ASHOKA (INDIAN FIR/JONESIA ASOKA)
Ayurveda recommends many unique herbs/plants for women. Ashoka is one of them. Ashoka is a Sanskrit word, which is a combination of “A” and “Shoka”. “Shoka” means “grief” and when a prefix “A” is added, it means “without any grief”.
Ayurveda says, in the truest sense, this herb/tree has a nectarian effect on women as it can relieve all worries, anxieties and grief which many women experience pertaining to their health, particularly related to their reproductive system.
According to Ayurveda, women’s health depends a lot upon the health of their pelvis and the organs situated in their pelvic and lower abdominal region, e.g. uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, etc. If the pelvic region is not strong, the reproductive system cannot function so well.
In modern times, due to unhealthy eating habits and unnatural lifestyle, many young women suffer from a weak pelvic region, due to which they experience hormonal imbalance, back pain, emotional fluctuation, unnecessary anxiety, feelings of insecurity, panic attacks, paranoia, low iron/HB level, chronic fatigue, indigestion, constipation, sleeping disorders, PMS, irregular menstruation, excessive/scanty menstruation, leucorrhea (vaginal discharge which can be whitish, greenish, yellowish and brownish with very unpleasant odour), vaginal disorder, acne, psoriasis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, ovarian dysfunction, fibroid, frigidity (low libido), infertility, miscarriage, lumps/cysts in the breast, hysteria, fits, obesity, skin diseases, water/fluid retention, arthritis/osteoporosis, etc.
Ashoka is a wonderful and unique herb which can help to address and correct almost all the above mentioned health issues.
Ayurvedic texts state that Ashoka is cooling, and due to its bitter and astringent taste, it helps to kill unhealthy bacteria, remove toxic/poisonous effects from one’s system, purifies blood and thus improving the health of one’s skin, prevents excessive bleeding during menstruation, and thereby prevents symptoms of anaemia, low iron/HB level, etc.
In Ayurvedic medicines, mostly the bark of the Ashoka tree is used. The medicinal value and benefits of Ashoka are mentioned not only in the ancient texts of Ayurveda, but also recognised & validated by modern science in laboratory tests, based on the chemical properties found in the bark of the Ashoka tree.
Here are some of the formulas/usages of the powder made from the bark of the Ashoka tree :
- Excessive bleeding during menses: boil 15 – 20 gram of Ashoka bark granules/powder in about 300 ml fresh cow’s milk or plain water, on a medium flame till the quantity of the milk/water is reduced to about 50 ml. Then strain the milk/water and drink it whilst it is still warm. Take this twice a day, in the morning 30 minutes before breakfast and in the evening one hour after dinner. To make it more effective, one can mix 2 – 3 gram of “Daruharidra” (Indian barberry/tree turmeric) powder and 2 gram of pure cinnamon powder in this water before drinking. This herbal drink works as a tonic for women – it improves circulation around the whole pelvic region and thus helps to enhance the functioning of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, etc., which in turn can prevent excessive bleeding during menstruation, thereby helping to minimise the possibility of anaemia.
- For leucorrhea (excessive vaginal discharge): Add 5 gram of Ashoka powder and 1 gram of green cardamom seed powder in about 200 ml boiling hot water and infuse them for about 7 – 8 minutes. Then drink this water. Take this twice a day, in the morning, 30 minutes before breakfast and in the evening, one hour after dinner. Regular intake of this remedy can correct leucorrhea problem, enhance energy levels and promote emotional stability.
- Vaginal infection/candida/thrush: Mix 1 tablespoon of Ashoka powder in 300 ml water. Boil it on a medium flame till the quantity of water is reduced to about 60 ml. Then add 2 – 5 gram of Alum (Potassium Aluminium Sulphate) whilst the water is still hot. Use this concoction once the alum powder is completely dissolved, for a vaginal douche, twice a day. This simple technique can correct vaginal disorders, frigidity (due to insensitivity of vagina) and also can prevent any discomfort/pain in the vagina at the time of intercourse, which can also cause low libido.
- Menstrual disorder/PMS: Mix 30 gram of Ashoka bark granules (or powder) in 300 ml water. Boil it on a medium flame till the quantity of the water reduces to about 100 ml. Then mix 100 ml fresh cow’s milk to this water and boil this mixture again on a medium flame, till the quantity of the liquid is reduced to about 100 ml. Drink 50 ml of this concoction in the morning, one hour after breakfast, and 50 ml in the afternoon, three hours after lunch. Start taking this from the 4th day of the start of the menses and continue till the commencement of the next cycle. Continue taking this till the menses become regular/normal.
- Acne/pimples/dark patches on the face: Mix 100 gram Ashoka bark granules (or powder) in 500 ml water. Boil this on a medium flame till the quantity of the water is reduced to about 50 ml. Mix 25 ml pure mustard oil to this water. Store this in an airtight glass bottle. Apply this mixture on your face every night before going to bed after washing your face well with a little warm water. Leave it on your face overnight and wash it off the next morning with a little warm water. Make sure you shake the bottle well before using this mixture. This simple method is more effective than many expensive cosmetic creams available in the market. Regular use of this for a couple of weeks can clear the facial skin, remove acne/pimples (without leaving any marks on the face), clear dark patches on the face and bring a natural glow on the face.
There are many more formulas/concoctions mentioned in Ayurveda using Ashoka powder as the main ingredient, which can be very beneficial to resolve several health issues of women, particularly pertaining to the reproductive system. For more information on this, please contact us.
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DISCLAIMER : This information is intended for educational purposes only & does not constitute expert medical advice, nor is it meant to replace medical recommendations by a medical practitioner. Always consult a qualified Ayurveda Doctor/Health Professional/Yoga Guru for your specific medical needs before taking any herbal health supplements, and/or practicing Ayurveda & Yoga.