Shabir Daya

Shatavari From Puberty To Menopause

Fasciculated roots of Asparagus racemosus called shatavari in Sanskrit. These roots are used medicinally as a tonic for improving strength and lactation

Shatavari is one of the main Ayurvedic rejuvenating tonics for women and is considered both a general and a reproductive tonic. Translates to “100 Spouses” denoting its ability to enhance fertility and vigour.

Also known as wild asparagus or Asparagus racemosus, Shatavari belongs to group of herbs which are collectively referred to adaptogens because they bring the body back into balance.

Shatavari can be taken through various stages of the woman’s life cycle.

Shatavari during puberty

Shatavari contains shatavarins and sarsapogenin which are natural precursors to the female sex hormones and exert hormonal balancing benefits. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend Shatavari to young women to help them start menstruating without any problems and the herb is often recommended at the first sign of menses related problems.

Shatavari post puberty

Shatavari can provide multiple benefits during this phase of a woman’s life. It has been reported to provide relief from menstrual pain, premenstrual syndrome, bloating, irritability and heavy legs.

Shatavari appears to display mild diuretic properties as well as working as an antispasmodic which may help to relieve stomach pain, cramping as well as swollen ankles and heavy legs.

Shatavari when trying to conceive

Throughout Ayurvedic history, Shatavari has been revered for female fertility. It is often cited as the herb of choice if trying to conceive. This is because it can be helpful in regulating menstrual cycles which can be important in trying to conceive and it is thought to regulate the production of luteinizing hormone (LH) which is required for ovulation.

It is also thought it helps nourish the womb and tone the female reproductive organs getting them ready for pregnancy. To further support its role, Shatavari boosts sex drive in both men and women.

Shatavari during pregnancy

Whilst Ayurvedic vaidyas (physicians) and nurses recommend taking Shatavari throughout pregnancy, I always suggest that women stop taking all herbs once they fall pregnant. I believe that during pregnancy, only use a specific multivitamin and mineral supplement with the correct strengths of individual nutrients approved for use during pregnancy.

Shatavari whilst breastfeeding

A lactating mother needs to eat nutritious food so that her body produces sufficient breast milk to feed the infant however some nursing mothers cannot produce sufficient milk. In such instances, a galactagogue is either prescribed or recommended. Shatavari is a galactagogue and it helps increase the production of prolactin which in turn increases the quality and volume of breast milk produced.

Some of the compounds in Shatavari also display nerve calming and mood elevating properties and this herb may be of value for postpartum blues which can affect some nursing mothers.

Short term use of Shatavari is generally recognised as safe for both nursing mothers and their infants however always consult a gynaecologist or your GP if are planning to use Shatavari whilst breastfeeding.

Shatavari for perimenopause, menopause and beyond

Shatavari is known to contain compounds that mimic or act as natural precursors to the female hormones which help to balance hormones and reduce menopausal symptoms of hot flushes, night sweats as well as low mood.

Shatavari is often referred to as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a herb or a substance that strengthens the body’s ability to respond and cope to stressors and change whether they are physical and/or hormonal. This adaptogenic activity also helps to bring vitality and increased energy levels.

Shatavari contain high amounts of mucilages which act as a tonic for membranes lining the cervix. It is this property that is thought to help alleviate vaginal dryness.

Finally, Shatavari’s natural hormonal activity may also improve bone health and strength. Pukka Herbs Wholistic Shatavari provides organic Shatavari root as well as the extract in a base of arctic seaweed and ginger root to enhance absorption by increasing digestive enzymes production.

Is Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate The Best Vitamin C Serum?

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Pure Vitamin C serums for the face containing L-Ascorbic Acid are beneficial for the skin helping to protect against damaging free radicals that encourage wrinkles by destroying the collagen matrix. They also help to brighten and freshen the appearance of dull looking skin, together with inhibiting the formation of pigment in skin prone to hyperpigmentation. However, Vitamin C serums containing pure L-ascorbic acid do have some limiting factors which can influence their effectiveness.  We explore:

Limiting Factors of Vitamin C Serums

Most vitamin C serums are water-soluble because L-Ascorbic Acid, known as vitamin C or L-AA for short, disperses evenly in a water-based serum, but therein lies a problem. The dermis of the skin has a rich lipid (oil) barrier and it is here that many of the nutrients, including vitamin C, are required to manufacture collagen, a protein that gives skin its youthful firmness and the ability to resist wrinkles. Using water soluble vitamin C serums containing L-AA can be an issue since this nutrient cannot make it through the oil barrier and therefore cannot provide maximum benefits as far as collagen manufacture is concerned. Read More…

Vitamins to take in your 50s

Rows of pink capsules with transparent half showing pink balls inside

It is important that you take the correct vitamins and supplements in your 50s to boost your health and vitality. The choice of supplements is overwhelming and the advice given can be confusing. Looking after your health is important at any age and never more so than in your 50s. In our 50s, we do not digest foods the way we did when we were younger and supplements can play an important role in filling any nutritional gaps.

Which vitamins should I take?

  • I believe that there are some fundamental supplements that are worth taking and these include:
  • A quality vitamin and mineral supplement
  • Probiotics because the digestive system gets sluggish with age
  • Omega 3 essential fatty acids since most of us do not get sufficient amounts
  • A calcium supplement to prevent brittle bone disease
  • A sublingual form of Vitamin B-12

Read More…

Surviving February

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Depending upon where you are in the world, February can be a difficult month. Although the days are getting longer, they appear to be grey, dark and cold. February is considered so bleak that scientists have actually labelled a syndrome called the February Slump.

But we can all endure February with some slight changes that can make a positive difference.

Light some candles and take a hot bath. A bath can be a ritual and should never be a task. It should be something that you enjoy experiencing rather than on your ‘to do’ list such as washing dishes and reading on the internet. Magnesium flakes will work wonders to relax the mind and the body and one’s that I often reach out for are Better You’s Magnesium Oil Original Flakes.

Add some spices to your dinner. When the temperature drops, introduce certain spices such as ginger and turmeric into your food. These spices warm our bodies from the inside and at the same time provide numerous benefits which include aiding digestion and enhancing circulation. Read More…

The Incredible Benefits Of Broccoli Sprouts

Fresh Broccoli Stems

We all know that eating vegetables is a healthy choice and provide profound benefits to the body. Unfortunately, numerous studies indicate that only one in ten of us actually achieves the recommended daily intake of approximately 800 grams a day of a mixture of fruits and vegetables.

Whilst all types of vegetables are going to be beneficial, there is one group that scientists believe contribute significantly to overall health due to their unique nutrition content – the Brassica family; commonly known as cruciferous vegetables. These include broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, radish and turnips.

Aside from their nutritional content, scientists have found a compound that makes these vegetables so important called Sulforaphane (also called SFN). Read More…

Supplements To Take In Your 40s

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If you are reaching your 40s or are already in your 40s, your health should be a high priority. Eating a healthy and balanced diet and taking exercise regularly are a must, however you can further help your body by taking certain key supplements.

There are some supplements which I consider essential in your 40s and there are others which may be important to build a foundation for optimal health.

Should I take a multivitamin in my 40s?

I have always recommended a quality multivitamin as I consider this to be important because we often tend to eat food groups that may not necessarily provide an abundance of nutrients. Equally, our digestive system ages with us and so we may not be able to absorb these nutrients efficiently. A quality food state multivitamin will bridge the gap and act like an insurance policy to ensure that our bodies are nourished in order to work at their optimal level. Read More…