Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saraca indica - Ashoka - അശോകം


Botanical Name :
Saraca indica Lin. 
Saraca asoca 

Family :
Caesalpiniaceae

Vernacular Names :
Malayalam : Ashokam - അശോകം 
English : Ashoka tree, Sorrowless tree
Sanskrit : Sita-Ashoka, Anganapriya, Ashopalava, Ashoka, Asupala, Apashaka, Ashoka, 
                 Hemapushpa, Kankeli, Madhupushpa, Pindapushpa, Pindipushpa, Vanjula, 
                 Vishoka, Vichitra, Thaamra pallava, Gandha pushpa
Hindi : Sita Ashok - सीता अशोक, Ashok - अशोक
Bengali : Asok, Angana priya 
Tamil :  Asogam - அசோகம்
Gujarathi : Ashopalava
Kannada : Achenge, Akshth, Ashanke, Kenkalimara
Telugu : Asokamu, Ashoku, Vanjulamu
Marathi : Jasundi
Oriya : Osoko 



Plant Description : 
Ashok is a Sanskrit word meaning without grief or that which gives no grief. 
It is an erect tree, small and evergreen, with a smooth, grey-brown bark. 
The crown is compact and shapely. 
Flowers are usually to be seen throughout the year, but it is in January and February that the profusion of orange and scarlet clusters turns the tree into an object of startling beauty. Pinned closely on to every branch and twig, these clusters consist of numerous, small, long-tubed flowers which open out into four oval lobes. Yellow when young, they become orange then crimson with age and from the effect of the sun's rays. From a ring at the top of each tube spread several long, half-white, half-crimson, stamens which give an hairy appearance to the flower clusters. In strong contrast to these fiery blooms is the deep-green, shiny foliage. 
The foot-long leaves each have four, five or six pairs of long, wavy-edged, leaflets. Young leaves are soft, red and limp and remain pendent even after attaining full size.

Chemical Composition :  
The bark contains tannin, catechol, sterol and organic calcium compounds. Its methanol fraction contains haematoxylene, tannin, and water-soluble glycoside. The latter has glucose, galactose and mannose as sugars.

Rasaadhi Gunaas :
Rasa : Kashayam, Thiktham
Guna : Snigdham
Veeryam : Sheetham
Vipakam : Katu


Useful Parts :
Stem bark
Root bark
Flower

Indications :  
01. Visha hara, 
02. Diabetes
03. Uterine fibroid
04. Leucorrhoea
05. Uterine hemorrhages
06. Dysentery
07. Raktha sthambaka
08. Stomach ache
09. Vrannam
10. Piles
11. Problems related to the uterus 
12. Excessive blood loss during the menstruation

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