Ashoka Bark- Saraca indica Uses, Medicinal Qualities, Ayurveda Details

Ashoka is an important Ayurveda herb used mainly in bleeding gynecological conditions. Its botanical name is Saraka indica or Saraca asoca and it belongs to Caesalpinioideae family.
The word meaning Ashoka is one which helps to relieve the shoka (grief) or sufferings.

Ashoka herb – Medicinal qualities

Guna (qualities) – Laghu (light to digest), Rooksha (dryness)
Rasa (Taste) – Kashaya (astringent), Tikta – Bitter
Vipaka – taste conversion after digestion – Katu (pungent)
Veerya – Sheeta – cold potency
Effect on Tridosha – It balances Kapha and Pitta.

Ashoka is also famous for analgesic, styptic-hemostatic, tranquilizing, anti dyspeptic and diuretic properties.

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Saraca indica medicinal uses

Sheetala – coolant
Grahi – absorbent
Varnya – Improves skin complexion
Doshahara – natural detoxifier, cleanser
Apachi hara – relieves growth, tumors
Trushnahara – relieves thirst
Dahahara – relieves burning sensation
Krumighna – relieves worm infestation
Shoshahara – relieves emaciation
Vishahara – useful in poisoning
Asrajit – useful in bleeding diseases
Hrudya – useful in cardiac disorders, acts as cardiac tonic
Shramaapaha – relieves tiredness
Gulmahara – relieves abdominal tumor, bloating
Shulahara – relieves abdominal colic pain
Udarahara – useful in ascites
Adhmanahara – relieves bloating

Mode of action in heavy periods:
Haematoxylin is the important chemical constituent of Ashoka Bark. It regulates bleeding especially in menstrual irregularities. Tannin and catechin constituents help to slow down the excess menstrual flow. Natural ferrous compounds are also present in bark and flowers.

Habitat:
Stem bark is the most used part but fresh flowers are equally beneficial.
The plant is abundantly found in Bengal, Burma, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra.

People often confused Kashthadaru –Polyalthea longifolia as Ashoka, in fact, Kashtadaru is an ornamental plant.

Part used, Side effects

Part used: Stem bark, seeds
Stem bark is usually used in decoction (Kashayam) form.

Ashoka Side effects:
It tends to worsen amenorrhoea.
People with cardiac disorders should seek medical consultation before taking this herb.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Ayurveda Medicines

Ashokarishtam – a very famous liquid medicine used in bleeding disorders, menorrhagia, diarrhoea etc.
Ashoka Ghrita – An herbal ghee medicine used in menstrual pain, bleeding, anaemia etc.
Chandanadi Thailam – Used in treatment of nasal bleeding, dizziness, jaundice, herpes etc.
Nyagrodhadi Kashayam – An herbal decoction used in bleeding disorders, obesity treatment etc.
Ashoka ksheerapaka – prepared with cow milk, used as a styptic.
Pradarahara mahakashaya – Used for the treatment of leucorrhea, painful periods and menorrhagia.

Home Remedies

Heavy periods

1.Ashoka for heavy periods:
10 grams of Ashoka is mixed with 2 cups of water, boiled and reduced to half a cup. Filtered. This liquid is administered on empty stomach, twice a day. If required, a teaspoon of honey or jaggery can be added to this. This subsides heavy periods.

Bleeding disorders

2. Ashoka remedy for bleeding disorders and irregular periods:
Ashoka
Yashtimadhu – Indian Licorice
Lajjalu – touch me not plant – Are taken together, in equal quantities.
A tablespoon of this powder mix is added with 2 cups of water, boiled and reduced to half a cup and filtered.  This is useful for the treatment of bleeding disorders, heavy periods, etc. It is usually started 3-5 days prior to the date of periods and continued till 10 days after periods.

Wound wash

3. Bark Kashaya for wound washing:
Ashoka bark decoction is prepared as mentioned above and used for washing wounds and non healing ulcers.

Mouth ulcers

4. Ashoka flower chutney in mouth ulcers:
One fist full of Ashoka flowers and  half fist of coconut pulp are taken and churned well in mixer and grinder.To this, as per one’s taste, salt, black pepper, curry leaves and coriander can be added. This is very useful in treating gastritis, mouth ulcers, GERD.

Leucorrhoea

Ashoka bark remedy for Leucorrhoea (white discharge):
Ashoka bark,
Amalaki fruit rind and
Nagakesar stamens (Mesua ferrea) are taken in equal amount and fine powder is made.

1-2 gram of this powder is mixed with a cup of rice washed water or sweet buttermilk and administered twice daily. This pacifies leucorrhea very effectively.
In burping, gastric regurgitation also this is found useful.

Goddess Seetha Matha spent her days in Ashoka Vana – forest full of Ashoka trees, during her grief and was finally relieved from misery. The plant Ashoka surely relieves various discomforts of women.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD

Vernacular names, Sanskrit synonyms

Name in Hindi, Bengali, Gujarathi, Marathi – Ashoka – Bark of Saraca indica
Tamil name – Ashogam.

Sanskrit synonyms:
Ashoka – Shoka means grief. Ashoka means one that relieves pain and grief of women.
Hemapushpa – flowers of golden colour
Tamrapallava – tender leaves have coppery red colour

Distribution

Abundantly found in South India, Central and eastern Himalayas.

Classical categorization

Charaka Samhita – kashayaskandha (astringent tasting group of herbs)
Vedanasthapana – group of herbs that help to relieve pain
Sushruta and Vagbhata – Rodhradi group of herbs.

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