural-fertility-info.com/ovarian-cyst-remedy

      Many women experience breast soreness and slight swelling from this herb. This herb has shown signs of contributing to prolactin production so women with the endocrine disorder hyperprolactinemia or high prolactin levels should use caution with this herb. Prolactin is the hormone that stimulates breast milk production.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  17. Hi Darlene,

    Is it okay to take Maca and Shatavari together? My friend, suffered from a stillbirth (at 28 weeks) couple of years ago and since then she had two or three miscarriages ( one at 13 weeks, and the other two were blighted ovums) and now apparently she is not even getting pregnant. Her RE says she immune related infertility, where her Nk cells are high and the toxins levels are abnormally high. My question, will Maca and Shatavari help? I was thinking of recommending, Maca, Rejuvenzyme, Omega 3-6-9 and a good fertility diet etc… But should she take Shatavari too? what do you think about royal jelly/bee pollen for immune related infertility issues.

    Any feedback would be much appreciated. I really want to help my friend, she is very depressed.

    Preeti

    • Preeti, So sorry to about all the loss your friend has gone through. Maca and shatavari can be taken together. For immune related fertility issues I would suggest looking into immuo-regulating herbs such as reishi, shatavari (which you already mentioned), Ashwagandha, Echinacea and Licorice root. These can be taken in tincture form daily. This in conjunction with Woebenzym (there is a study on our website which showed very promising results using Wobenzym specifically). She may also want to look into eating a gluten-free diet or being tested for gluten or other food allergies. This can trigger or create a hyperimmune response.
      I don’t feel there is a direct connection with bee products aiding with immune response, but I do feel they are a beneficial food tonic for fertility in general. Please keep us updated.

  18. Thank you Dalene, will check out the link.

  19. Hi Dalene

    Can shatavari plus help to shrink fibroids? or are they just used to help the body recover from fibroids say after having them removed?

    Also what pukka herbs are good for liver detox/cleansing?

    Thank you

    Shanai

  20. I had hormonal imbalance (Estrogen dominance)since the age of 13 (I am 40 now).
    As of now I have fluid retention , sluggish liver, uterus fibroids (larger one measuring 7 cm), sore breasts and very sensitive moods- anger/sadness as PMS sysmtoms.
    An ayurvedic doctor recommened Liver cleansing herbs along with Hormone balancing herbs(which have 90% Shatavari)
    I am stuck with fear to take Shatavari .
    Is it safe to take Shatavari with estrogen dominance.Will it further increase the estrogen levels and create more problems and increase my fibroid size
    Kindly let me know your ideas/insight into this.
    Thanks
    Padma

    • Hi Padma,

      Shatavari has been found to balance estrogen levels in the body. It does not increase estrogen, but rather works to aid the body in regulating estrogen balance. Shatavari has been shown to increase phagocytic activity of macrophages, reducing intraperitoneal adheshions. Adhesion and scar tissues can from from damage caused by uterine fibroids. Phagocytes aid in reducing scar tissue, adhesion and the inflammation that causes them. So the Shatavari may aid the body in healing from uterine fibroids. If you would like to learn additional ways to heal from uterine fibroids and reduce estrogen dominance, please read our article at this link: http://natural-fertility-info.com/the-best-natural-remedies-for-fibroids.html

      It sounds like your Ayurvedic practitioner knows what is going to be helpful! The liver cleansing sounds needed! The liver helps to filter toxins from the body including excess hormones. If there is an over abundance of estrogen, the liver will be overloaded and in need of a little herbal help.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  21. Dear Dalene,
    You mention above that in one study, Shatavari can increase phagocytic activity of the macrophages there is hope for it in reducing adhesions in the entire body. This may be great news for women suffering from adhesion damage causing fertility issues such as endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes, uterine fibroids, damage from c-section, ovarian cysts. As an endo patient for ten years and have done 3 lap surgery. On the third time time my doctor have to remove lots of adhesion from the left side of my abdomen. I also have multiple cyst on the right ovary and an enlarged chocolate cyst on the left ovary. Will Shatavari helps adenomyosis and multiple cyst? I’ve come across that shatavari can increase estrogen level but I’m facing vaginal dryness and a painful intercourse. Is it because of low estrogen? I’m confused coz endo patients always have low levels of progesterone. Am I having high or low estrogen/progesterone? Kindly help.

    • Hi Evely,

      Great questions! It would be best to find out what your hormone levels are through testing. That way you will know for sure what you are low in or high in. The article states: Shatavari’s main constituents are steroidal-sapponins, suggesting its use as an estrogen regulator, the estrogen modulating in turn may contribute to menstrual cycle regulation. This does not mean it increases estrogen in the body, but help to balance estrogen levels in the body. Vaginal dryness is one sign of low estrogen, but the vaginal dryness may be other hormonal balance as well. It sounds like Shatavari may be a good option for all of your fertility issues. Have you also learned about Systemic Therapy, remedies for ovarian cysts and endometriosis? Those would be other areas to research as well!

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  22. Hello i am TTC and i ordered Shatavari pills and i just got them this past saturday, but i’m currently 9 dpo do i wait to take them when my period comes or is it ok to take them now?

    • Hi Natalia,

      With most all herbs for fertility we feel it is best to use most of them all month long, except during your bleeding times. So if you may begin now and then stop during your bleeding time and then begin again after your bleeding time is over. If you are actively trying to conceive it may be best to not use these after ovulation in case of preganancy. This herb should only be used in early pregnancy under the supervised care of a qulified Ayurvedic practitioner.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  23. I am post menopause and I hope I can still take this herb as it improves quality of hair, I believe. However, I wonder if it is ok to take when all reporoductive activity is over. Would it act on the body in the same way as HRT? HRT has come under fire for creating an unnatural situation in the body.

    Can anyone confirm that it would be ok to take? I would be delighted to hear comments. I am 64 yrs of age.

    • Hi Terri,

      Ayurvedic practitioners do use Shatavari for hormonal support after menopause or during menopause to support estrogen levels which decline in menopause causing all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms. To be honest I have only had limited amounts of training for menopause and with this herb I am not sure at what dosage and for how long it should be taken in post-menopausal women. It would be best to seek the advice of a practitioner in your area that you could work one-on-one with!

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene