Common Name : Ashoka
Plant Parts Used : Bark, Seeds, Flowers
Leaves are narrowly lanceolate 15-25 cms long, cork-like at the base and with a short petiole. Stipules are intra-petiolar and completely united. Flowers are fragrant. They are 7.5-10 cms across. Calyx is yellow to orange and finally red. Its stamens are 7 to 8. The filaments are filiform.
Characteristics and Constituents :
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.
Actions and Uses :
Oxytocie activity of the plant was seen in rat and human isolated uterine preparations. Estrogen-primed or gravid uterus was more sensitive to the action of the alcoholic extract. Pentolinium bitartrate completely blocked the oxytocic action. Seed extract is found effective against dermatophytic fungi.
Its use in treatment of excessive uterine bleeding is extensive in India. The plant is used also in dysmenorrhoea and for depression in women. Bleeding from piles is reduced with the plant.
In the commonly used doses side effects are rare. Larger doses may cause constipation. The extract has cardiotonic action in frog and dog.