Asoka is a small, fanning out, evergreen tree, with polished brownish bark and compound leaves, forming an impenetrable crown. It has dazzling orange flowers in small thick branches and flat fruits with various polished grey seeds. This tree has to be differentiated from the Indian fir or `mast` tree, botanically known as `polyalthia longifolia`. Asoka is one of the holy trees of the Hindus.
The dried bark of the tree makes up the drug. The bark contains tannins and catechol. B.N. Ghosh from the School of Tropical Medicine, Calcutta, had investigated the powderised bark ash of Asoka and discovered presence of silica, sodium, potassium, phosphate, magnesium, iron, calcium, strontium and aluminium. A crystalline glycosidal substance has been sequestered from the bark, with galactose as the constitutional sugar.
Methods of usage
Asoka remedies everyday and chronic disorders like uterine disorder, piles, dysentery, diabetes, also serving fruitfully in Ayurvedic medicines.
Healing Power and Medicinal Properties of asoka
The bark is dictated in Ayurvedic medicine as a uterine tranquilliser. It is believed to have stimulating effects on the endometrium, i.e., the mucous membrane lining the uterus and on the ovarian tissues.
Uterine Disorders cured by asoka
The bark of the tree is effectual for unwarranted blood loss during menstruation due to the presence of uterine fibroids, leucorrhoea and other causes. It can be used as an alternative for ergot, a kind of dried fungus used in medicines for treating uterine haemorrhages. It is taken as a decoction.
Approximately 90 grams of the bark is boiled in 30 ml of milk and 360 ml of water till the total quantity is reduced to nearly 90 grams. This is shared in 2 or 3 dosages to be administered in a day. The treatment should start from the 4th day of menstruation and continue till the bleeding is controlled. Fresh decoction needs to be made every day.
Piles cured by asoka
The bark is also effective for internal piles. A decoction made in the similar manner as in the case of uterine disorders is taken in such conditions.
Dysentery healed by asoka
The decoction is also handy in times of dysentery. A fluidextract of the flowers can be taken with enhancing results in haemorrhagic dysentery. This infusion is prepared by mashing the flowers with water. It is taken in dosages of 15 to 60 drops.
Other Diseases remedied by asoka
The dried flowers of Asoka tree are useful in cases of diabetes. The bark of the tree is also useful in treating scorpion-sting.