Ashoka tree is a sacred tree in India. This evergreen tree grows 15 – 20 metres in height. Its oblong leaves are 15 centimetres in length. Though small, it stands erect and handsome.
It has polygamous, yellowish-orange or scarlet flowers. It flowers all year round; the smell of the flowers is sweet. In winter, the profusion of flowers makes the tree beautiful. It marks the advent of spring.
One can separate the bark of the tree after it is ten years or older. You can grow it easily. The canopy is compact and easy to prune. People use it in their garden to attract the bees, birds, and butterflies.
All parts of the Ashoka plant – bark, flower, leaf, seed, and root – find a medicinal application. Due to this, the tree is popularly called the universal tree. Women of Bengal eat the flower buds on Ashok Shashti day. You can propagate the tree with cuttings or through seeds.
You have another tree that resembles the Ashoka tree. This grows primarily in India, and people call it the Asopalav tree. People refer to it as the “false Ashoka tree.” This tree finds use in parks and open playgrounds for reducing the noise. It grows tall like erect pillars. The flowers of this tree are green in colour. It finds the most use in landscaping. One should not mistake this tree for the original Ashoka tree.
The Ashoka tree has religious links to Hinduism and Buddhism. One says that Buddha was born under an Ashoka tree. It helps keep the women youthful.
Ashoka, the sorrow-less tree, has other names such as apashaka, kankeli, pindipushpa, and madhupushpa.
Botanical name or family
The botanical name of the Ashoka tree is Saraca asoca. It belongs to the Caesalpiniaceae.
Geographical area where Ashoka tree is found
You find a profuse growth of the Ashoka tree in tropic and sub-tropic conditions. You find it in Burma, Malaysia, and India. It is a rainforest tree, and so you find it the western coastal zone, central areas of the Deccan Plateau, and the Western Ghats in India. You find it in Bengal, Kerala, and the Himalayas.
Medicinal use of ashoka tree in curing disease
The name Ashoka translates to “without sorrow” in Sanskrit. It cures many disorders due to the presence of various nutritive elements such as magnesium, silica, sodium, strontium, aluminium, calcium, and iron. Other components include calcium compounds, catechol, tannins, and a sterol.
- You use the flowers, seed, and bark for preparing the tonics and capsules for solving gynaecological problems that women face.
- People use ointments made from the parts of the Ashoka tree to help ease the irritation of the skin. This is a natural supplement that helps relieve the burning sensations.
- Medicines to purify the blood and treat diarrhea come from the bark, flower, and leaves of the Ashoka tree.
- The seed is ground and consumed by people to enhance the memory.
- You use the bark to cure bacterial and fungal infections because it contains methanol and chloroform.
- One may use the dried flowers to cure diabetes and ease indigestion.
- Extracts prepared using parts of the Ashoka plant helps cure piles and bleeding due to piles.
- They use the paste of the seeds of the Saraca asoca to cure urine retention problems.
- Women find it useful since it cures their headaches.
- It can help reduce painful and excessive bleeding and leucorrhoea.
- The juice got from the flowers helps treat dysentery. Just put some crushed Ashoka flowers in water and use it twice a day.
- You can treat kidney stones using the powdered seeds.
- Ash got from the Ashoka tree proves helpful in curing pain in the joints and rheumatoid arthritis.
- You use it to treat fibroids, including uterine fibroids because of the ketosterol content in the bark. This bark forms the most common household remedy for uterine discomforts.
- Use the medicine prepared from the parts of the Ashoka tree to reduce the swelling in the stomach.
- People use it to treat worms and other stomach discomforts.
- The bark of the tree finds use in making cosmetic to improve the facial beauty.
- The stem bark has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and pain killing properties.
- You can tone the mucosa of the uterus with the powdered bark. Just use 2 tsp of powdered bark in two glasses of water. Boil it until the water reduces to half a glass or less. Filter the decoction and take it twice a day.
- The paste made from the herb helps strengthen the uterine muscles and the endometrium. This gives the women the ability to control abdominal spasms and pain.
- It helps correct irregular menstrual cycle.
- People use it to remove the toxins and clear the skin.
- You can use the parts of the tree as an analgesic.
- In Ayurveda, the Saraca asoca finds use in pacifying the vata and pitta doshas.
- You can make hypertension lesser.
- Drinking the water with the flower helps one to overcome sorrow, grief, and serves as an essence for those who undergo deep suffering.
- It alleviates the disharmony in one’s inner self, brought by isolation and bereavement. You can change this state to one of joy and happiness. It works by changing the perception of sorrow one has.
- It has a use in treating infertility and polycystic ovary syndrome. Using the medicines prepared from the parts of the Saraca asoca, one can cure reproductive problems of women.
- One can use it to treat anorexia.
- It finds use in treating eye diseases.
- Preparations of the Ashoka tree will help you overcome acid reflux.
- It is equally effective in treating kidney disease, malnutrition, and insect bites as it is in helping cure colic, syphilis, polyuria, and fever. Find home remedies for fever.
- People use the potions and pills made with the parts of the Saraca asoca to alleviate the symptoms of Spermatorrhea and internal bleeding.
- Other treatments include those for water retention and repeated miscarriage.
- It is demulcent and has anti-tumor properties.
- The medicines made from the Ashoka tree are antipyretic, vermifuge, and febrifuge.
- The Ashoka tree preparations are anthelmintic and stomachic.
- You can use the preparations as a tonic and an astringent.
The parts of the Saraca asoca combine well with honey, berberisaristata, milk, cumin, cardamom, bullet wood, amaranth, and cinnamon. These combinations find use in making the medicinal preparations.
One must consult a medical professional before trying any of these remedies. Pregnant women and nursing women should not consume anything that has parts of the Ashoka tree.