Nowadays it is better known as an ornamental plant. As a vegetable, it is not widespread in our country, and it is not at all used as a medicinal plant. But in vain.
Medicinal asparagus, or pharmacy (Asparagusofficinalis L.) from the Asparagus family (in old editions you can find that it previously belonged to the Liliaceae family) is found in the wild throughout the European part of Russia, in the Caucasus and southern Western Siberia. Prefers floodplain meadows, forest edges, clearings of light forests, fallow lands. It is a perennial dioecious herb. Therefore, berries do not appear on all plants, but only on female ones. And so the plants outwardly differ little.
Its history goes back about 4 millennia, almost the same age as the pyramids. The ancient Greeks and Romans used it extensively as a vegetable plant. In the 1st century A.D. Dioscorides recommended a decoction of the roots as a diuretic. Then they somehow forgot about it, and in the Middle Ages it was grown mainly by Arabs, and in the 15th century asparagus was finally appreciated by the French gourmands, and after that it entered the cooking of other European countries.
Bleached asparagus shoots (in scientific terms - etiolated) are used for food. In order for them not to have time to turn green, an additional layer of loose soil is poured and collected before they appear on the surface.
Taking into account the centuries-old interest of mankind in this culture, more than a hundred varieties are known that differ in the color of underground shoots: green-headed - with a greenish color of the tops of the shoots (Snow Head, Dutch Green, Vienna, Burgundy early, Spanish, etc.), red-headed - with reddish tops ( Argenteuil, Harvest, Giant, etc.) and white-headed - (Elephant, Gigantic, Mamontovskaya white, etc.).
We will not talk about what sauce to eat it with, although this is also very interesting, but from what diseases to use.
Useful properties of asparagus
Let's start with the fact that the underground part is included in the Pharmacopoeia of Bulgaria, France, Mexico, Portugal.
Asparagus contains a lot of useful substances: rhizomes - asparagine, steroid saponins (asparagosides A, B, D and G, diosgenin, etc.), coumarin, carbohydrates (inulin-like fructans), proteins, traces of essential oil, vitamins C, PP, B2 , B1, provitamin A, flavonoids (rutin and hyperoside) and a lot of potassium salts.
The herb contains chelidonic acid and saponins, mature fruits - fatty oil, sugars, carotenoids, traces of alkaloids.
Asparagine has antihypertensive properties, expanding peripheral vessels, enhances the contraction of the heart muscle and slows down the rhythms of the heart, increases diuresis. That is why asparagus rhizome is considered as a mild antihypertensive agent. The sap of the plant in the experiment showed an antimutagenic effect when exposed to benzopyrenes and glycophosphamides.
Asparagus has the ability to improve digestion, prevent constipation, and has a beneficial effect on the liver. The roots are harvested in the fall or very early in the spring, you can combine this activity with dividing and replanting bushes. The raw material has a fresh and aromatic smell and sweetish taste.
As already mentioned, rhizomes are used in the initial stages of hypertension, as well as in stage 1-2 venous insufficiency, as a diuretic for inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract. In folk medicine, a decoction of roots and rhizomes is used for cardiovascular diseases, kidney and bladder diseases, difficulty urinating, rheumatism and epilepsy, it is used as a blood purifier, for gout and rheumatism, for acne, scrofula, acne. Externally, decoctions are used for rinsing hair loss, as well as for the treatment of pustular skin diseases.
Sometimes grass is used instead of roots - it is believed that it has a similar effect. And scientific studies have revealed the activity of asparagus herb extract against certain strains of the influenza A.
Shoots are harvested in the spring when they begin to grow. The herb is harvested during flowering, but remember that dry it causes contact dermatitis in some people. Therefore, for allergy sufferers, it is better to lay out and pack raw materials with gloves.
Decoction of herbs prepared from 2 tablespoons of dry herbs and 0.5 liters of boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes, insist until cooled, filter and take 1/2 cup 4 times a day before meals.
Infusion of young shoots and decoction of roots used as a diuretic for kidney disease, urolithiasis, cystitis, edema, diabetes. Brew 1 tablespoon of raw materials in a glass of boiling water and drink in 3 divided doses during the day. With gout, the course of treatment should be at least 3-4 weeks.
Sometimes cooking is preferable for gout syrup (it tastes much more pleasant): freshly squeezed juice of young shoots 1 part and 2 parts of sugar are boiled until a thick mass is obtained over low heat. Take 1-2 tablespoons 3-4 times a day.
Some herbalists recommend asparagus for tachycardia. In this case, pour a tablespoon of dry asparagus roots with one and a half glasses of water, bring to a boil and simmer for another 1 minute. Remove from heat and put 1-2 teaspoons of her own dried herb in the broth. Insist in a closed saucepan for 2 hours. Take 2 tablespoons 3 times daily before meals.
Contraindications to the use of asparagus preparations are heart failure and inflammatory kidney disease.
In addition, traditional medicine considers asparagus to be a mild sedative. True, the Chinese use in this case mainly fruits, not roots. The seeds contain some fatty acids and ... vanillin, which gives them a pleasant smell. In addition, the fruits are used as a general tonic for impotence, detoxifying in case of poisoning and a lactogenic (lactogenic) agent. The infusion of fruits is prepared as follows: 5 berries are poured with 1 glass of boiling water, insisted in a thermos for 6-8 hours, filtered and taken 1 tablespoon 3-4 times a day.
Asparagus shoots are a low-calorie dietary product and therefore are recommended in the diet of diabetics and obese people (only 17 kcal per 100 g). Any vegetable varieties are suitable for use as a medicinal plant, for example, such known varieties as Snow Head, Argenteuil and Holland.
To get a good harvest, you need, first of all, fertilized and then again fertilized with organic matter. Each planting pit must be filled with at least 3-4 buckets of compost and 20-30 g of superphosphate. Moreover, the fertile layer should be thicker. On poor dry soil, the shoots turn out to be tough and dry, so you can't squeeze out the juice for syrup from them, and they will not be very tasty to eat. Propagated by seed or vegetatively. The second method is preferable, since you can quickly get the coveted delicacy to the table.
When sowing with seeds, it is better to sow seedlings in a pot on the windowsill in the spring, plant them in a school in the spring, and in the spring of next year - to a permanent place.
During vegetative propagation, a large bush is divided into several parts and seated at a distance of at least 1 m from each other in pits abundantly filled with organic fertilizers.
Care includes weeding, loosening, mandatory watering with a lack of moisture, fertilizing with mineral and organic fertilizers - after all, after the spring harvest, the bush should gain strength for next year.
But man is alive not only by medicinal action. If you do not need to treat the many ailments that asparagus heals, we still recommend growing this plant. It will give you great pleasure with its taste.
The simplest recipe for asparagus is to boil it in salted water for 25-30 minutes and pour over the egg-butter sauce (grind 70 g of butter with 2 yolks and 1 tablespoon of flour, bring to a boil and pour over the asparagus).
You can pour the asparagus sauce over the asparagus - brown 2 tablespoons of butter with 1 tablespoon of bread crumbs and salt to taste.
Nineteenth-century grooms were always served three dishes of asparagus, known for its aphrodisiac properties, at their weddings. Asparagus with ginger doubles the love power of a man, because it also combines ginger - one of the most "sensual" spices.
Cooking recipes with asparagus:
- Arugula salad with green asparagus and strawberries
- Asparagus with mustard dressing with tarragon and lemon
- White asparagus with curry sauce
- Noodles with asparagus and salmon
- Green Creamy Asparagus Soup with Watercress
- Californian asparagus soup
- Potato soup with white asparagus and smoked salmon
- Shrimps with asparagus and egg in jelly
- Squid in a creamy sauce with mushrooms, zucchini and asparagus
- Asparagus cream soup with lemongrass and ginger
- Multicolored salad with asparagus and kohlrabi