Oct 8, 2013

Ashoka - Asogam

Ashoka - Asogam

Botanical Name: Saraca Asoca, Saraca Indica
Family: Caesalpinioideae
Common name: Sita Ashok, Sorrowless tree
Sanskrit: Ashoka, Ashopalava, Asupala, Apashaka, Hemapushpa, Kankeli, Madhupushpa, Vanjula
Hindi: Sita Ashok, Ashok, Vand ichitrah, Vanjulam
Gujarati: Ashopalava
Oriya: Ashoka
Bengali: Oshok
Kannada: Achenge, Ashanke, Kenkalimara
Malayalam: Hemapushpam,Ashokam, Chethi, Ashoka chethi
Assamese: Ashok
Marathi: Jasundi
Tamil: Asogam
Telugu: Asokamu, Vanjulamu

Plant name: Asokam means “Removing or destroying all sorrows”

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. It is also an endangered tree.

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.

As a wild tree, the Ashoka is a vulnerable species. It is becoming rarer in its natural habitat, but isolated wild Ashoka trees are still to be found in the foothills of central and eastern Himalayas, in scattered locations of the northern plains of India as well as on the west coast of the Subcontinent near Mumbai.

In the Ramayana, one of the books of Hindu mythology, there is mention of Ashoka tree. Ashoka means "without sorrow", a reference to this bark's reputation for keeping women healthy and youthful. Buddha was said to be born under this tree.

There are a few varieties of the Ashoka tree. One variety is larger and highly spreading. The columnar varieties are common in cultivation.

The bark of Ashoka Tree is used for its medicinal value and it is reported to have a stimulating effect on the endometrium and ovarian tissue. The bark is useful in all cases of uterine bleeding where ergot is indicated. It is also useful in menorrhagia due to uterine fibroids, in leucorrhea and in internal bleeding. Its use in treatment of excessive uterine bleeding is extensive in India. The plant is used also in dysmenorrhoea and for depression in women.

PART USED : Bark, Seeds and Flowers.

SIDE EFFECTS: In the commonly used doses side effects are rare.

Below are some of the medicinal properties of Asoka:

According to Ayurveda, ashoka was also used for healing wounds, strengthening uterine muscles. It is also believed to prevent ocular diseases, miscarriages, bleeding dysentery and neurological disorders.

- 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 haemorrhages. 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 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.

-Asoka is highly acclaimed for its utility in gynecological problems like Menorrhagia (excessive bleeding during menses), leucorrhoea (excessive white discharge), dysmenorrhea (painful menses), oligomenorrhea (scanty bleeding during menses), menstrual cramps, secondary amenorrhea, infertility, fibroid. It is a blood purifier. The bark has a stimulating effect on the endometrium and ovarian tissue.

-Medicated milk with bark a preventive in gynaec troubles and decoction prepared from bark of asoka (external for vaginal irrigation and cleansing ). Asoka is also useful in bone reunion and pain relieving if the paste of bark is applied on externally.

Ashoka Health Benefits
Various studies on extracts from ashoka bark provide evidence of its several health benefits.

Anti-bacterial properties: 
It can fight fever, cold and infections as it possesses anti-bacterial properties.


Ayurveda has been using ashoka for menorrhagia traditionally. A preparation made from ashoka tree known as ashokarishta is given for this disease and also for uterine infections. It helps stop vaginal bleeding.

Rheumatic arthritis:
The methanol extracts from ashoka showed positive results against rheumatic arthirits.

Ashoka bark has been traditionally used as a remedy for internal haemorrhoids.

It is also recommended against dysmenorrhoea.

Siddha Medicinal Uses :
-For conditions like menorrhagia (excessive bleeding during menses), dysmenorrhoea (painful menses), leucorrhoea (excessive white discharge), oligomenorrhoea (scanty bleeding during menses) in ladies, the decoction prepared from bark of asoka is given.

-For karappan (eczema), sori, in children and for certain skin diseases in adults, the flowers of asokam is made into karkam and boiled with coconut oil, this is filtered and used externally over these ailments.

-The bark is crushed and boiled in cow’s milk and water and reduced to 1/5th part and given twice daily for disorders like menorrhagia, disorders of uterus etc.
-The juice of bark is effective in treating menorrhagia.

-For conditions like irregular mensturation, diseases of ovary like PCOD and even infertility, decoction of the bark is really effective if consumed daily.

Oct 4, 2013

Nilini - Neeli Avuri

Nilini - Avuri

Botanical name: Indigofera Tinctoria
Family: Fabaceae
English: Indian Indigo
Hindi: Nili
Kannada: Karunili
Malayalam: Neelamar Amar
Sanskrit: Nilini
Tamil: Neeli avuri, Neelamari
Telugu: Nili Chettu,Nili

Parts Used: Whole Plant

Actions : Hepato-protective, Anti-periodic, Stimulant, Antidote.

India is a country with rich natural resources with variety of medicinal plants. In contrast to synthetic drugs, Herbal drugs enjoy the advantages of comparatively less toxic than synthetic drugs, more harmony with the biological system and affordable to all classes of people. In the last few decades, Herbs and plants have been in use as a source of therapeutic compounds in traditional medicinal system. Medicinal plants play an important role in traditional health care systems as well as in International herbal and pharmaceutical markets. This is because that the herbal medicines are cheap, and have natural origin. The plant Indigofera tinctoria belongs to the family of Fabaceae which popularly known as Neeli in Tamil and found throughout India. The roots, stems and leaves of Indigofera tinctoria are bitter and are useful for promoting the growth of hair, asthma, ulcers, skin diseases and diuretic.

The plant was found to contain indirubin and indigtone where the juice extracted from the leaves is useful in the treatment of hydrophobia.

Description of Plant

A branching shrub upto 2m high with 7-13 leaflets. Leaves are green when fresh and greyish black on drying, tender branches bluish red in color, flowers many in nearly sessile lax spicate recemes which are much shorter than the leaves with red or pinkin colour; fruits cylindrical pods,pale greenish grey when young and dark brown on ripening with 10-12 seeds.

The roots, stems and leaves are bitter, thermogenic, laxative, trichogenous, expectorant, anthelminthic, tonic, naturopathy, splenomegaly, echolalia, cardiopathy, chronic bronchitis, asthama, ulcers, skin diseases, diuretic and are useful for promoting growth of hair. The juice expressed from the leaves is useful in the treatment of hydrophobia. An extract of the plant is good for epilepsy and neuropathy. The plant possesses anti-toxic property. The plant is stimulant, alternativr, deobstruent and purgative. Indigo is antiseptic and astringent.

The Juice of the leaves and indigo in powder are used mixed with honey in enlargement of liver and spleen, epilepsy and other nervous affections. In hydrophobia two ounces of fresh juice with an equal quantity of milk is given in the morning for 3 days as a prophylactic; Juice is also given in asthma, whooping cough, palpitation of heart, in some lung diseases and kidney complaints as in dropsy. Decoction of the root is given in calculus; Juice of the young branches mixed with honey is a used application for aphthae of the mouth in children. An Infusion of root is given as an root is given as an antidote in cases of poisoning by arsenic.

Externally, leaves crushed are used as stimulant, Poultice or plaster in various skin affections, to haemorrhoids etc., and to cleanse a heal wounds and ulcers. Powdered indigo also is used for sprinkling on ulcers. It is applied mixed with castor oil to the navel of children to promote the action of the bowels and mixed with warm to the pubes and hypogastria as it stimulates bladder and therefore useful in cases of retention of urine.

Siddha Medicinal Uses :

1. It is the best Siddha medicine for all toxicities

2. The powder given in dose of 5 grams for three times a day for any type of toxicity (herbal, metal or poison of any living creature), fever due to derranged vatham, kamalai (jaundice), mantham (indigestion) etc.

3. The root is crushed and prepared into decoction, and given for gunmam (abdominal disorders), vellai(leucorrhoea), all types of toxicities etc.

4. The leaves are crushed, prepared into decoction and given for toxicities, fever, arthritis etc.

5. The leaf juice is given in the dose of 10-20ml along with honey twice daily for jaundice, inflammation of liver etc.

6. For poisonous bites, the samoolam or the whole plant is ground and applied as a paste over the bitten area. Also the leaf juice is given internally to the patient.