Bottom Line: Although Chinese asparagus has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, evidence of its effectiveness against cancer, hepatitis, or any other disease is lacking.Scientists are not sure how Chinese asparagus works, since little research has been performed on this botanical. In the laboratory setting, a Chinese asparagus extract has been shown to slow the growth of isolated leukemia and lung cancer cells, as well as protect liver cells from alcohol toxicity. However, it is not known whether these effects occur in the human body, and more research is needed to evaluate its safety and effectiveness.
Derived from the root of the plant, Chinese asparagus is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of conditions including breast cancer, liver disease, and as a tonic (1).
In vitro studies indicate that it has anti-inflammatory effects (5)(8) and can prevent ethanol-induced cytotoxicity (3). The root extract was shown to slow aging in mice via antioxidant effects (9). Chinese asparagus has not been studied in humans.
Adverse events or drug interactions have not been documented.
In vitro studies suggest that the beta-sitosterol constituent has activity against mouse s-180 leukemia and lung cancer. An aqueous extract of asparagus root inhibits tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) secretion in mouse astrocytes (4). Asparagus root also reduces alcohol-induced hepatotoxicity in Hep G2 cell lines (3).