ASOKA- A HINDU REMEDY D.N. CHATTERJI, M. D.
“Blessed is the woman with children in her lap, Who finds her breast always to be agap, Using new blossoms of Asoka plant, To her conjugal love becomes a grant, Her ailments are gone, her disorders vanish, And she looks to her unhappiness nothing but a finish”
SYNONYMS: Latin, Guatterera Longifolia; English, Saraca Indica: Hindi, Asogi; Gujrati, Asupalo Ratang-fullo; Marhatta, Sankrit, Assamese, Bengali, Asoka.
PREPARATION: The mother tincture should be prepared from the dried bark according to class IV, (A.H.P.).
The religious dictations of the ancient Hindu sages had such an interesting and novel way of giving their recommendations that they used to interweave and intermingle the common principles of hygiene with the social and domestic functions for observance in daily life. Many lose sight of the importance they sought to create by adopting such a principle, others are altogether blind to it, some are even impertinent enough to raise a voice of protest that they hardly had any idea of giving the people any medical help in this way, but all these classes equally derive the benefit by observing the functions of the Hindu Shastras (religious doctrine).
The one fundamental principle of the Hindu sages was to teach the people to respect nature and to infuse into them a desire to worship those among them through whom they might be indirectly helped. Nature being a very elaborate and comprehensive term let us. Deal with so of its sides which come within the scope of our medical science to help most. To demonstrate this let us take the case of Asoka and how this invaluable plant found a place for worship among the females, rendering them the help to recover from the general ailments to which they are a victim. The festivity for worshiping this plant falls in spring, which is suggestive in itself, the new blossoms of the plant being used for the occasion. The term Asoka when literally translated stands to mean “the remover of all ailments” and the version of the sages enjoins this view. Say the sages in their recommendation of the Shastras: “Whoever (meaning a female) after having an ablution, with a pure body and mind takes eight new buds of Asoka in the festive day recommended, gets rid of all ailments born to menstrual troubles, and the discontent of such a woman from barrenness soon vanishes, her craving for mother hood being fulfilled”
The use of Asoka as a sovereign remedy for menstrual trouble is too well known to the physicians to be reiterated and the Shastric dictations to take this plant in the form of a worship only lends to corroborate how the religious functions recommended by them had a very close relation to the improvement of health as pointed out in the beginning of this article.
My record of the past year and a half shows that out of 59 patients with cases of menstrual troubles, 33 have been cured by Asoka alone. It cured an obstinate case of haemorrhage after abortion. A case of puerperal fever with intense pain in the abdomen, long standing blood-like discharge, with a very bad odor, excessive thirst, diarrhoea with much weakness, and vertigo after raising the head from pillow, was completely cured in fifteen days by Asoka.
I have used it in all kinds of menstrual disorders with excellent results. Uterine disorders with chronic constipation, occasional headache and vertigo are some of the marked symptoms of this remedy. It is a great medicine for amenorrhoea or scanty menses with unbearable pain, burning sensation during urination, however long standing it may be. Irregular menstruation made a rapid recovery. In all the cases cured by this medicine, I noticed that the patient was affectionate and emotional like pulsatilla, and sorrowful with a desire for loneliness like Sepia. In vicarious menstruation I have confirmed its efficacy in five long standing cases. It acted like a miracle in most cases of dysmenorrhoea. A case of obstructive dysmenorrhoea was cured most successfully.
The Kavirajes (the physicians of the Hindu school of medicine ) call it a uterine tonic. They prescribe it in all kinds of uterine affections. I cured a case of arterial congestion of the womb with much tendency to haemorrhage, vesical irritations, and an exceedingly nervous depression with this medicine. Dr. Sanyal, a friend of mine, reported to me a case of displacement of the uterus cured by continuous use of this medicine only. I have found it efficacious in a case of burning leucorrhoea, and this medicine has been used by the Kavirajes for a long time in all sorts of leucorrhoea.
It is good medicine for the complaints at the time of menopause. My grandmother once declared it to be a very invaluable remedy for all cases of haemorrhages. I made a brilliant cure in a case of haemoptysis, the patient being a phthisical young lady of sixteen, who had vomited blood for fifteen days. With the administration of the first dose of this medicine the haemorrhage ceased.
For barrenness (sterility) I have three successful reports. It is extremely useful in cases of bleeding piles. Mr. S.D. choudhury, aged 35 years, a clerk of Messrs. Mackinon Mackenzie & Co. Had suffered from this ailment for a long period. Bright red blood with a severe pain and stiffness in back, constipation, slignt burning during urination, burning of the hands, feet, and eyes in evening were prominent symptoms. The patient almost wept while telling his ailments. I tried Nux vom., Hamamelis, and Puls. In vain. Suddenly the use of Asoka as a remedy for the treatment of bleeding piles attracted my imagination, whem I recalled the complete recovery of an old man of our village during my boyhood. I gave this patient the mother tincture in five drops with the result that bleeding stopped the next day There has been no recurrence of the ailments up to the present time although a year has since elapsed.
Most of the patients were temperamentally affectionate, sentimental, nervous, gloomy, religious, had a love for children and an intense desire for motherhood. Their symptoms were similar to Sabina, Sepia, Puls., I gnatia, Hamamelis, Caulophyllum, Cimicifuga, China, Abroma aug., and Viburnum.
Perhaps it antidotes Ferrum.
I have used it successfully after Nux vom., Natrum mur., Sepia, Puls., Sulphur, and Calcarea. I have used China, Nux vom., Naturm mur. And Sulphur as complementary to this medicine.
In all these cases I have used the mother tincture in distilled water, five to ten drop doses.
I wish my brother colleagues of the profession would give it a fair trial and record their opinion of practical cases.