By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD
The herb Ashoka is popularly used in a variety of gynecological disorders. The word meaning Ashoka is one which helps to relieve the shoka (grief) or sufferings.
Saraca indica Linn is the botanical name.
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.
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.
Ashoka is also famous for analgesic, steptic-haemostatic, tranquilizing, anti dyspeptic and diuretic properties.
Ashokarishtha, Ashoka ghrita, Ashoka ksheerapaka, Pradarahara mahakashaya are a few well known medicines of this herb.
Few important simple remedies are also in Indian traditional practice and few of them are mentioned here below-
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.
2. Ashoka remedy for bleeding disorders and irregular periods:
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.
3. Bark Kashaya for wound washing:
Ashoka bark decoction is prepared as mentioned above and used for washing wounds and non healing 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.
Ashoka bark remedy for Leucorrhoea (white discharge):
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