Asparagus – Using it in Home Remedies
From as far back as the mid 1700s it was thought that taking asparagus was considered one of the top home remedies for treating kidney stones; natural remedies at the time being the only medicine available to the masses. Asparagus is an early spring vegetable; it is a member of the lily family as is onion and garlic.
The first evidence of asparagus cultivation dates back to Egypt, at that time it was used as a common vegetable as well as for its medicinal properties. During the growing season it was cooked and eaten fresh, for the off seasons, it was dried for rehydration and cooking throughout the year. The oldest known book of recipes, we call it a cook book today, included a recipe for cooking asparagus.
In ancient Greece, asparagus was already known as one of the home remedies that had multiple benefits. Amongst other benefits, at that time it was seen as an aphrodisiac, a virtue held to this day by Indian fakirs. The fakir believes that the ingestion of asparagus, either as a vegetable or as a juice will combat fatigue. The vegetable remained an Eastern phenomenon until the mid 1500s when it appeared in France. Madame Pompadour called it “love tips” for its delicate taste and feeling on the lips. Asparagus eventually migrated to the new world in the late 1800s, thereby completing its global trek.
As an early spring vegetable it has always been prized. It is harvested as shoots, as the older the plant gets, the woodier it becomes. Asparagus is very low in calories, contains many important vitamins and minerals and is an excellent source of fiber, an important part of anyone’s diet. As far as home remedies go, asparagus needs to be eaten fresh or boiled and preserved for later use. Asparagus comes in two varieties, the traditional green and the more succulent white variety.
In Germany, the white asparagus is grown in sand hills, when a rivulet of sand appears, the spear is cut well below the surface of the sand, and the asparagus never sees the light of day. The result is a far tenderer and succulent dish, often eaten with simple boiled potatoes and perhaps ham. The medicinal qualities of asparagus are well known, as home remedies go, it was first considered as a vegetable that had “cleansing and healing” qualities. With developments in the field of biology, it is now known why asparagus is thought of this way. It is a rich source of potassium and very high in antioxidants.
What does asparagus contain, why is it one of the perfect home remedies?
Asparagus contains perhaps half the RDI, recommended daily intake of folate. Folate is well known as the key to driving down the level of homocysteine, a material known to be beneficial for sufferers of heart disease. As folate also protects against neural tube defects in babies, it is a must for pregnant mothers to be.
There are no specifics, but people who have succumbed to Alzheimer’s have been found to be lacking folate. Perhaps this phenomena has meaning, perhaps not, but it is certain that asparagus is a great source of potassium, hence calcium, all of which is known to be lacking from people with this dreaded condition. The vegetable also contains substances that ease tiring and protect the smaller vessels in the circulatory system from rupture. The fiber is a natural laxative, allowing for a regular cleansing of waste from the body. So it can be considered a home remedy for Alzheimer’s disease.
Asparagus grows best in salty soil; hence it thrives in sea side environments. Although it will grow anywhere, it grows best if salt is blended with the soil in the growing bed. As weeds do not take to salty soil, asparagus requires very little tending. As mentioned earlier, the white variety is grown in sand hills. This method is labor intensive but the gastronomic results are well worth the effort.
It is often planted in the same plot as tomatoes; the plants have a tendency to repel insects from one another that are potentially harmful. The common asparagus has many names, in old English it was referred to as sparrow grass. In Texas it’s known as asper grass which can be seen as a colloquialism, in the retail fruit trade it goes by the name of Sparrows guts, a term which shows us how language can converge and evolve.
Regardless of what it’s called, this awesome super food has always been on the list of the best home remedies as well as a delicious and wholesome vegetable.