Study finds viable substitute for Ashoka bark

Discovery may end adulteration of depleting Ayurvedic drug

April 23, 2020 08:29 pm | Updated 08:29 pm IST - MALAPPURAM

A team of researchers at Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala’s Centre for Medicinal Plants Research (CMPR) has stumbled upon a viable substitute for Ashoka bark, a depleting Ayurvedic drug used for uterine disorders.

The discovery by the team led by C.T. Sulaiman, senior scientist at phytochemistry division, under the guidance of project director Indira Balachandran, is expected to bring to an end the increasing adulteration being carried out in the name of Ashoka bark.

Major ingredient

A major ingredient in medicines like Ashokarishta and Ashoka ghrita, Ashoka bark remains one of the most adulterated raw drugs in Ayurveda medical industry today largely because of its unavailability.

“This research outcome is definitely going to make a major impact on Ayurveda industry,” said Dr. Sulaiman.

The study was conducted with the support of the National Medicinal Plants Board, Central Ministry of AYUSH.

Similar properties

The phytochemical and pharmacological evaluations of certain bark drugs found that the bark of Shorea robusta, a tree belonging to Dipterocarpaceae family, had similar biological properties as Ashoka.

The discovery was published in the current issue of Future Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences brought out by renowned publisher Springer Nature.

The other members of the team were K.M. Prabhukumar from taxonomy division, Jyothi C.K. and Jinu Krishnan Unnithan.

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