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Ashoka Use, Benefits, Properties, Dose, and Side Effect

Introdution to Ashoka

The Ashoka tree is valued in Ayurveda for both its spiritual properties and the many medical benefits it offers. The bark of the Ashoka tree has traditionally been used to cure women’s menstruation issues such as dysmenorrhea, stomach pain, and uterine spasms.

The rich tannins, flavonoids, and glycosides in Ashoka tree bark combine to act as a uterine tonic. Acne, psoriasis, and dermatitis are among the skin diseases that the Ashoka tree’s roots and seeds are used to cure.

What is the Botanical Name of Ashoka?

Saraca indica/ Saraca asoka
Saraca: Brazilian name of the plant, in honor of french physician Dr. Sarasin, Indica-of India

What is the Family of Ashoka?

Ceasalpinaceae

Asoka-sanskrit name of the plant.

अशोक = न शोकोऽस्मात् शोकनाशन इत्यर्थः ।

It reduces shoka and brings happiness.

Main Synonyms of Ashoka:

I. Leaves:

Coppery : Tamrapallava

ताम्रपल्लव = ताम्रवर्णः पल्लवाऽस्याः ।

II. Flowers:

i. Pleasant: Kankeli

कंकेलि = कं सुखं केलति जनयति आह्लादकरः ।

ii. Fragrant: Gandhapushpa

गन्धपुष्पा = : सुगन्धिपुष्पत्वात्।।

iii. Golden yellow flowers: Hemapushpa

हेमपुष्पा = स्वर्णाभानि पुष्पानिऽस्या ।

iv. Occurs in dense clusters: Pindapushpa

पिण्डपुष्प = पिण्डाकारा सघनाः पुष्पगुच्छाऽस्याः ।

v. Flowers in spring: Madhupushpa

मधुपुष्प = मधौ वसन्ते पुश्ः पयति ।

III. Action:

Useful in gynaecological disorders: Ashoka, Streepriya

अशोक = न शोकोऽस्मात् शोकनाशन इत्यर्थः ।

स्त्रीप्रियः = स्त्रीणां प्रियः स्त्रीरोगेषु हितत्वात् । ।

Regional Names of Ashoka:

  • English- Asok Tree.
  • Hindi- Ashoka.
  • Gujarati- Ashoka.
  • Assamese- Ashoka.
  • Bengali- Ashoka.
  • Kannada- Ashokadamara, Ashokamara, Kankalimara.
  • Kashmiri- Ashok.
  • Malayalam- Asokam.
  • Marathi- Ashok.
  • Punjabi- Asok.
  • Tamil- Asogam, Asogu, Asokam.
  • Telugu- Ashokapatta.

Classification of Ashoka (Gana) as in Charaka and Sushruta:

Charka: Kashaya Skandha, Vedanasthapana.

Sushruta: Lodhradi

External Morphology of Ashoka:

A small evergreen tree, bark-dark brown to grey or almost black.

Leaves – oblong-plan- ceolate, base rounded or cuneate.

Flowers: red, fragrant, in dense axillary corymbs.

Pods: black, linear-oblong tapering at both ends.

Seeds: 4-8.

Cultivation of Ashoka Tree

The Indian subcontinent is where the Ashoka tree is predominantly planted and farmed. Hindus see it as being extremely spiritual. This tree is frequently found around the entrances to Buddhist and Hindu temples and is frequently connected to the yakshi mythological beings. Early Buddhist monuments often used the yakshis beneath the Ashoka tree as decorative accents. Sanskrit has 16 names for this tree that allude to its many components and is frequently used in ancient Indian religious and romantic poetry.

The Ashoka tree is best cultivated in May and June, and it is best propagated by stem cutting. Large-scale seed propagation of Ashoka trees is difficult. However, the wild varieties of this tree are becoming increasingly rare.

Substitute and Adulterants of Ashoka:

Polyalthia longifolia Benth. & Hook. (Family- Annonaceae) goes by the same name “Ashoka” and is often used as an adulterant or as a substitute for genuine Ashoka bark i.e. Saraca asoca. There are a few more plants viz. Bauhinia variegata Linn., Trema orientalis (Linn.) Blume and Shorea robusta Gaertn. f., the barks of which are largely used and sold in the drug market under the name of Ashoka. (CCRAS, Vol. III) Useful Parts: Tvak, bija, Pushpa

Important Phytoconstituents of Ashoka:

The bark contains Tannins and a crystalline glycoside. (A.P.I Volume I)

Rasa Panchaka of Ashoka:

  • Rasa: Kashaya Tikta
  • Guna: Laghu, Ruksha
  • Virya: Sheeta
  • Vipaka: Katu
  • Karma: Hrudya, Vishaghna, Varnya and Shothahara.

Action of Ashoka on Dosha, Dhatu and Mala:

Dosha: Kapha pitta shamaka

Dhatu: Raktasthmabhaka, Raktashodhaka

Mala: Mala sthamabaka, Mutra: Bija is mutrala.

Pharmacological Activity: Spasmogenic, Oxytocic, Uterotonic, Antibacterial, Anti-implantation, Antitumour, Antiprogestational, Antioestrogenic, Activity against menorrhagia and Anticancer. (CCRAS Database III)

Prayogarha Vyadhi of Ashoka (Therapeutic Benefits of Ashoka):

Asrugdara, Apachi, Daha, Raktadosha, Shotha

Amayika Prayoga of Ashoka (Therapeutic Administration of Ashoka):

1. Vatavyadhi: Ashoka ghruta is indicated. (Su.Chi 4/27)

2. Raktapradara: Cold milk boiled with Ashoka twak kwatha is indicated. (V.M 63)

3. Ashmari: Ashoka seed has to be taken with water. (C.D 33/12)

Ashoka Tree Use For Gynecological Problems: The Ashoka tree’s herb can work on the endometrium and uterine muscles, relieving spasms and other pains associated with the abdomen. In addition, it aids in the treatment of conditions like amenorrhea, leucorrhea, cysts, fibroids, and irregular menstrual periods. In order to cure gynecological and menstrual issues in women, the Ashoka tree is frequently employed.

Ashoka Tree Use for Piles and Diabetes: The dried flowers of the Ashoka tree can be used to treat diabetes in people who have the disease. The Ashoka blooms can be used to measure blood sugar. This Ashoka tree is used to make herbal remedies that aid in the treatment of piles. Internal piles are treated using a decoction made from Ashoka tree bark.

Dose of Ashoka (Matra of Ashoka)

Dose: 20-30 g of the drug for decoction. (A.P.1 Volume I)

Vishista Yoga of Ashoka (Names of important formulations of Ashoka):

Ashokarishta, Ashoka ghruta

Nutritional Value of Ashoka Tree

The Ashoka tree is a good source of a variety of necessary nutrients. Calcium, glycoside, essential oils, and tannins are present. Along with iron and carbonic chemicals, it also contains ketosterol, which is found in the tree’s bark.

Ashoka Tree Side-Effects & Allergies

Although the Ashoka tree has numerous health benefits, pregnant women should avoid consuming its products as they may cause complications. People who are allergic to certain foods should consult a doctor before eating products from this tree.

Classical References of Ashoka:

Synoyms:

अशोको हेमपुष्पा वलस्ताम्रपल्लवः ।
कङ्केलिः पिण्डपुष्पा गन्धपुष्पो नटस्तथा । (भा.प्र.)

Properties:

अशोकः शीतलस्तिक्तो प्राहि वर्ण्यः कषायकः ।
दोषापचीतृषादाहकृमिशोषविषास्त्रजित् ।। (भा.प्र.)

अशोकः शिशिरो हृद्यः पित्तदाह श्रमापहः ।
गुल्मशूलोदराध्माननाशनः कृमिहारकः । । (रा.नि.)

अशोकस्य त्वच रक्तप्रदरस्यनाशिनी ।। (शोढल)

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