Ashokarishta (Asokarishtam) is an Ayurvedic medication used extensively in the treatment of several gynecological diseases including menstrual problems. It is also called Asokarishtam. Ashokarishta contains about 5 to 10% of self-generated alcohol. This natural alcohol and the water present in this product serve as a media to provide the alcohol- and water-soluble active compounds of the herbs used in its preparation.
The natural herbs used in this medication are Ashoka –
- Saraca asoka
- Guda (jaggery)
- Dhataki (Woodfordia fruticosa)
- Mustak (Cyperus rotundus)
- Ajaji (Nigella sativa)
- Shunti (Ginger)
- Daruharidra (Berberis aristata)
- Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
- Utpala (Nymphaea stellata)
- Vibhitaki (Terminalia bellerica)
- Vasa (Adhatoda vasica)
- Amalaki (Indian gooseberry)
- Jeeraka (cumin seed)
- Amrasthi (mango seed)
- water for decoction
- Chandana (Santalum album or sandalwood).
Ashokarishta Benefits & Uses
The medicinal uses of Ashokarishta discussed beneath:
Ashokarishta can be used to manage menstrual complaints. It is usually prescribed for treating severe bleeding during menses. However, it is not effective in the management of irregular and prolonged menstrual cycles. It is helpful in treating polymenorrhea in which women develop too frequent menstrual periods or have a shorter menstrual cycle. It can also help to treat menorrhagia, a menstrual complaint in which women develop heavy menstrual bleeding. It regularizes the menses, reduces the frequency of menses and decreases the menstrual flow.
Ashokarishta is an effective medicine to treat pain during menses. The pain may occur two to three days before the menses begin and disappear once the flow starts. Women may also develop cramps after the onset of menses. Dysmenorrhea can occur due to a variety of factors like an increased level of prostaglandins that stimulate the contractions of the uterus and reduced blood supply in the uterus. The repeated uterine contractions result in severe cramping pain in the lower abdomen. Ashokarishta can help in providing relief from the pain by correcting the hormonal imbalances and reducing the production of prostaglandins.
The herbs used in this medication also act as an antispasmodic agent and reduce the intensity of the uterine contraction. It acts as a uterine tonic and regulates its functions. It also strengthens the uterus and helps the body to shed off its inner lining during menses. It reduces ischemia (an insufficient supply of blood), which is a major cause of uterine cramping. Ashokarishta also reduces nausea, headache, and low back pain that usually accompany dysmenorrhea.
Metrorrhagia is a condition that causes heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding that occurs due to the disorders affecting the uterus or the ovaries. The bleeding may occur due to the imbalance of hormones, uterine cancer, cervical cancer, and uterine polyps. Ashokarishta helps in treating Metrorrhagia by correcting the imbalance of hormones. In the case of structural abnormalities like cancer or polyp, the treatment with Ashokarishta can be combined with other medications for better results.
Polycystic ovarian disease
Ashokarishta helps in the treatment of polycystic ovarian disease especially in cases where women develop heavy bleeding that lasts for more than 7 days or irregular menses with shorter menstrual cycles. This condition occurs due to the imbalance of hormones due to which the women also develop other symptoms like weight gain, excessive growth of hair, and acne.
Ashokarishta helps to control these symptoms and regularizes the menses with its action on the endocrine system. It corrects the abnormal production and release of hormones, which are regulated by the endocrinal system.
It also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and prevents damage to the ovaries, which can otherwise lead to an overproduction of testosterone resulting in the aggravation of the symptoms of the polycystic ovarian disease.
The risk of osteoporosis increases considerably in the women during menopausal and post-menopausal age due to the altered levels of hormones. Ashokarishta can help in preventing osteoporosis by allowing the body to adapt to the changed levels of hormones. It maintains the bone mineral density and prevents the risk of fractures caused by the porous bones.
Pelvic inflammatory diseases
Ashokarishta also helps in the management of pelvic inflammatory diseases. The herbs present in this medication produce a strong anti-inflammatory effect, which helps in preventing damage to the uterus, ovaries, and other organs of the reproductive system.
Side effects of Ashokarishta
Ashokarishta contains natural ingredients and is completely devoid of any chemicals. Hence, it is safe to use and causes no side effects when used in lower dose in the children above 5 years of age. Pregnant women should use this medication only under medical supervision. During lactation period, women can use it in lower doses based on the physician’s advice. It should be noted that Ashokarishta may cause delayed menses or prolonged menstrual cycles when given for wrong complaints.