Shatvari (Asparagus racemosus
) is a tonic and an adaptogen, a substance that helps the body cope with changes and stress. In Ayurvedic medicine, shatvari is used to rejuvenate the female body in much the same way that Ashwagandha is used in men. Shatvari is traditionally used to stimulate breast milk production in new mothers and to counteract the symptoms of menopause. In Ayurvedic medicine, AIDS is thought to be a disease of decreased ojas, the essential energy of the body. Shatvari is said to aid in the formation of ojas and is used as an immune therapy. Animal studies have shown that it stimulates macrophages (immune cells that capture invading micro-organisms). It has also been shown to help counter the immunosuppressive effects of cancer chemotherapy in mice. Shatvari is available in capsules or as a powder that can be taken with warm milk sweetened with raw sugar.