Herb of the Month
(Botanical Name - Saraca indica )
Origin of Herbs:
Ashoka is a small, spreading, evergreen tree, with smooth brownish
bark and compound leaves forming a dense crown. It has bright
orange flowers in small dense branches and flat fruits with
several smooth gray seeds. This tree has to be distinguished from
the Indian fir or mast tree, botanically known as polyalthia
longifolia. Ashoka is one of the sacred trees of the Hindus.
The dried bark of the tree constitutes the drug. The bark contains
tannins and catechol. The powder of the bark contains silica,
sodium, potassiom, phosphate, magnesium, iron, calcium, strontium
and aluminium. A crystalline glycosidal substance has been
isolated from the bark with galactose as the constituent sugar.
The bark have been used in Ayurveda for many centuries. The bark
is prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine for arresting bleeding or
secretion and as a uterine sedative. It is said to have a
stimulating effect on the endometrium that is, the mucuous
membrance lining the uterus and on the ovarian tissues.
Irregular Menstrual Disorders, PMS :
The bark of the tree is
effective for excessive blood loss during menstruation due to the
presence of uterine fibroids, leucorrhoea and other causes. It can
be used as a substitute for ergot, a kind of dried fungus used in
medicine in the treatment of uterine hemorrhages. It is taken as a
About 90 grams of the bark is boiled in 30 ml of milk and 360 ml
of water till the total quantity is reduced to about 90 grams.
This is divided in 2 or 3 doses to be given in a day. The
treatment should commence from the fourth day of the menstruation
and continue till the bleeding is checked. Fresh decoction is to
be made every day.
The bark is also effective for internal piles. A decoction
prepared in the same manner as in case of uterine disorders is
taken in this condition.
The decoction is also useful in dysentery. A fluid extract of the
flowers can be taken with beneficial results in hemorrhagic
dysentery. This extract is prepared by grinding the flowers with
water. It is taken is doses of 15 to 60 drops.
Other Diseases :
The dried flowers of Ashoka tree are useful in diabetes. The bark
of the tree is also useful in treating scorpion-sting.
Ayurvedic Supplements that contains Ashoka :