Saraca asoca(Roxb.) Willd, commonly known asBAsoka^orBAshoka,^is one of the most important medicinalplants used in raw herbal trade in India. The bark extracts ofthe tree are used in the treatment of leucorrhea and other uterine disorders besides also having anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-pyretic, anti-helminthic, and analgesic activity. Theindiscriminate and rampant extraction of the wood to meet theever-increasing market demand has led to a sharp decline innaturally occurring populations of the species in the country.Consequently, the species has recently been classified asBvulnerable^by the International Union for Conservation ofNature (IUCN). Increasing deforestation and increasing demandfor this medicinal plant have resulted in a limited supply andsuspected widespread adulteration of the species in the rawherbal trade market. Adulteration is a serious concern due to:(i) reduction in the efficacy of this traditional medicine, (ii) considerable health risk to consumers, and (iii) fraudulent productsubstitution that impacts the economy for the Natural HealthProduct (NHP) Industry and consumers. In this paper, we provide the first attempt to assess the extent of adulteration in theraw herbal trade ofS. asocausing DNA barcoding validated byNMR spectroscopic techniques. Analyzing market samplesdrawn from 25 shops, mostly from peninsular India, we showthat more than 80 % of the samples were spurious, representingplant material from at least 7 different families. This is the firstcomprehensive and large-scale study to demonstrate the widespread adulteration of market samples ofS. asocain India.These results pose grave implications for the use of raw herbaldrugs, such as that ofS. asoca, on consumer health and safety.Based on these findings, we argue for a strong and robust regulatory framework to be put in place, which would ensure thequality of raw herbal trade products and reassure consumer confidence in indigenous medicinal systems.