In the West, herb lovers typically think of herbs like Black Cohosh, Crampbark, and Red Raspberry for women’s health.

However, in Ayurveda, Lodhra, an evergreen flowering plant with dark purple fruits, is considered one of the most essential herbs to support female reproductive health, hormonal function, and overall well-being. 

Yet, few North Americans know about it.

In this article, you’ll learn all about the history, traditional uses, and science behind Lodhra benefits for women, with this powerful female tonic and herbal ally.

What is Lodhra?

As previously mentioned, Lodhra or Symplocos racemosa is a small evergreen flowering tree that typically grows throughout tropical and sub-tropical countries such as Asia, America, Australia, India, and Malaysia.

The stem bark contains the most active plant compounds and is the most-studied component. However, the flowers, leaves, and roots are also used in various Ayurvedic applications.

Although it has many uses, Lodhra is best known in Ayurveda as a female tonic utilized during all cycles of a woman’s life, from the childbearing years through menopause.

It’s also traditionally used to support normal inflammatory response, metabolic function, eye health, digestive function, as a beauty aid, and more.

Lodhra bark and stem’s tastes are astringent, bitter, and pungent and often used to balance Pitta and Kapha Doshas.

Analytical studies have found various active plant compounds in Lodhra, known as phenolic glycosides, believed to be responsible for its effects, including: 

  • Symplocoside,
  • Symplocuronic acid,
  • Alkaloids like loturine, loturidine and colloturine
  • Triterpenoids like betulinic acid, acetyloleanolic acid, and oleanolic acid,
  • And flavonoids like quercetin, to name but a few.

Lodhra is typically taken as a powder or capsule, either alone or combined with other herbs, such as synergistic Shatavari in Organic India’s Essential Female formula.

Essential Female capsules held in a woman's hand, with lodhra for women benefits.

Lodhra Benefits For Women

Lodhra has many potential benefits for women, as documented by its long history of use in Ayurveda and modern studies, which we’ll explore more in subsequent sections.

In Ayurveda, it is especially prized for its purported effects on supporting normal estrogen, progesterone, and FSH (follicle-stimulating) hormones while discouraging androgen hormones, which can disrupt female reproductive function.* 

Lodhra is also traditionally used to support ovarian function and the menstrual cycle, in facial packs to promote healthy skin, and to support normal inflammatory response.*

Next, we’ll explore more about the research and traditional uses behind Lodhra.

Top 9 Lodhra Benefits for Women

Lodhra’s use as a traditional Ayurvedic herb goes back for centuries. Here, we share nine of its benefits based on traditional Ayurvedic use and modern research.

1. Lodhra May Support Normal Hormonal Function in Women

As previously mentioned, Lodhra is traditionally used in Ayurveda, either alone or with other synergistic herbs, to support female hormonal function.

Ayurvedic tradition suggests it can help support various facets of balanced hormonal function, including estrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and androgens, such as testosterone.

A growing body of research has begun to validate this ancient wisdom, suggesting Lodhra has estrogenic properties and may support the normal release of FSH.

Lodhra is often combined with other female-supportive herbs, such as Shatavari, to form a synergistic tonic for full-body support.

Women drinking tea in bed after taking lodhra for hormonal balance.

2. Lodhra May Support Ovarian and Reproductive Function in Women

Lodhra is one of Ayurveda’s go-to herbs for supporting women who wish to become pregnant or are experiencing menstrual challenges.

This is due to its effects on the hormones listed above, particularly FSH, which is released from the ovaries provided there is proper function and balance of various reproductive hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, etc.).

Its tonic-like effect is also believed to help strengthen and tone the female reproductive organs, which are essential for reproductive health.

3. Lodhra Contains Antioxidants

Lodhra’s bright red color indicates its high antioxidant content, represented by compounds such as Quercetin, Acetyloleonolic acid, various alkaloids, and others.

Antioxidants provide a range of benefits, including scavenging free radicals (unstable molecules), promoting cell health, and supporting a normal inflammatory response.

These properties make Lodhra a popular herb for promoting youthful skin, preventing aging, and supporting the normal inflammatory function of various organs and systems.

4. Lodhra May Support Liver Function

Throughout traditional herbalism, bitter herbs, like Lodhra, are used to support the liver and digestive system, which provides downstream benefits to all organs and systems.

It is believed bitter herbs, also known as bitters or aperitifs, work by supporting normal bile production in the liver. Bile is rich in enzymes that support digestion and play an essential role in normal liver detoxification and function.

Normal liver detoxification is essential for the sequestration and elimination of toxins, including excess hormones. 

Proper liver function is also critical for the conjugation of hormones.

Emerging research and centuries of Ayurvedic documentation suggest Lodhra may support normal liver function via its hepato-protective effects and bitter nature. More research is needed.

Woman hiking an drinking water after taking lodhra for female wellness.

5. Lodhra Supports Natural Skincare

Lodhra is prized in Ayurveda and Indian culture as a multifunctional skin care herb, capable of supporting youthful skin and helping with irritation.

Lodhra is believed to support skin health via its antioxidant properties, which support normal inflammatory response and help tone, tighten, and brighten the skin. 

It can also be drying, which is helpful for oily skin.

There are many recipes for Lodhra-based skin care concoctions, including:

  • Facial packs, such as Lodhra combined with Neem or Turmeric and other herbs plus rosewater or yogurt, for wrinkles and acne.
  • Spot treatments for pimples, such as Lodhra combined with honey applied directly to the skin.
  • Taking Lodhra internally, in a powder or tincture to promote healthy skin from the inside out.

You can find Lodhra powder to make your own skincare products or look for non-toxic Ayurvedic beauty brands containing Lodhra for your skin type.

6. Lodhra May Support Oral Health

Before modern dentistry, people relied on a healthy diet and various herbs to support oral health.

For example, in Ayurveda, Neem and Lodhra have long been recommended to support healthy teeth and gums and for occasional toothache.

Typically, a paste is made of Lodhra—alone or with other supportive herbs and honey- and is applied directly to the tooth/teeth and/or gums.

7. Lodhra May Promote Fluid Balance

In Ayurveda, Lodhra is known to promote a firm and healthy body inside and out. 

This is believed to come from its ability to support normal fluid balance, which may explain its uses as a female tonic, beauty aid, and mouthwash.

8. Lodhra May Promote Normal Digestion

Lodhra’s naturally bitter and pungent flavors make it a favorite herb in Ayurveda for promoting digestion.

Its natural antioxidants may also promote normal function and inflammatory response of the digestive tract and microbiome, though more research is needed.

In Ayurveda, Lodhra is often recommended as a powder, tea, or mixed with honey with meals to rev up the digestive fire.

9. Lodhra May Support Women During Menopause

As you learned earlier, research suggests Lodhra has a natural estrogenic effect, which can help support normal estrogen function.

This can be particularly helpful for women during the transition to perimenopause and menopause when estrogen levels naturally begin to dip.

Vedic practitioners have recommended Lodhra for many menopausal complaints, including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, emotional balance, energy, and more.

Older woman n her garden drinking tea after taking lodhra for menopause support.

How To Take Lodhra

Lodhra may be taken alone or with other complementary herbs, such as Organic India’s Essential Female with Shatavari, Tulsi, and Guduchi. The amazing root Shatavari is considered another one of the best herbs for women’s health in the entire ayurvedic apothecary.

As noted previously, it has a very bitter and astringent flavor, which is why it’s often taken as a capsule or mixed with honey.

Lodhra’s benefits for the skin can be experienced by using it topically, such as in facial packs or rinses, and by taking it internally.

Since Lodhra can affect hormonal levels, specifically estrogen and testosterone, talk to your healthcare practitioner before taking Lodhra if you have hormonal issues. 

Long-term use of Lodhra is not generally recommended for men.

Are you interested in trying Lodhra for hormonal balance, healthy skin, and more? 

Organic India’s Essential Female supplement is made with sustainably and regeneratively-grown organic Lodhra and other complementary herbs.

Looking for more female-specific herbal allies? Check out the following articles: