ASPARAGUS

OTHER NAME(S):

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

Overview

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 to treat bladder infections (urinary tract infections) and other conditions of the bladder or urinary tract that cause pain and swelling. Asparagus is sometimes used to help with weight loss and to reduce high blood pressure.

Other uses include treatment of joint pain (rheumatism), hormone imbalances in women, dryness in the lungs and throat, constipation, nerve pain (neuritis), AIDS, cancer, and diseases caused by parasites.

Asparagus is also used for preventing stones in the kidney and bladder and preventing anemia due to folic acid deficiency.

Some people apply asparagus directly to the skin for cleaning the face, drying sores, and treating acne.

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

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

  • Weight loss. Some early research shows that taking asparagus along with elderberry and elderflower might help to reduce weight and blood pressure in overweight people.
  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the urinary tract.
  • Increasing urine production ("irrigation therapy") when taken with lots of water.
  • Joint pain and swelling that resembles arthritis (rheumatism).
  • Hormone imbalances in women.
  • Dryness in the lungs and throat.
  • AIDS.
  • Constipation.
  • Nerve pain and swelling (neuritis).
  • Parasitic diseases.
  • Cancer.
  • Preventing kidney stones.
  • Preventing bladder stones.
  • Preventing anemia due to levels of folic acid that are too low (folic acid deficiency).
  • Acne.
  • Face cleaning.
  • Drying sores.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of asparagus for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Asparagus is LIKELY SAFE when eaten in food amounts. However, there isn't enough 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.

Not enough is known about the safety of using asparagus in medicinal amounts during breast-feeding. It's best to 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.

Interactions

Interactions?

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.

Dosing

Dosing

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

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: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182
  • 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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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.