English Common Name: Lesser asparagus
Arabic Name: هليون
Asparagus Acutifolias, commonly referred to as wild asparagus, is an evergreen perennial plant belonging to the genus Asparagus. The Asparagus Acutifolias can reach a maximum of approximately 70 cm in height. The stems have feathery foliage, with leaves that are quite needle-like. In some Mediterranean regions the flowering of this plant occurs from August to September, usually after heavy rainstorms.
Asparagus Acutifolius has no reported therapeutic uses, but both the roots and the shoots of the cultivated form (Asparagus officinalis) can be used medicinally; they have a restorative and cleansing effect on the bowels, kidneys and liver. The strongly diuretic action of the roots makes them useful in the treatment of a variety of urinary problems (including cystitis) and high blood pressure. The roots are also used in the treatment of cancer. They are usually harvested in late spring, after the shoots have been cut as a food crop, and are dried for later use. The seeds possess an antibiotic activity. Another report says that the plant contains asparagusic acid which is nematicidal (kills plant parasites) and is used in the treatment of schistosomiasis.
Small amounts of Asparagus Racemosus showed significant protection against acute gastric ulcers, but proved to be ineffective however against aspirin – and ethanol- indiced gastric ulcers. Moreover, Asparagus racemosus extract significantly increased the mucosal defensive factors like mucus secretion, cellular mucus, as well as, increasing the life span of cells, and also possessed significant anti-oxidant effect, but had little or no effect on offensive factors like acid and pepsin.