Botanical: Saraca indica | Hindi: सीता अशोक | Marathi: सीता अशोक | English: Sita Ashok
AboutThe Sita Ashok tree (Saraca asoca) is a medium-sized evergreen with dark green, compound leaves and dense, rounded foliage. Native to India, it bears fragrant, orange to red flowers in clusters, creating a visually striking appearance. The tree is renowned for its cultural significance, associated with Hindu mythology. Its bark is used in traditional medicine for its potential reproductive health benefits. Sita Ashok, also known as Asoka or Ashoka tree, thrives in well-drained soil and is a revered ornamental species for its aesthetic appeal and cultural importance.
Medicinal Uses: Saraca asoca is valued for it’s medicinal properties specially it’s extensive role in promoting female reproductive system health. It is therefore at times referred as the best female tonic.
- It is employed to address menstrual disorders and promote overall gynecological well-being. Ashokarishta is a well known Ayurvedic tonic for menstruation related problems in women.
- Traditional remedies use this plant for managing conditions related to uterine health.
- The bark is sometimes used to alleviate symptoms associated with menopause.
- It also helps to control bleeding in piles due to its Sita (cold) property.
- Ashoka powder is also an effective remedy for managing worm infestation due to its Krimighna (anti-worm) property
Culture and Tradition: In the Indian subcontinent, Ashoka tree occupies a revered place in many Indian folk and socio-cultural traditions.
- In the Buddhist tradition, it is said that Queen Maya of Sakya gave birth to Bhagwan Gautama Buddha under the soothing Ashok Vriksh in a garden in Lumbini, situated in southern Nepal.
- In Indian epics, the sacred Ramayana mentioned Ashoka significantly, that Shri Hanumana first met Maa Devi Sita in the Ashoka Vatica (a garden of Ashoka trees) sitting under an Ashok Vriksha, a place believed to be situated in modern Srilanka.
- Ashoka is associated with several traditional beliefs and is sacred to the Hindu God of love “Kamadeva”, who included an ashoka blossom among the five flowers in his quiver, where ashoka represent seductive hypnosis.
- In Sanskrit, Asoka or Ashoka means ‘without sorrow’. So it is also the tree of Joy and happiness. (A perfect tree for Anand van, the forest of joy).
Environmental Impact: The Sita Ashoka tree is an important source of food and habitat for many birds, animals, and insects. The flowers of the tree are particularly attractive to bees and butterflies, which help to pollinate other plants in the surrounding area.
Anandvan Trivia QuizQuestion 1: Can you name two religious figures associated with Ashoka Tree?
Answer: It is well known that as per Ramayan Mata Sita spent her time under an Ashoka Tree in Ashok Vatika while in captivity of Ravana. The other religious figure associated with the tree is Bhagwan Gautam Buddha, who is believed to be born under the shade of this tree.