Saraca Indica, or Ashoka comes from the Caesalpiniaceae family. Most of us have known Ashoka as the ever-green erect tree with green foliage. It is prized for its beautiful foliage and flowers. The Lord Buddha was born under this tree in Lumbini. Also Lord Mahavira renounced the world under the Ashoka tree in Vaishali. The Hindus regard it as sacred, being dedicated to Kama Deva, God of Love. The tree gets a mention in the Ramayana as the Ashoka Vatika (garden of Ashoka trees) where Hanuman first meets Sita.
Ashoka has plenty of medicinal properties, especially for women ailing with irregular menstrual cycles. Its known in Ayurveda, that if we use six grams of the powdered bark of Ashoka, and cook it in milk (called the Ksheerapaka), it helps in all the abnormal / white discharge in females. The same cooked bark is also beneficial for uterine inertia, pain, urinary calculus, and dysurea.
For women, the paste of Ashoka bark can be applied around the abdomen to alleviate the menstrual pain. Its a very good supplement for pre-menstrual and post-menopausal women since it has phyto-estrogen like properties. Suggested dosage : Decoction – 50 ml, powder – three to six grams, capsule of the powdered aqueous extract – 2 capsules twice daily.