Herbs A-Z: Asparagus & Astragalus


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This week’s herbs from our apothecary shelf are shatavari and astragalus! These are a couple of slow-acting herbs for long-term work. Their restorative properties take some time for full effect, but they’re worth building the habit. We prefer to prepare both of these as decoctions.

Asparagus racemosus, called shatavari, is an Ayurvedic herb with cooling, moistening, and relaxant qualities. It’s an adaptogenic herb which can improve the stress response – especially for people with dry constitutions. Shatavari is famous as an herb for the dry tendencies of aging humans, but it’s really good for anyone prone to dryness, or for whom depletion has led to fatigue.

Astragalus membranaceus is a Chinese herb which is mildly warming, moistening, and tonifying. It is an immune restorative herb, most appropriate when recovering from illness. It can also help build up immune reserves when one may go into a place where they’re likely to be exposed to sick people. Astragalus maintains our immune defenses, but it’s not an immune stimulant and it’s not an herb we take when we’re acutely ill.

The formula we mentioned drinkin today includes: shatavari, astragalus, cacao nibs, hawthorn berries, ginger, cinnamon, & cardamom.
These quick plant profiles were done off-the-cuff & on-the-spot. If you enjoyed them, we have more! Our organized & comprehensive presentation of our herbal allies is in the Holistic Herbalism Materia Medica course. We have detailed profiles of 90 medicinal herbs! Plus you get everything that comes with enrollment in our courses: twice-weekly live Q&A sessions, lifetime access to current & future course material, discussion threads integrated in each lesson, guides & quizzes, and more.

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Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai Heidlas.

This episode was sponsored by Mountain Rose Herbs. We thank them for their support!

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