Garden Asparagus


A perennial plant with a height of 50-150 cm, a strong horizontal root, covered with roots. Stems erect, strongly branched, leaves undeveloped. The flowers are greenish-yellowish, many, small, unisex, single, hanging in 5-12mm long peduncles. The fruit is a red berry with a diameter of 5-8 mm. The seeds are also round, black, wrinkled. Blooms in May and June. The seeds ripen in August and September.

The rhizome with roots, young shoots, surface part and fruits are used for medicinal purposes. The rhizomes with roots are harvested in autumn or early spring, when Asparagus just starts to grow. First, they are cleaned from the ground, washed in running water and then cut into pieces. The above-ground part is collected at the beginning of flowering, by cutting off the new tops (30 cm long). The fruits are harvested when they are fully ripe. The collected plant is dried in the fresh air on sieves or in a room with good ventilation, if necessary it can be dried in forced dryers, not exceeding 45-60C.

Ready drugs are stored in paper bags, wooden or glass containers. Can be stored for 1-2 years. When collecting the plant, it should be taken into account that it can cause an allergic reaction on the skin, so use gloves when collecting.

Medicinal asparagus is rich in biologically active substances. Rhizome and roots contain asparagine, coumarin, carbohydrates, steroidal saponins, traces of essential oil. The young shoots contain asparagine, arginine, an insignificant amount of carotene, 1.6-1.7% protein - amino acid lysine, vitamin C, PP, B1, B2, mineral salts (especially a lot of potassium). The aerial part contains coniferin, saponins, helidonic acid, succinic acid, tyrosine and asparagine. Ripe fruits contain sugar (36%), capsingin, physamine, alkaloid residues, malic acid and citric acid. Up to 16% vegetable oil is obtained from the seeds.

Medicinal significance

Asparagus is also a recognized plant in medical dietetics. Dietician doctors recommend using young shoots of asparagus in food, in case of liver and kidney diseases, gout, diabetes, as well as to increase appetite and improve digestive processes.

Phytotherapists recommend this plant for the treatment of kidney disease (kidney edema) and atherosclerosis of the bladder, prostate, cardiovascular system and cerebral vessels.

In homeopathy, the essence of the young shoots of  asparagus is used as a diuretic, hypotensive, sedative and laxative agent.

Asparagus has a good diuretic and antispasmodic effect, as well as anti-inflammatory, blood-cleansing, laxative, analgesic and sedative effects. Asparagus extract lowers arterial blood pressure, reduces heart rate, improves liver function, and relieves fatigue. Asparagine improves liver function, promotes the removal of phosphate, urea and chloride from the body. Asparagus improves appetite, stimulates digestion and the immune system, removes blood vessel spasms and relieves headaches.

In folk medicine, this plant has been known for a long time and has a huge range of applications. Asparagus root is used as a diuretic, in case of edema, to treat kidney stones, inflammation of the bladder, especially when urination is difficult, tachycardia and epilepsy (as a sedative).

A decoction of the rhizome is used in cases of neurosis, hysteria, diabetes, as a means of reducing blood sugar.

Decoctions of rhizomes, roots and young shoots are used to treat stomach diseases. The setting of the above-ground parts of the plant is used for the treatment of the heart, kidneys and bladder.

Fruit decoction is recommended for use in case of diarrhea, dysentery and impotence. The seeds are used as a diuretic and lactation strengthening agent, the seed extract is used in case of impotence, as well as a detoxification agent.

In folk medicine,  asparagus roots and root decoction are used to treat pyelonephritis, cystitis, urolithiasis, prostate adenoma. In case of toothache, it is recommended to chew a piece of the rhizome.

Asparagus rhizomes and young shoots are used in home dermatology and cosmetology for skin inflammations, exudative diathesis and eczema, as a blood purifier. A decoction of the rhizome, root, or whole plant is used to treat acne and scrofula. In case of scabies, the skin is treated with the juice of the rhizome, in case of pus, compresses are applied.

Asparagus rhizomes and roots are included in mixtures against hair loss.

In dermatology, asparagus roots and young shoots are used in diseases such as allergic dermatosis, pyoderma, scabies, vitiligo, psoriasis, as well as in complex therapy against blistering dermatitis, as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Asparagus has an effective effect on cells that begin to fade, maintains youth, thanks to this, this plant has gained a place in modern cosmetology. In many good SPA salons, face masks for the face and neck are prepared from the young shoots of asparagus.

Not recommended for use

Pronounced side effects caused by the plant have not been observed, but you should be careful when using this plant in periods when there are exacerbations of diseases of the stomach and intestinal tract.

In people who are prone to allergic reactions, this plant can cause hives. Also, contact with the young shoots can cause skin inflammation/rash. 

Importance of food

The food importance of asparagus is nothing new and this plant has been compared to the vegetable we eat since ancient times. Asparagus is recommended to be harvested before it appears above the ground and is white, often it is even covered with a layer of soil to increase the mass of the asparagus. However, in my opinion, it is quite good to use in food, even when it has already reached a light green shade. Practically, until the moment when twigs start to appear on it, then it remains tough and tasteless.