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Asparagus - Health Benefits of Asparagus Tree

Botanical Name: Asparagus officinalis

Family Name : Liliaceae

The generic name is derived from the Greek spargao, turgid. Asparagus grows on a perennial plant with a small rhizome, the stems can grow to over 61/2 ft. (2m.). It has many long, delicate branches and subulate branch lets which resemble leaves. The shoots grow directly from the rhizome. The fruit is red berry containing four seeds.

Asparagus is grown from 1-year-old plants or "crowns" planted in January or February. Crowns grow from seed planted in flats or peat cups in October for January transplanting, or they are transplanted from an existing asparagus bed. To get healthy, vigorous plants, buy 1-year-old crowns from a nursery or garden center or order them from a seed catalog. It takes 1 year to grow a good crown.

Origin and Distribution

Asparagus was first cultivated 2000 years ago in the Mediterranean and Asia Minor. The Greeks and Romans loved asparagus for its flavor, texture, and medicinal qualities. While the Greeks never seemed to garden asparagus, the Romans had specific directions on how to cultivate asparagus by 200 BC. They would eat the asparagus in season as well as preserve it for later consumption by freezing. Asparagus gained popularity in France in England in the 16th Century and was then introduced to North America. It is available abundantly in India, China, Britain, Taiwan, Africa and Malaysia.

Properties of asparagus

Diuretic, anti-plethoric, anti-dropsical, aphrodisiac, anti-leukaemic etc.

Forms of Use :- Decoction, tincture, pulp, powder.

Food Value of asparagus

Analysis of asparagus provides following composition (per 100 g):

Moisture 93%
Protein 2.2%
Fibre 0.7%
Carbohydrate 4%
Phosphorus 62 mg
Fat 0.2%
Calcium 22 mg
Vitamin A 900 I. U.
Vitamin C 33 mg
Iron 1.0 mg
Magnesium 20 mg

Medicinal Uses & benefits

  1. It has similar sedative effect on heart as the false heliebore (Adonis helieborus).
  2. Asparagus is an excellent food for heart. A food medicine for weak and enlarged heart, its juice with honey three times daily will be highly useful.
  3. The dried roots of asparagus are used in Unani medicine as an aphrodisiac which arouse sexual desire. It is sold in market as Safed musli. Roots boiled in milk are used as demulcent or soothing medicine. Its regular use thickens the semen and is valuable in impotency.
  4. Asparagus have detoxifying and diuretic effects . Their fibers help us clean out our gastrointestinal tract.
  5. The asparagus is a valuable food medicine in rheumatism on account of its potash content.
  6. There are old beliefs that asparagus could increase feelings of compassion and love, promote fertility, reduce menstrual cramping, and increase milk production in nursing mothers. In some countries they are also used as an aphrodisiac.

Note: Its consumption is not recommended for anyone suffering from kidney stones, cystitis, diabetes, nephritis or gout.

Other uses

Asparagus is a delicacy and is mainly served cooked as a starter, side-dish or with ham and sauce as a main dish. Asparagus is also processed for canning and used for salads, soups etc..

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