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Modern Science View By
B.Pharm
Ayurvedic View By
BAMS
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MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
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Ashoka

Ashoka
Ashoka, known as the Ashoka briksh is one of the most ancient and sacred trees found all over India. Ashoka has various medicinal properties, especially its bark and leaves.
Ashoka helps to manage various gynecological and menstrual problems in women such as heavy, irregular and painful periods. It can be taken in the form of churna/powder or capsule twice a day after meals to get relief from abdominal pain and spasms. Taking Ashoka bark juice or kwath can also promote healthy skin due to its blood purifying property.
According to Ayurveda, Ashoka is useful in controlling internal bleeding, especially in the case of piles due to its Kasaya (astringent) property. It is also beneficial in relieving pain and healing wounds faster due to its Ropan (healing) property. Applying Ashoka bark juice or kwath on the skin helps to get rid of oily and dull skin[2][3].

What are the synonyms of Ashoka?

Saraca asoca, Asok Tree, Ashokadamara, Ashokamara, Kankalimara, Asokam, Asok, Asogam, Asogu, Asokam, Ashokapatta, Anganpriya, Oshok, Asupala, Ashopalav, Kankelimaram[1].

What is the source of Ashoka?

Plant Based

Benefits of Ashoka

1. Painful periods (Dysmenorrhea)
Dysmenorrhea is the pain or cramps during or before a menstrual period. In Ayurveda, this condition is known as Kasht-aartava. According to Ayurveda, Aartava or Menstruation is controlled and governed by Vata dosha. So it is important that in a woman, Vata should be under control to manage dysmenorrhea. Ashoka has Vata balancing property and gives relief in dysmenorrhea. It controls aggravated Vata and reduces abdominal pain and cramps during the menstrual cycle.
Tips:
a. Boil the bark of Ashoka tree in water till the volume of water reduces to one-fourth of its original quantity.
b. Strain the liquid and store this Ashoka kwath in a bottle.
c. Take 8-10 teaspoons of this Ashoka kwatha.
d. Add the same quantity of water and drink preferably after lunch and dinner to manage pain during menstruation.

2. Heavy menstrual bleeding (Menorrhagia)
Menorrhagia or heavy menstrual bleeding is known as Raktapradar or excessive secretion of menstrual blood. This is due to an aggravated Pitta dosha. Ashoka balances an aggravated Pitta and controls heavy menstrual bleeding or menorrhagia. This is due to its Sita (cold) properties.
Tips:
a. Boil the bark of Ashoka tree in water till the volume of water reduces to one-fourth of its original quantity.
b. Strain the liquid and store this Ashoka kwath in a bottle.
c. Take 8-10 teaspoons of this Ashoka kwatha.
d. Add the same quantity of water and drink preferably after lunch and dinner to control heavy menstrual bleeding or menorrhagia.

3. Piles
Piles are known as Arsh in Ayurveda which is caused by an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle. This leads to the impairment of all the three doshas, mainly Vata. An aggravated Vata causes a low digestive fire, leading to constipation. This causes swelling in the veins in the rectum area leading to pile mass. Ashoka gives relief in swelling of pile mass by balancing Vata. Ashoka also reduces burning sensation and discomfort in piles due to its Sita (cold) nature. It gives cooling effects and reduces burning sensations in the anus.
Tips:
a. Take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Ashoka powder.
b. Add honey or water to it.
c. Take it preferably after meals for a better result.

4. Leucorrhea
Leucorrhea is a thick, whitish discharge from the female genitals. According to Ayurveda, leucorrhea is due to an imbalance of Kapha dosha. Ashoka shows a good result in leucorrhea because of its Kashaya (astringent) property. It helps to control aggravated Kapha and reduce the symptoms of leucorrhea.
Tips:
a. Boil the bark of Ashoka tree in water till the volume of water reduces to one-fourth of its original quantity.
b. Strain the liquid and store this Ashoka kwath in a bottle.
c. Take 8-10 teaspoons of this Ashoka kwatha.
d. Add the same quantity of water and drink preferably after lunch and dinner to manage leucorrhea.

Precautions when using Ashoka

Advice from Experts
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Consult your doctor while taking Ashoka if you have constipation.
Breastfeeding
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Ashoka should be avoided or used under medical supervision during breastfeeding.
Patients with heart disease
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Consult your doctor while taking Ashoka if you have heart diseases.
Pregnancy
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Ashoka should be avoided or used under medical supervision during pregnancy.

Recommended Dosage of Ashoka

  • Ashoka Powder - ¼ - ½ teaspoon twice a day.
  • Ashoka Capsule - 1-2 capsules twice a day.
  • Ashoka Tablet - 1-2 tablets twice a day.

How to use Ashoka

1. Ashoka Powder
a. Take ¼ -½ teaspoon of Ashoka bark powder.
b. Add honey or water to it.
c. Take it preferably after meals for a better result.

2. Ashoka Capsule
a. Take 1-2 capsules of Ashoka extract.
b. Swallow it with water preferably after meals.

3. Ashoka Tablet
a. Take 1-2 tablets of Ashoka extract
b. Swallow it with water preferably after meals

4. Ashoka Kwatha
a. Take 8-10 teaspoons of Ashoka kwatha.
b. Add same quantity of water and drink it preferably after meals.

Benefits of Ashoka

1. Wound healing
Ashoka helps in quick healing of wounds and reduces pain and swelling at the affected area. It also restores original skin texture due to its Ropan (healing) property.
Tips:
a. Take the bark of Ashoka tree and dip it in water for the whole night.
b. Prepare a paste with honey the next day.
c. Apply this paste on the affected area for quick healing.

2. Joints Pain
In Ayurveda, the bones and joints are considered as the site of Vata dosha in the body. Any imbalance in the Vata dosha will lead to joint pains. Ashoka has Vata balancing property and application of the bark will give you relief from joint pains.
Tips:
a. Crush the bark of Ashoka with water to make a paste.
b. Apply this paste over the affected areas to get rid of pain in the joints.

Precautions when using Ashoka

Allergy
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Use the paste of Ashoka bark with honey or rose water if your skin is hypersensitive.

Recommended Dosage of Ashoka

  • Ashoka Powder - ½ -1 teaspoon or as per your requirement.

How to use Ashoka

1. Ashoka Bark Juice
a. Take 1-2 teaspoon of Ashoka bark juice or paste.
b. Add honey to it.
c. Apply on the skin.
d. Let it sit for 5-7 minutes.
e. Wash thoroughly with tap water.
f. Use this remedy 1-3 times a week to get rid of oily and dull skin.

2. Ashoka Leaves or Flower Paste
a. Take ½- 1 teaspoon of Ashoka leaves or flower paste.
b. Add coconut oil to it.
c. Apply on the hair and scalp.
d. Let it sit for 5-7 hours.
e. Wash with shampoo and water.
f. Use this remedy 1-3 times a week to control hair fall and dandruff.

3. Ashoka Bark Paste
a. Take ½ -1 teaspoon of Ashoka bark paste.
b. Add honey to it.
c. Apply it on the affected area once a day for quick wound healing.

Frequently asked questions

Q. What is the shelf life of Ashoka bark?

scientific
Modern Science View
Ashoka bark has a shelf life of almost 3 years.

Q. Does Ashoka causes premature menopause?

scientific
Modern Science View
Ashoka has an astringent property and works as an antihemorrhagic agent (substance that stops bleeding). However, there is no sufficient evidence stating the role of Ashoka in premature menopause[2].

Q. Does Ashoka help in curing diarrhea?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Ashoka has potent anti-diarrhoeal activity. It is due to the presence of tannins, alkaloids and flavonoids. They work by inhibiting intestinal movements and maintains the water content in the body. Flavonoids present in Ashoka also works by reducing chemicals that cause pain and irritation associated with diarrhea[2].

Q. Does Ashoka cure piles?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although not enough evidence is available, Ashoka is said to manage piles and its associated symptoms like bleeding and pain.

Q. Is Ashoka good for tumor?

scientific
Modern Science View
Ashoka has anti-tumor activity. This is due to the presence of flavonoids in it. The flavonoids work by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme responsible for the growth of tumors in case of skin cancer. It also reduces the risk of relapsing of skin cancer[4].

Q. Can we use Ashoka tree leaf in Swine flu?

scientific
Modern Science View
There is no scientific evidence supporting the use of Ashoka tree leaves in the treatment of Swine flu. However herbal remedies including Aloe vera, Giloy, Ginger, Garlic, Ashwagandha etc. might be beneficial in the management of Swine flu symptoms[5].

Q. What are the benefits of Ashoka powder?

scientific
Modern Science View
Ashoka powder has many health benefits. It helps in managing problems related to menstruation (periods) like irregular periods, stomach pain, cramps etc. It acts as a uterine tonic and helps to manage menstrual flow and hormones. It has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic property due to which it helps in the management of infections, swelling and pain. Ashoka powder helps in managing skin related problems and maintain clearer skin by removing toxins from the body due to its antioxidant property. It also helps in managing cancer, diabetes, piles, ulcers, worm infestation, fever, etc. due to the presence of certain chemical compounds[3-4][6-7].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Ashoka tree is useful to manage female disorders like dysmenorrhea and menorrhagia due to its Vata balancing property. It also helps to control bleeding in piles due to its Sita (cold) property. Ashoka powder is also an effective remedy for managing worm infestation due to its Krimighna (anti-worm) property.

References

  1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Of India.Part 1 Volume 1.
  2. Borokar AA, Pansare TA.Plant profile, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Ashoka (Saraca Asoca (Roxb.), De. Wilde) – A Comprehensive Review. JAHM.2017;7(2):2524–2541.
  3. Bhalerao S, Verma D, Didwana VS,et al. Saraca asoca (Roxb.), De. Wild: An overview. Annals of Plant Sciences.2014;3(7):770-775.
  4. Tabassum N, Hamdani M. Plants used to treat skin diseases.Pharmacogn Rev.2014;8(15):52–60.
  5. Shah A, Krishnamurthy R.Swine Flu and Its Herbal Remedies.The International Journal of Engineering and Science.2013;2(5):68-78.
  6. Baranwal V.Asoka: Herbal Boon to Gynecological Problems An Overview of Current Research. Ayurveda- Journal of Health.2014;12(4): 58-62.
  7. Mishra A, Kumar A, Rajbhar N, et al.Phytochemical and Pharmacological Importance of Saraca indica.IJPCS.2013;2(2):1009-1013.
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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