Asparagus officinalis is a spring vegetable, a flowering perennial plant species in the genus Asparagus. Asparagus is a herbaceous, perennial plant growing to 100–150 centimetres (39–59 in) tall, with stout stems with much-branched feathery foliage. The fruit is a small red berry 6–10 mm diameter, which is poisonous to humans.
The vegetable contains phosphate and vitamin B, which gives it remineralizing and stimulating properties. Also, it has rare nutrients: copper, iron, zinc, manganese, chrome, calcium, sodium, potassium, which give it depurative, and laxative properties and make it a hepatic and renal drainer.
Parts Used: Only young asparagus shoots are commonly eaten: once the buds start to open, the shoots quickly turn woody and become strongly flavoured.
What are the health benefits of asparagus?
Medicinal effects and uses: The virtues of Asparagus are well known as a diuretic and laxative; and for those of sedentary habits who suffer from symptoms of gravel, it has been found very beneficial, as well as in cases of dropsy. The fresh expressed juice is taken medicinally in tablespoonful doses.
Nutrition studies have shown asparagus is a low-calorie source of folate and potassium. Its stalks are high in antioxidants. “Asparagus provides essential nutrients: six spears contain some 135 micrograms (µg) of folate, almost half the adult RDI (recommended daily intake), 20 milligrams of potassium,” notes an article in Reader’s Digest. Research suggests folate is key in taming homocysteine, a substance implicated in heart disease. Folate is also critical for pregnant women, since it protects against neural tube defects in babies. Several studies indicate getting plenty of potassium may reduce the loss of calcium from the body.
Particularly green asparagus is a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body produce and maintain collagen, the major structural protein component of the body’s connective tissues.
Asparagus contains substances that act as a diuretic, neutralize ammonia that makes us tired, and protect small blood vessels from rupturing. Its fiber content makes it a laxative, too.