Unani Sataavar

Siddha/Tamil ► Thanneervittan kizhangu, Sataavari Kizhangu.

Action ► Used as a galactagogue and for disorders of female genitourinary tract; as a styptic and ulcer-healing agent; as an intestinal disinfectant and astringent in diarrhoea; as a nervine tonic, and in sexual debility for spermatogenesis.

Along with other therapeutic applications, The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicates the use of the tuberous root in gout, puerperal diseases, lactic disorders, haematuria, bleeding disorders and also recommends it for hyperacidity.

The plant contains saponins—sha-tavarins I-IV. Shatavarin IV is a gly-coside of sarsasapogenin. The saponin in doses of 20-500 mcg/ml produces a special blockade of syntocinon (oxy-tocin)-induced contraction of rat, guinea-pig and rabbit uteri in vitro and in situ. It also blocks the uterine spontaneous motility.

The dried root yields sitosterol; 4,6-dihydroxy-2-O-(2' hydroxyisobutyl) benzaldehyde and undecanyl cetano-ate, and contains a large amount of saccharine matter, mucilage and miner-als—Ca (0.172), Cu (0.033), Na (14.60), K (8.32), Mg (0.169), Mn (0.0074), Ni (0.105) and Zn (0.072) mg/g(dry weight).

The root was found to reduce gastric emptying time comparable to that of metoclopramide. (J Postgrad Med, 1990, 36(2), 91-94).

The root extracts exhibited antiallergic activity in animal studies.

The root, when fed orally, acted as immunomodulator against induced sepsis and peritonitis in rats and mice.

Asparagus sarmentosus Linn. has been equated with Mahaa-shataavari. Other related sp. are Asparagus curillus Buch.-Ham., A. filicinus Buch.-Ham. and A. gracilis Royle.

Dosage ► Dried root—3-6 g powder. (API Vol. IV.)

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