Bengali/Vernacular Name: Satamuli.
Tribal Name: Shaktichara (Chakma); Mimong tamache (Garo).
English Name: Asparagus.
Description of the Plant:
A tall, much branched, prickly climber with fascicle of fusiform roots. Cladodes 1.3-2.5 cm long, curved, in tufts of 2-6. Flowers small, white, in solitary or fascicled, simple or branched racemes. Berry small, red.
The root is tonic, refrigerant, demulcent, diuretic, aphrodisiac, antispasmodic, alterative, galactagogue, laxative, expectorant, anti-diarrhoeal and anti-dysenteric; useful in diseases of the kidney and the liver, scalding urine and gleet; promotes lactation. It improves appetite of the children. It is used in the treatment of impotency and acidity; with sesame oil as hair tonic and cooling. In Khagrachari, the tribal use roots in urinary trouble. Garo of Madhupur use root paste in seminal weakness.
Aquous extract of roots is nematicidal; EtOH(50%) extract of aerial parts is anticancer. Bark possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties (Asolkar et al., 1992). Asparagin contained in the plant is a strong diuretic (Ghani, 2003).
Asparagus contains steroidal glycosides (asparagosides), bitter glycosides, asparagin and flavonoids. Fresh leaves yield diosgenin and other saponins such as shatavarin I to IV. Flowers and fruits contain glycosides of quercetin, rutin, and hyperoside. Ripe fruit contains cyanidin 3-glycosides. Presence of sitosterol, stigmasterol, their glucosides and sarsasapogenin; two spirostanolic and two furostanolic saponins have been reported in the fruits. Tubers and roots contain saccharine matters and mucilage. An antioxytocic compound, named racemosal (a 9, 10-dihydorphenanthrene derivative), has been isolated from this plant .
The Sanskrit name satamuli (that is possessing a hundred roots), is in allusion to the numerous fusiform tubers of this plant. These are regarded as cooling, demulcent, diuretic, tonic and aphrodisiac, and are used both internally and in the preparation of several medicated oils. The tubers are candied and taken as asweet-meat. This preparation however has scarcely any other taste or flavour besides that of the sugar. The fresh juice of the root is given withhoneyas a demulcent in bilious dyspepsia or diarrhoea.3 As an aphrodisiac tonic, it is used in a variety of forms. A ghrita is prepared as follows. –
Satάvari ghrita.3 Take of clarified butter four seers, juice of Asparagus racemosus four seers,milkforty seers, boil them together and prepare a ghrita. This is given with the addition of sugar, honey, and long pepper.
Phalaghrita. This is prepared with four seers of clarified butter, and sixteen seers each of the juice of Asparagus racemosus and cow’s milk, with the addition of anumberof other medicines in small quantities, in theform ofa paste. Its use is said to increase the secretion of semen, to cure barrenness in women and to remove disorders of the female genitals.
As a diuretic, it is prescribed incombination withother medicines of its class. The following is an illustration. Take of the roots of Asparagus racemosus, Saccharum spontaneum (kάsa), Poa cynosuroides (kusa),Oryza sativa(variety called sάlidhάnya) andSaccharum officinarum(ikshu), Batatus paniculatus (vidάri), Scirpus Kysoor (kaseruka), andTribulus terrestris(gokshura)equal parts, and prepare a decoction in the usual way. This decoction is administered, with the addition of sugar and honey, in scantyurinewith heat and ardor urinae.1 The chief use of the drug how-ever consists in the preparation of several popular cooling and emollient medicated oils for external application in disorders of thenervous system, rheumatic affections and urinary diseases.
Nάrayanά taila,2 popularly known as Madhyama nάrayanά taila is made by taking of the bark of AEgle, Marmelos (vilva),Premna spinosa(agnimantha),Calosanthes Indica(syonάka),Stereospermum suaveolens(patala), ErythrinaIndica(paribhadra), Poederia fostida (prasarani),Withania somnifera(asvagandhά),Solatium Jacquinii(kantakari),Solanum Indicum(vrihati),Sida cordifolia(bάlά), Sida rhombifolia (atibalά), Tribulus terrestris (danshtrά) andBoerhaavia diffusa(punarnavά) each twenty totes, water sixty-four seers, and boiling down till reduced to one-fourth and straining. To the strained decoction add four seers each of the juice of Asparagus racemosus and prepared sesamum oil, sixteen seers of cow’s or goat’s milk and the following substances, namely, fennel seeds, Wood ofCedrus Deodara(devadάru), jatamansi root, liquid storax,Acorus Calamus(vachά), sandal wood, Limnanthemum cristatum (tagarapddukά), Aplotaxisauriculata (kushtha),cardamoms,Desmodium gangeticum(sάlaparni), Uraria lagopodioides (prisniparni), Phaseolus trilobus (mudgaparni), Glycine labialis (mάsliaparni), Withania somnifera (asvagandha),Vanda Roxburghii(rάsna), Boerhaavia diffusa (punarnava) androck salt, four tolάs each in theform ofpaste and prepare an oil in the usual way. When ready, boil again with fragrant substances as directed in the introduction underthe head ofMedicated oils. This oil is much used by native physicians in rheumatism, diseases of the joints, stiff neck, hemiplegia and other diseases of thenervous system.