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Vol 1., #2 - Sept 1998
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Ashoka - the Sorrowless Tree of India
©1998 by Dr. Rupa A. Shah

Botanical Name: Saraca Indica or Jonesia Ashok.

Ashoka is one of the most legendary and sacred trees of India, and one of the most fascinating flowers in the Indian range of flower essences. It belongs to Caesalpaeniaceae family. It is a very handsome, small, erect evergreen tree, with deep green foliage and very fragrant, bright orange-yellow flowers, which later turn red. The flowering season is around April and May. It is found in central and eastern Himalayas as well as on the west coast of Bombay.

Ashoka is a Sanskrit word meaning without grief or that which gives no grief. Of course, the tree has many other names in local languages as well. One such name means the tree of love blossoms. The Hindus regard it as sacred, being dedicated to Kama Deva, God of Love. The tree is a symbol of love. Its beautiful, delicately perfumed flowers are used in temple decoration. There are also festivals associated with this flower. Lord Buddha was born under the Ashoka tree, so it is planted in Buddhist monasteries.

In India, drinking the water in which the flowers have been washed is widely considered a protection against grief. In a certain sense, such water is a flower essence, its effects recognized by our people for centuries. As for the essence, indeed it is for those who have gone through great trauma and suffering.

It is a healer for deep seated sorrow, sadness, grief, and disharmony in one's inner being due to events such as bereavement, failure, suffering, disease, and isolation. On using this essence, a profound inner state of joy, harmony and well being is produced. It works very gently, in that it changes one's perception of the sorrow.

We have found Ashoka to be especially helpful to the elderly. One woman from New York who was around 76 had gone through much suffering and trauma in life. At this stage, she was all by herself, very exhausted, and worried about her future. She took Ashoka and sounded very positive the next time she called us. Subsequently, she made some positive decisions and made many changes in her life.

Ashoka is also seen as a remedy for women, allowing them to be feminine. The tree is regarded as a guardian of female chastity. The Vrikshadevatas--the gods of trees who represent fertility--are known to dance around the tree, and are worshipped by childless women.

Herbally, the bark of this tree is a household remedy for uterine disorders. The essence also helps women to be fertile. It is said that 'weeping woman, weeping womb,' in that the woman's emotional state affects her reproductive organs. Therefore, the essence, like the herb, helps in the uterine problems like excessive bleeding, irregular menstrual periods and infertility.

An example of someone who was much helped by Ashoka was a young woman monk, who would bleed heavily during her menstrual periods. In fact, if she was upset about something, the bleeding would start at once, even if it was not the time for her regular menses. Her nature was very sensitive, and she was easily affected by any small upset. Because of her suffering, she was very irritable and had thoughts of suicide.

Being a monk at a very young age had burdened her with great responsibilities of taking care of others, learning about religion and teaching also. It was a battle for her to go on. At this stage she was also having high blood pressure and dizziness.

The first essence that helped her was Ashoka flower, to overcome the deep-seated grief and sorrow. Her attacks of dizziness and her suicidal thoughts became much less. Her uterus responded as well, with no more excessive bleeding. The success of this treatment motivated her to take further remedies.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DR. RUPA A. SHAH trained in allopathy in Bombay, but developed a very keen interest in Homeopathy about 14 years back. While researching & treating patients, she came across the flower remedies. On getting highly encouraging results, she decided along with her doctor husband to produce and research Himalayan flower essences, as there is much ancient philosophy behind Indian flower remedies. She is also a trained Aromatherapist and combines this modality with flower essences.

She has dedicated her life to researching flower remedies and is sharing her findings with practitioners all over the world. Being trained in allopathy has helped her to present her findings scientifically, which is more convincing to her colleagues and stirs their interest in flower remedies. You may contact her by e-mail.

DESIGN CREDITS: The photo of the ashoka blossoms were provided by Rupa Shah. The photo of the Buddha is copyright and used by permission of James Singer of London. Photo of the goddess used with permission of Peaceful Wind. The source of the background is unknown, and we would welcome hearing from anyone who knows it.

The World Wide Essence Society does not mean to imply any recommendation of nor give certification to any individuals or companies above. This article is provided purely for informational purposes. We ask consumers to make their own determination as to quality of the services and products offered above. This article is not meant to be advice, and the information is not meant to replace medical or psychological treatment.
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