Herbs Profile

Ashoka (Saraca indica)

saraca indicaAshoka is a famous uterine tonic specifically used for excess bleeding and pain. Lord Buddha was born under the ashoka tree and Lord Ram’s wife S´ı – ta was held captive in an ashoka grove in Sri Lanka. It literally means ‘remover of sorrow’, attesting to its  ability to cure pain and discomfort.

Common name Ashok (H) Sanskrit Asoka Latin Saraca indica–Cortex (Caesalpiniaceae)


  • Rasa (taste) Bitter, astringent
  • Vırya (energy) Cold
  • Vipaka (post-digestive effect) Pungent
  • Guna (quality) Light, dry
  • Dosa effect KP−
  • Dhatu (tissue) Blood, muscle, fat, reproductive
  • Srotas (channel) Female reproductive, circulatory


  • Phytosterols β-sitosterol
  • Tannins
  • Flavonoids Quercetin, kaempferol (Paranjpe 2001, Williamson 2004)


  • Raktapitta Alleviates bleeding diseases, particularly menorrhagia  and metrorrhagia
  • Stambhana Alleviates fluid leakage and diarrhea
  • Strırogajit Treats gynaecological conditions
  • Prajastha-pana Prevents miscarriage
  • Garbhasaya rasa-yana Uterine tonic
  • Svetapradara Treats leucorrhoea
  • Mutrakrcchra Alleviates painful urination
  • Hrdaya Nourishes the heart
  • Vedana-stha-pana Analgesic


Astringent, constipative, uterine tonic, alterative, analgesic, diuretic, cardiac tonic


Gynaecology A very useful herb to treat menstrual disorders associated with excess bleeding (rakta pradara), pain and congestion. Use when there are uterine spasms, abdominal pain and dysmenorrhoea. Its affinity for the uterine muscles and endometrium indicates its use as a uterine tonic to help with prolapse, miscarriage and irregular menstrual cycles. Also of benefit for clearing congestion from the mamsa and medas dhatus when there are fibroids, cysts, endometriosis and leucorrhoea from excess ama and kapha in the artava srotas (Swami Shiva Tirtha).

Digestion Its astringency can help to alleviate bleeding piles and dysentery. Also used to treat colitis and ulcers.

Urine It encourages the flow of urine and can help to alleviate painful urination.

Pain ashoka has specific analgesic properties and can be used to soothe the nerves where they are aggravated by vata (Gogte 2000).

Heart Its nourishing effect on the circulatory system makes it a useful remedy in cardiac weakness and arrhythmia.


* Ashwagandha, cinnamon to strengthen the uterine muscles.

* Shatavari, rose, turmeric to regulate the menstrual cycle.

* Myrrh, manjishtha, turmeric for endometriosis and fibroids.

* Punarnava, coriander, pippali for vaginal dscharge.

* Shatavari, amalaki, licorice for dysentery and piles.




No drug–herb interactions are known


1–9g per day or 3–15ml per day of a 1:3 @ 25% tincture.


Ashoka is a medium-sized evergreen tree growing all over India. It looks like a mango tree and has blood-red bark.


About the author

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

Experienced holistic doctor, healer, teacher, and writer
Specialized in Ayurvedic detox (Panchakarma)
Trained in India and Nepal, the original lands of Ayurveda
Graduate in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) from the Institute of Medicine at Tribhuwan University in Kathmandu.
Professional member of Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA)
Owner of Sunshine Ayurveda

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