Scientific name – Saraca asoca
Family – Fabaceae
The Ashoka tree is considered sacred and legendary in India. In Sanskrit, Asoka or Ashoka means ‘without sorrow’. Ashoka is associated with several traditional beliefs and is sacred to the Hindu God of love, Kamadeva. It is believed that Gautama Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism, was born under the Ashoka tree. The scientific name of the Ashoka tree is Saraca asoca, which belongs to the Caesalpinaceae family. Ashoka tree is native to India and is found all over India, especially in the Himalayas, Kerala, Bengal and the southern regions. The Ashoka tree has been used extensively in Ayurveda.
Ashoka is the beautiful evergreen tree of about 25-30 feet in height.
• Ashoka Bark – Ashoka bark is smooth with transversely ridged and circular lenticels, dark green to greenish grey.
• Ashoka Leaves – Ashoka leaves are dark green, alternate, paripinnate compound, stipulate, large and spreading horizontally.3-6 inches long and 2.5 inches wide.
• Ashoka Flowers – Ashoka has fragrant, bisexual, regular flowers of orange color with 7-8 stamens in a large bunch.
• Ashoka Fruits – Ashoka fruits are legumes that are smooth, leathery and flat pods tapered at both ends having 6-8 seeds. About 12-20 cm long and 5 cm in width.
• Ashoka Seeds – Ashoka seeds are flat, about 1.5 inches long.
अशोकः शीतलस्तिक्तो ग्रीही वर्ण्यः कषायकः । शोषापचीतृषादाहकृमिशोयविषास्त्रजित् ।। (भा.प्र.) ‘अशोकवल्कलक्वायशृतं दुग्धं सुशीतलतम् । यथावतं पिवेत्प्रातस्तीब्रासृग्वरनाशनम् ।।’ (च.व.)
Asoka has various important actions on almost all systems of the body. Those Are as follows: