Asparagi Rhizoma Root, Asparagus longifolius, Asparagus officinalis, Asperge, Asperge Comestible, Asperge Commune, Asperge Officinale, Asperges, Espárrago, Espárragos, Garden Asparagus, Spargelkraut, Spargelwurzelstock, Sparrow Grass.


Overview Information

Asparagus is a plant. The newly formed shoots (spears), root, and "underground stems" (rhizomes) are used to make medicine. The shoots are also used as a food source.

Asparagus is used along with lots of fluids as "irrigation therapy" to increase urine output. It is also used for bladder infections (urinary tract infections), joint pain, obesity, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In foods, asparagus spears are eaten as a vegetable. This can produce a pungent odor in the urine in some people. The seed and root extracts of asparagus are used in alcoholic beverages.

How does it work?

There is some scientific evidence that asparagus can increase urine production. Asparagus is a good source of dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, and several minerals.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Ineffective for

  • High blood pressure. Early research shows that taking tablets containing asparagus root and parsley leaf does not reduce blood pressure. Also, it might increase the risk of side effects like stomach complaints, kidney pain, and swelling.

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of asparagus for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Asparagus is LIKELY SAFE when eaten in food amounts. However, there isn't enough reliable information to know if asparagus is safe when used in larger medicinal amounts. Some research suggests that a product containing asparagus root and parsley leaf is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken at doses of up to 6 grams daily. This product increases the risk for side effects, especially stomach issues and leg swelling.

Asparagus can cause allergic reactions when eaten as a vegetable or used on the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Asparagus is UNSAFE to use in medicinal amounts during pregnancy. Asparagus extracts have been used for birth control, so they might harm hormone balances during pregnancy.

There isn't enough reliable information to know if asparagus is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

Allergy to onions, leeks, and related plants: Asparagus might cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to other members of the Liliaceae family including onions, leeks, garlic, and chives.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Lithium interacts with ASPARAGUS

    Asparagus might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking asparaus might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.



The appropriate dose of asparagus depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for asparagus. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Dalvi SS, Nadkarni PM, Gupta KC. Effect of Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari) on gastric emptying time in normal healthy volunteers. J Postgrad Med 1990;36(2):91-94. View abstract.
  • Escribano MM, Munoz-Bellido FJ, Serrano P, et al. Acute urticaria after ingestion of asparagus. Allergy 1998;53(6):622-623. View abstract.
  • Gearhart HL, Pierce SK, Payne-Bose D. Volatile organic components in human urine after ingestion of asparagus. Clin Chem 1977;23(10):1941. View abstract.
  • Hausen BM, Wolf C. 1,2,3-Trithiane-5-carboxylic acid, a first contact allergen from Asparagus officinalis (Liliaceae). Am J Contact Dermat 1996;7(1):41-46. View abstract.
  • Hoffenberg L. A note on polymorphism: the ability to smell urinary metabolites of asparagus. Diastema 1983;11:37-38. View abstract.
  • Lison M, Blondheim SH, Melmed RN. A polymorphism of the ability to smell urinary metabolites of asparagus. Br Med J 1980;281(6256):1676-1678. View abstract.
  • Misico, R. I., Nicotra, V. E., Oberti, J. C., Barboza, G., Gil, R. R., and Burton, G. Withanolides and related steroids. Prog.Chem.Org.Nat.Prod. 2011;94:127-229. View abstract.
  • Mitchell SC, Waring RH, Land D, et al. Odorous urine following asparagus ingestion in man. Experientia 1987;43(4):382-383. View abstract.
  • Shao Y, Chin CK, Ho CT, et al. Anti-tumor activity of the crude saponins obtained from asparagus. Cancer Lett 1996;104(1):31-36. View abstract.
  • Shao Y, Poobrasert O, Kennelly EJ, et al. Steroidal saponins from Asparagus officinalis and their cytotoxic activity. Planta Med 1997;63(3):258-262. View abstract.
  • Sharma S, Ramji S, Kumari S, et al. Randomized controlled trial of Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari) as a lactogogue in lactational inadequacy. Indian Pediatr 1996;33(8):675-677. View abstract.
  • Wiboonpun N, Phuwapraisirisan P, Tip-pyang S. Identification of antioxidant compound from Asparagus racemosus. Phytother Res 2004;18(9):771-773. View abstract.
  • Amaro-Lopez MA, Zurera-Cosano G, Moreno-Rojas R. Trends and nutritional significance of mineral content in fresh white asparagus spears. Int J Food Sci Nutr 1998;49:353-63. View abstract.
  • Chrubasik C, Maier T, Dawid C, et al. An observational study and quantification of the actives in a supplement with Sambucus nigra and Asparagus officinalis used for weight reduction. Phytother Res 2008;22:913-8. View abstract.
  • Chrubasik S, Droste C, Black A. Asparagus P(R) cannot compete with first-line diuretics in lowering the blood pressure in treatment-requiring antihypertensives. Phytother Res 2009;23:1345-6. View abstract.
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at:
  • Gaus BM, Scheiba N, Schäkel K. Asparagus-induced fixed food eruptions mimicking cutaneous lupus. Acta Derm Venereol 2014;94:731-2. View abstract.
  • Huang X, Kong L. Steroidal saponins from roots of Asparagus officinalis. Steroids 2006;71:171-6. View abstract.
  • Jang DS, Cuendet M, Fong HH, et al. Constituents of Asparagus officinalis evaluated for inhibitory activity against cyclooxygenase-2. J Agric Food Chem 2004;52:2218-22. View abstract.
  • Makris DP, Rossiter JT. Domestic processing of onion bulbs (Allium cepa) and asparagus spears (Asparagus officinalis): effect on flavonol content and antioxidant status. J Agric Food Chem 2001;49:3216-22. View abstract.
  • Mitchell SC. Asparagus, urinary odor, and 1,2-dithiolane-4-carboxylic acid. Perspect Biol Med 2013;56:341-51. View abstract.
  • Rademaker M, Yung A. Contact dermatitis to Asparagus officinalis. Australas J Dermatol 2000;41:262-3. View abstract.
  • Rieker J, Ruzicka T, Neumann NJ, Homey B. Protein contact dermatitis to asparagus. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2004;113:354-5. View abstract.
  • Rodriguez R, Jaramillo S, Rodriguez G, et al. Antioxidant activity of ethanolic extracts from several asparagus cultivars. J Agric Food Chem 2005;53:5212-7. View abstract.
  • Sun T, Tang J, Powers JR. Effect of pectolytic enzyme preparations on the phenolic composition and antioxidant activity of asparagus juice. J Agric Food Chem 2005;53:42-8. View abstract.
  • Tabar AI, Alvarez-Puebla MJ, Gomez B, et al. Diversity of asparagus allergy: clinical and immunological features. Clin Exp Allergy 2004;34:131-6. View abstract.
  • Tyler VE, Brady LR, Robbers JB. Pharmacognosy. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lea and Fibiger, 1981.
  • Volz T, Berner D, Weigert C, et al. Fixed food eruption caused by asparagus. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2005;116:1390-2. View abstract.
  • Yanagi T, Shimizu H, Shimizu T. Occupational contact dermatitis caused by asparagus. Contact Dermatitis 2010;63:54. View abstract.

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