Impact of stress on female reproductive health disorders: Possible beneficial effects of shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)

Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Jul;103:46-49. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2018.04.003. Epub 2018 Apr 7.


Stress is deeply rooted in the society and women are frequently exposed to psychological, physical and physiological stressors. Psychological stress disturbs reproductive health by inducing generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and thereby oxidative stress (OS). The increased OS may affect physiology of ovary, oocyte quality and cause female reproductive health disorders. To overcome stress-mediated reproductive health disorders in women, shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is frequently recommended in Ayurvedic system of medicine. Although shatavari is one of the major health tonics and most popular rasayana drugs to treat reproductive ailments of women, underlying mechanism of shatavari action at the level of ovary remains poorly understood. Based on the existing studies, we propose that shatavari may improve female reproductive health complications including hormonal imbalance, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), follicular growth and development, oocyte quality and infertility possibly by reducing OS level and increasing antioxidants level in the body. Further studies are required to elucidate the mechanism of shatavari actions at the level of ovary and oocyte that directly impacts the reproductive health of women.

Keywords: Female reproductive health; Oocyte quality; Oxidative stress; ROS; Shatavari; Stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asparagus Plant / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / etiology*
  • Hormones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / etiology
  • Reproductive Health*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*


  • Hormones