Liliaceae Family- separated into the Asparagaceae family
Last week a group of us spent the morning with Asparagus albus.
What an amazing plant. Anyone living in the Algarve is probably familiar with this prickly bush!!
I am so happy to share what an abundant medicine this plant is.
We are most familiar with the Spears of the Asparagus. These young stems are the tasty food that shoot up through the bare ground which start appearing at the end of the Winter and early Spring.
Asparagus albus is slightly more bitter than the usual Asparagus you would buy in the shops (Asparagus officinalis which is often cultivated with other species of Asparagus).
In Roman times the Asparagus albus was preferred as it was more fleshy and had this bitterness.
Asparagus has been known as a food and medicine for thousands of years. 3000BC drawings of Asparagus were found on Egyptian artwork. Ancient texts from Indian and Roman times state its aphrodisiac actions and a herb to help with fatigue.
Growing wild in all of Europe and Asia. But cultivated across the globe.
- As a food.
- Decoction of the roots\rhizomes. Half a cup up to three times a day.
- Infusion of the ariel parts
- Foot baths- Make sure you have removed all the spines if working with the ariel parts!
- A tincture can be made of the root or the ariel parts.
- Flower essence
Harvest root and rhizome when ariel parts start to turn pale yellow usually in the Autumn time.
Carotenoids, vitamin B9 (folic acid) and vitamin C. Also vitamin E, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, Vitamin K, potassium, iodine, fibre, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, carbohydrates, proteins, sodium, selenium, chromium, and polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids.
The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus. Asparagine is cleansing and has a diuretic action, helping to flush your body of excess salt. Also is essential for the growth, division and regeneration of all the cells in the body.
High levels of polyphenol antioxidants, of which the most significant is rutin or vitamin P: excellent anti-inflammatory effects and help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Another very important antioxidant group that is abundant in this plant is its Flavonoid content such as quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin: Powerful anti-inflammatory actions and Heart protective. Anti cancer treatments esp colon cancer, antimicrobial incl streptococcus and antifungal.
Research has shown that the arial parts in A.albus and A.racemosus have six times higher flavonoid content than in A.officinalis.
Sapogenins, a glucosteroid which has the bittersweet taste. Higher in the roots but levels are found in the ariel parts. Many health benefits due to the diuretic, hypoglycaemic, hypochlesterolemic, galactagogue, anticancer, antifungal and anti-parasitic actions.
Fructans are polysaccharides found in the roots and spears, they have a prebiotic action increasing bifidobacteria and lactobacilli by decreasing the bacteroides and clostridia in the intestine. Also increase calcium and magnesium absorption. Increase immune strength and lower blood triglycerides thus good in cholesterol imbalance.
Asparagus contains aspragusic acid. When the vegetable is digested, this chemical is broken down into a group of related sulphur containing compounds having antioxidant action and can make your urine smell of asparagus!
Good for many heart conditions such as high blood pressure, palpitations, deterioration of heart muscle, valvular disease.
Fluid retention, oedema, swollen ankles. Helps to clear kidney stones and gravel.
Jaundice and constipation. Liver and kidney failure. Arthritis, gout.
Diabetes, chronic bronchitis, many skin conditions such as psoriasis and skin lesions.
Convalescence, anaemia, demineralisation in any condition. Good in pregnancy.
Increased sense of compassion and harmony. Relaxing an overactive mind. Calms those under stress.
Maurice Mességué prescribed the ariel parts to intellectuals!
Culpeper 17th century herbalist writes that Asparagus is under the planet Jupiter.
Culpeper also writes that the root decocted is good for eyesight and toothache.
Also helps with cramps, sciatica, gout of the hips and all pains of the lower parts of the body. Bathing in the decocted plant can ease these pains.
He also writes that the herb stirs lust.
This is also seen in many other species of the Asparagus.
Asparagus linked with Aphrodite\Venus goddess of Love.
Indian Asparagus linked with Kamadeva the God of Love.
Asparagus has been associated with luxury, prosperity and abundance.
Supportive in dispelling depression, abandonment, abuse and fear.
Dynamic for discernment and setting boundaries.
Releases subconscious debris from the aura such as childhood fears and prejudices. Allowing you to be set free from the grip of powerful presences: strong parental figures, cultural conditioning, power struggles in relationships.
Purity, cleansing, clairty. Emotional relief and transformation. Releasing of judgements. Brave. Protection. Reframing of old beliefs into something beautiful.
Support us to be more aligned to our connection with Spirituality and growth.