Cultivated as a gourmet vegetable, it is the young shoots of the asparagus plant that are eaten.

With its bitter and mildly pungent flavour, asparagus is well known for its diuretic properties and is rich in potassium, the trace element needed for maintaining good water balance in the body. A serving of asparagus is also a great for the B vitamin folate.

The many active plant chemicals in asparagus are what give it its slightly bitter, mildly pungent flavour and have given it a reputation with medical herbalists recognising it to be a great detoxifier.