The Ashoka Tree, as its name depicts, is very correctly called the “Tree of Happiness”. The letter “A” stands for “Not” and “Shoka” stands for “Sad”. As such the term Ashoka represents the state of not being sad, in other words, it propagates happiness.
The Ashoka Tree is a rain forest evergreen tree that is found in almost all parts of India. This tree has been very closely associated with the Indian culture and Hindu mythology. It is considered very sacred and it is known for its beauty, especially for the stunning and colorful flowers.
In India, it is considered very auspicious to plant the Ashoka tree in the homes. It is believed that it provides a very positive and energetic aura to the ambiance in which it is planted. This is the reason that you can find many Ashoka tree growing in the vicinity of the residential areas in India.
Ashoka – Some Scientific Facts
The Ashoka tree belongs to the family “Fabaceae”, subfamily “Detarioideae” and genus “Saraca”. The actual scientific name of the Ashoka is “Saraca Asoca”. There are other trees that look like Ashoka trees such as “Polyalthia Longifolia” and “Saraca Indica”, but they are not real Ashoka trees. They are considered as false Ashoka trees.
Saraca Asoca is also sometimes referred to as Jonesia Asoca. The leaves of the Ashoka like its flowers also grow in dense clusters. They are generally green to dark green in color.
Generally, trees grow flowers from their branches but the Ashoka is one of the very few trees that can grow flowers even from its stem. The beautiful flowers generally grow only once a year in its flowering season. The flowers of the Ashoka grow in a bunch which looks like a beehive of honey bees and it also smells sweet. This is the reason that the flowers are called “Madhupushpa”. In Hindi “Madhu” means “sweet” and “Pushpa” means “flower”.
How To Grow Ashoka Tree At Home
Ashoka is such a great tree and you should definitely have one for your home. Though it is not possible for every one of us to have a full-grown Ashoka at home because of the space limitations. As such we are giving you the details of how to grow a bonsai Ashoka plant in your home.
1. You can easily get a plant from the store or even online which is around 1- 2 years of age. These plants generally come packed in polythene, so properly remove it without causing any damage to the roots.
2. The next step is to prepare the potting soil, the Ashoka does not require any kind of special soil, but there are a few things that you should keep in mind. The potting soil should not be sticky, it should be mixed with sand to make it aerated. Also, add some cow dung, leave fertilizer, and compost.
3. Ashoka tree likes the sunlight, as such, it shall be placed in an area with good sunlight. It does not like to be cold, as such make sure to provide proper sunlight and heat to the plant.
4. The pot should be provided with fertilizer at least three times in a year, compost is a good option, also make sure that it does not get affected by any kind of pests. Treat it with any good pesticide available to remove the pests from the plant.
5. The Ashoka tree also likes the moisture but it should be ensured that it is not exposed to an excess amount of water. Excess water can aid fungal growth which is not good for the plant.
6. The tree generally requires more water in the summer so ensure watering it properly in the summertime.
7. The Ashoka tree grows very easily and it does not require much maintenance but it is important that you do the pruning from time to time to keep the plant healthy. Avoid the process of pruning in the fruiting season, you can prune it in all the other seasons.
Uses And Benefits Of Ashoka Tree
1. It is believed that the powder made from the seeds of the Ashoka tree is very helpful in treating respiratory disorders. This is the reason that many patients of asthma and TB use this powder.
2. The bark of the Ashoka tree which is known as “chhal” in Hindi, is considered very useful for the healing of cracked and fractured bones. For this 5 grams powder of the bark is to be consumed with milk twice a day.
3. The bark of Ashoka is also considered very useful for females. If the powder of the bark is taken with milk it maintains proper hormonal balance in the females and also helps in maintaining proper period cycles.
4. Ashoka seed powder is also helpful in treating urination disorders and it also helps in treating kidney stones.
5. Ashoka chhal along with Brahmi powder is considered very good for improving brain power, concentration, and focus.
6. Ashoka flowers along with curd are used for maintaining the well being of the uterus in females.
7. Ashok bark powder is also used for treating the problem of white or yellowish discharge in women, which is known as leucorrhea.
8. It is a wonderful plant for infertility cases and it is also used for treating Dysmenorrhea, the condition in which women suffer from painful periods.
Mythology And Indian Culture Surrounding Ashoka
Ashoka Tree is considered a very sacred tree throughout the subcontinent of India. It has an auspicious place in many religions like Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.
It also has many medicinal and herbal values and it is used to a great extent for treating many disorders in “Ayurveda” and “Indian herbal practices”.
The Ashoka tree is also fondly known as “Sita-Ashoka” because as stated in Ramayana, it is the tree under which goddess Sita sat while in Lanka.
She was abducted by Ravana, who was the king of the Lanka, and she sat under a large Ashoka tree in a garden, which is known as “Ashoka Vatika”
Ashoka tree is also associated with Yakshini Devi and she is often depicted as the goddess with her foot on the trunk and hands holding the Ashoka flower.
Ashoka flowers are also associated with Kamadeva, the Hindu god of human love. It is believed that he used the Ashoka flowers along with four other flowers for his five arrows.
Ashoka tree is mostly worshipped in the “chaitra” month according to the Hindu calendar and there many other local traditions connected to it, in this month.
Ashoka Tree And Vastu Shastra
As per Vastu Shastra, it is believed that the Ashoka tree should be planted in the “north direction”. If there is not enough space in your home, then it can be planted in a pot that shall be kept in the north direction of your home. This shall prevent you from the negative energies and any unwanted harm.
Ashoka tree is believed to be a symbol of positive energy in Vastu Shastra. It is mentioned in Vastu shastra that if Ashoka is planted in the home, the negative energy will not be able to enter the house. It is also believed that the Ashoka tree at home brings happiness, calmness, and prosperity.
Vastu shastra mentions that the leaves of the Ashoka tree should be placed in the worship place every Monday to bring prosperity and wealth to your home. If there are any hindrances in the marriage of a person, it is believed that taking a regular bath for 41 days with Ashoka leaves dipped water, shall remove all the hindrances.