Cepham zeroes in on specialized formulations for women

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Shatavari translates to "plant with hundred roots.” Getty Images / Azay photography
Shatavari translates to "plant with hundred roots.” Getty Images / Azay photography

Related tags Women shatavari adaptogen Ayurveda

These days, selling a good product just isn't enough. Consumers expect brands to stand up on topics such as gender equality, climate change and ethical labor practices. However, with that demand comes an increased risk of things like greenwashing or “femvertising.”

Ayurvedic ingredient research firm and supplier Cepham recently announced the development of a patent-pending ingredient derived from Asparagus racemosus​ roots (Shatavari) for women’s health.

Shatavari, which translates to "plant with hundred roots" in Sanskrit, has been used by women in traditional medicine for centuries.

"In our pursuit of an adaptogen tailored for women's self-care, I engaged in a meaningful dialogue with my mother, exploring the Ayurvedic remedies she and her mother relied on for well-being," said Anand Swaroop, Ph.D., founder and president of Cepham. "Our goal was to pinpoint an adaptogen that addresses the nuanced spectrum of women's health concerns including hormone balance, mood support and focus. This inquiry that began with my mother, coupled with our extensive work on the phytochemistry of Shatavari, allowed us to identify the specific bioactive molecules responsible for its adaptogenic effects, culminating in the development of SheVari4."

Rena Cohen-First, vice president of sales at Cepham, said the inspiration from Swaroop’s mother underscores the great respect that he has for the wisdom of women in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.

"When he spoke with his mother about identifying an adaptogen that addresses the spectrum of needs for women, she felt that it was really about time someone brought it to this world," Cohen-First added. "So that inquiry that began with his mom and coupled with his work on the phytochemistry of Shatavari allowed us to identify the specific bioactives—and it's very exciting for all of us."

The role of bioactives

Cohen-First explained that SheVari4 is standardized to shatavarin IV, a steroidal saponin compound proven to offer significant benefits for various women's health issues.

"It has phytoestrogenic and antioxidant properties which help the body return to homeostasis," she said. "We experience many stresses in life internally, from hormone imbalance to PMS, infertility, pregnancy and menopause and externally, such as work, children, partners. Men and women react very differently to stress, and shatavarins work to help women manage the reactions to stress. The benefits of this adaptogen are it provides hormonal balance, reduces cortisol and helps with mood elevation. So it really has amazing benefits.”

Versatile in its application, Cepham says that SheVari4 branded ingredient can be incorporated into a range of products to address common women's health concerns including hot flashes, hormone imbalances, immune health, brain fog, focus, anxiety, night sweats, sleep, stress, low mood and irritability.

With a forthcoming white paper publishing Cepham’s findings on the adaptogenic nature of SheVari4, the company plans to prioritize research and development of ingredients tailored to women's health.

"The research landscape for women's health is currently under-addressed and lacks science-backed ingredients," said Cohen-First. "Our in-house research, anchored in comprehensive data analysis, has unveiled a stark gap in understanding women's health. We are determined to bridge this void through our commitment to developing impactful, scientific solutions."

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