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Muhammad Iqbal, Yamin Bibi, Naveed Iqbal Raja, Muhammad Ejaz, Mubashir Hussain, Farhat Yasmeen, Hafiza Saira and Muhammad Imran
The use of medicinal plants is as old as human civilization. About 600-700 plants species in Pakistan are used for preparation of ayurvedic, unani and homeopathic drugs. Asparagus officinalis a sub-erect prickly shrub with white tuberous root usually is of prime importance in this regard. It naturally occurs in areas of southern Africa, Europe, Australia and Asia. Nutritive tonics are prepared from its roots and it is also a source of a nutritious starch, low in calories and is very low in sodium and good source of vitamins. This plant offers multiple health benefits because of presence of ingredients like proteins, alkaloids, saponins and tannins that help in improving fertility and vitality in women and men. Pharmacological activities of Asparagus include anticancer, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-dysenteric, anti-inflammatory, and anti-abortifacient, anti-oxytoxic, antiulcer, hypertensive and anticoagulant effects. Moreover, it is reported to reduce the risk of constipation, diarrhea, osteoporosis, obesity, cardiovascular disease, rheumatism and diabetes. Now days, the demand of such medicinally important plants has increased all over the world. However, indiscriminate use of such vital natural resources overtime and fragmentation of habitats may pose serious threat to their survival. Therefore, keeping in view the significance of Asparagus, efforts must be made to it protect it in its natural population.