Delicious vegetable asparagus as well as other Asparagus species that are not necessarily edible come with a plethora of health benefits that are established in traditional medicine, and increasingly being documented in scientific papers.
Asparagus is rich in nutrients such as vitamins, folate, and essential oils, and is commonly known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and immunostimulant properties. The main biologically active substance of Asparagus is considered to be the steroidal saponin which is said to confer on it antioxidant properties.
Saponins are also linked with the immune system, and protection from tumours. A study published in the journal Current Oncology explains that saponins trigger the apoptosis of hepatoma cells, that is, cancer liver cells are caused to die through the substances. The authors concluded that Asparagus saponins might be a “potent agent” to treat hepatocellular carcinoma, which is a deadly cancer. The anti-tumour properties of saponins have been documented in more than one study. For instance, a paper published in Cancer Letters shows how they prevented the growth of leukemia cells.
Asparagus officinalis, which is the scientific name of the common delicious vegetable consumed across the world, has been found to provide relief from alcohol hangover. Furthermore, the paper also mentions that it protects liver cells from toxicity. The leaves of Asparagus officinalis also have therapeutic use, points out the study authors.
Ripe fruits of Asparagus curillus are given to patients of diabetes and dysentery, according to a study published in Pharmacognosy Review, while the roots of Asparagus racemosus are thought to benefit people suffering from tumours, inflammation, leprosy, epilepsy, and even night blindness. A. racemosus’ bark also exhibits antibacterial activity.
A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology explains how a species of Asparagus has been used in Korea and China as part of their traditional medicine for long now. Mostly, it would be used for inflammatory diseases. The paper confirmed the anti-inflammatory properties pertaining to skin inflammation in mice.