Ashoka (Saraca Asoca): Uses, Benefits, Indications, Dosage, Doshas, Side-Effects And Precautions

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Ashoka (Saraca Asoca): The Tree of Sorrow and Beauty

The Ashoka tree, also known botanically as Saraca asoca, is a magnificent flowering tree deeply woven into the cultural and medicinal fabric of India. Prized for its vibrant orange-red flowers and elegant stature, the Ashoka holds a special place in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine.

In Bhavaprakasha Nighantu, Madhyamakhanda, Ashokarishta has been mentioned for raktapradara

Clarification: Ashoka vs Saraca indica

It's important to note a common misconception: Saraca indica is a distinct species though often confused with Ashoka (Saraca asoca). echten Ashoka can be distinguished by its clasping bracteoles, higher ovule count, and larger pods compared to Saraca indica.

Uses and Benefits of Ashoka

Ashoka has been used for centuries in Ayurveda to address various female health concerns. Here's a breakdown of its traditional uses and potential benefits:

  • Menstrual irregularities: Ashoka is believed to regulate the menstrual cycle, promoting timely periods and easing discomfort associated with PMS.
  • Uterine health: It is used to support uterine health, potentially aiding conditions like uterine fibroids and endometriosis.
  • Postpartum care: Ashoka is used traditionally to promote healing and recovery after childbirth.
  • Menopausal symptoms: It may help alleviate symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and vaginal dryness during menopause.

The active constituents in Ashoka bark, including tannins, flavonoids, and alkaloids, are thought to contribute to its potential health benefits. 

Indications for Ashoka Use

  • Women experiencing menstrual irregularities or discomfort
  • Individuals seeking support for uterine health concerns 
  • Women seeking natural remedies for menopausal symptoms 

Dosage and Considerations

Ashoka is typically consumed in various forms, including:

  • Bark decoction: A specific amount of Ashoka bark is boiled in water to create a decoction for consumption.
  • Powder: The dried bark is ground into a powder and taken in capsule form or mixed with honey or ghee.
  • Herbal formulations: Ashoka may be included in various Ayurvedic preparations alongside other herbs.

Dosage recommendations depend on individual needs and the specific condition being addressed. 

Doshas: In Ayurveda, Ashoka is considered to balance all three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha). 

Side Effects and Precautions

Ashoka is generally considered safe for most individuals when used appropriately. However, some potential side effects include:

  • Gastrointestinal discomfort (upset stomach, diarrhea)
  • Headaches
  • Skin allergies (in rare cases)

Nari Sondarya Malt and Ashoka

Nari Sondarya Malt is an Ayurvedic formulation specifically designed for women's health with herbs like Ashoka, Lodhra, Shatavari and more. Ashok promotes the uterine function, lowers contractions and strengthens the uterus. The analgesic and anti-spasmodic properties help in easing the menstrual pain. Furthermore, it is also beneficial in alleviating premenstrual symptoms like headaches, nausea, and vomiting.

Image source: Clinical evaluation of Ashokarishta, Ashwagandha Churna and Praval Pishti in the management of menopausal syndrome


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