Ancient Chinese herbalists have used asparagus root to treat many maladies from arthritis to infertility.
The root contains compounds called steroidal glycosides, which may have anti-inflammatory properties.
One-half cup of cooked asparagus contains significant amounts of folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and beta-carotene. Particularly green asparagus is a good source of vitamin C.
Folic acid helps prevent birth defects, cervical cancer, colon and rectal cancer and heart disease. Vitamin C protects against cancer and heart disease and also helps boost the immune system. Potassium helps regulate the electrolyte balance within cells, and helps maintain normal heart function and blood pressure.
Asparagus is a natural diuretic, and a hearthealthy food, containing no fat, cholesterol or sodium.
In 1991, an Italian researcher reported a compound found in asparagus had shown some antiviral activity in test tube studies.
¬ďAsparagus has long been recognized for its medicinal properties,¬Ē wrote D. Onstad, author of Whole Foods Companion: A Guide for Adventurous Cooks, Curious Shoppers and Lovers of Natural Foods. ¬ďAsparagus contains substances that act as a diuretic, neutralize ammonia that makes us tired, and protect small blood vessels from rupturing. Its fiber content makes it a laxative, too.