Asoka is a small, spreading, evergreen tree with bright orange flowers in small dense branches and flat fruits with several smooth grey seeds. It has smooth brownish bark and compound leaves forming a dense crown.
Asoka powdered bark ash consists of silica, sodium, potassium, phosphate, magnesium, iron, calcium, strontium and aluminium. A crystalline glycosidal substance has been isolated from the bark with galactose as the constituent sugar.
Botanical Name: Saraca Indica
Indian Name: Ashoka
Below are some of the medicinal properties of asoka:
- The bark of asoka is useful for excessive blood loss during menstruation due to the presence of uterine fibroids, leucorrhea 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 decoction.
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 decoction is used in the treatment of 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 in doses of 15 to 60 drops.
- The dried flowers of ashoka tree are useful in diabetes. The bark of the tree is also useful in treating scorpion sting.
- The bark is also beneficial for internal piles. A decoction prepared in the same manner as in case of uterine disorders is taken in this condition.