The word ‘Ashoka’ in Sanskrit means “without distress”. The name might be attributed to its property of removing the state of grief or worries. Ashoka is considered sacred according to the Hindus and Buddhists. This tree is also related to Sita, as it is mentioned in the Ramayana that, during sita’s captivity days, she used to stay in Ashoka vatika.
The botanical name of this tree is Saraca ashoka belonging to the family Caesalpinaceae. It is well known as a uterine tonic and is commonly used in gynaecological conditions. The parts used of this herb are the bark, leaves, flowers and seeds.
According to Ayurveda, Ashoka is useful in a variety of medical conditions.
- Vedana sthapana- Useful in management of all painful conditions.
- Varnya- Ashoka improves complexion of the body.
- Grahi- Ashoka improves digestion and assimilation.
- Trishanashnam- Ashoka alleviates excessive thirst.
- Daha shamanam- Ashoka alleviates burning sensation.
- Krimighna- Ashoka kills all infectious agents.
- Shothajit- Ashoka is useful in management of all edematous conditions (related to swelling).
- Vish asrajit- Ashoka is useful in toxicities and all blood disease.
- Apachijit- It useful in management of inflammation of lymph nodes.
- Asrigdara nashanam- Ashoka arrests excessive bleeding during menstruation.
Medicinal Uses and Home Remedies with Ashoka
In uterine disorders: highly beneficial in conditions like menorrhagia, leucorrhoea, fibroids, DUB etc.
Boil 2 tsp. of the bark powder in 2 glasses of water until the water is reduced to a quarter of the quantity. Take an ounce of this filtered decoction twice a day, with some honey to tone the mucosa of the uterus.
- In pimples: Make a paste of Ashoka,with some lime juice and milk and apply it daily on the pimples.
- Skin diseases: In paediatric skin problems and certain other skin diseases occurring in adults, medicated oil prepared with the paste of Ashoka flowers can be used, after filtering it.
- Piles: Decoction of the bark can be taken twice daily for relief from both bleeding and non-bleeding piles.
- In burning sensation and inflammation: The decoction of the bark can be used both internally and externally as a wash to relieve inflammation of any kind as well as burning sensation.
- In abdominal pain: Make a juice of the leaves and mix it with cumin seeds and drink to get relief from colicky pain.
- In diabetes: Powder of the dry flowers of Ashoka and take a tsp. of it every day to keep diabetes under control.
Churna: 3-6 grams.
Arishta: 15-30 ml.
Ghrita: 5 gms.
Formulations Using Ashoka
- Ashoka ghritam
The benefits of Ashoka are vast and not just limited to gynaecology alone. It has anti-cancerous properties, anti-oxytocic, and anti-microbial properties too. Ashoka indeed is a gift from the nature.