Health benefits of Peepal

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Peepal Quick Facts
Name: Peepal
Scientific Name: Ficus religiosa
Origin India, Nepal, Chad, Thailand, Southwest China, Southeast Asia east to Vietnam
Colors Green when young ripening to purple
Shapes Small figs 1–1.5 centimeters (0.39–0.59 in) in diameter
Taste Sweet, bitter
Health benefits Helps with Fever, Treats Asthma, Treat Eye Pain, Good for oral Health, Helps with Nosebleeds, Treat Jaundice, Helps with constipation, Treats heart disease, Treats dysentery, Helps Diabetes, Treats Ear Infections, Treat skin problems, Asthma, Eczema itching
Peepal, also referred to as Bo tree, Bodhi tree, is large broadleaf evergreen tree belonging to the Mulberry family Moraceae.  The plant is native to India, Nepal, Chad, Thailand, Southwest China, and Southeast Asia east to Vietnam. However, the species is supposed to have originated in India After which humans introduced the tree to the other Asian areas. Bo tree, Bodhi tree, Peepul tree, Pipal tree, Pippala, Po tree, sacred fig, sacred fig tree, holy ficus, pipal, poplar-leaved fig tree, sacred ficus and tree-of-wisdom are some of the popular common names of the tree. Genus name comes from the Latin name for Ficus carica the edible fig. Specific epithet means sacred or with religious connections.

Peepal Tree is one that has been used for its Ayurvedic benefits since ancient times. As it is rich in many nutrients, it provides a whole range of health benefits. It can help lower your fever and even get rid of your cold. It can help treat asthma. It treats eye pain and is also good for oral health as it eliminates bacteria in the mouth as well as stains on the teeth. It also can be used to treat ear infections. It is a popular treatment for jaundice. It can help with digestion as it treats constipation and also provides instant relief from dysentery. It can prevent and treat heart diseases and is also very good for diabetics as it helps by lowering the sugar levels in the blood. Moreover, it can be used to treat heavy nosebleeds as well.

Peepal is supreme for its antiquity and religious significance. No other tree is claimed to have such long life – one in Sri Lanka, said to have been planted in the year 288 B.C., still lives and flourishes. The Prince Siddhartha is known to have sat in meditation under a Bo tree and there found enlightenment from which time he became known as the Buddha. So, from then on the tree was sacred to Buddhists. Hindus associate the tree with the three gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, Vishnu being reputed to have been born under a Peepal, which is therefore Vishnu himself in the form of a tree. A grand peepal tree is a perfect shade tree, and village meetings are often conducted under a peepal tree. The oldest plant in the world of known planting date is the Ficus religiosa tree called Sri Maha Bodhi which was planted at the temple at Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, in 288 B. C. Today the bo tree is admired as a symbol for prosperity, happiness, good fortune and long life.

Plant Description

Peepal is a fast-growing, large dry season-deciduous or semi-evergreen tree with a pale stem often appearing fluted on account of the numerous roots which have fused with the stem that grows about 30 meters (98 ft.) tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 3 meters (9.8 ft.). The plant is found cultivated in parks, along roadsides and pavements. The plant succeeds in a good, moist but well-drained soil. It grows on a wide variety of soils but prefer deep, alluvial sandy loam with good drainage. It is also found on shallow soils including rock crevices.  

The roots are attached to the trunk as if they are pillars supporting it. The trunk of the tree is irregularly shaped with low buttresses. Its bark is light gray and peels in patches. This is a tree that reaches very large proportions and it is the largest of our indigenous fig trees. In its younger stages it is often epiphytic, that is, it grows on other trees, which are gradually strangled by its rope-like roots. Or the tree may grow in cracks on walls, which are slowly but inexorably cracked and split open by the growing roots. The Peepal tree in Sri Lanka is believed to be 2147 years old. It is one of the longest living trees of the world. The peepal is resistant to drought and frost.

Leaves

Leaves and young branches are smooth, shiny, somewhat leathery, and broadly oval in shape and suddenly narrowed at the apex into a long tail and the base is rounded or heart-shaped. Leaf has a solid middle nerve, which deserves attention. In addition there are 5—9 lateral pairs which unite at their ends to form a wavy line near the margin of the leaf. They are generally pendulous, that is, hanging down. The long pointed leaf tips help to drain water off the leaves and dry the tree after rainfall. They are shed in March and April and in some areas in the autumn months. When the new leaves appear they are often pink and darken to copper and then green in color.

Flowers

Flowers are concealed within the figs. Each fig contains a few male flowers near the opening at the apex; each flower consists of a single stamen supported by three minute colorless ‘petals’. The female flower consists of five ‘petals’ enclose a pistil. Flowering normally takes place from November—December.

Fruits

Fruits are known as figs. These figs ripen in May and June generally, but one can find this fruit throughout the year depending on the areas. Figs come out in pairs at the angle between the leaf stalk and the branch; at first they are green and smooth, finally they turn purple when ripe.

Distribution

Peepal is native to tropical Asia, but it has now been introduced, spread and cultivated around much of the world. It is said to be the tree that Buddha was born under and also where he sat for six years of meditation and enlightenment. Elsewhere in the world and in Hawai’i, trees are occasionally cultivated and are most often seen planted near temples. This large tree with attractive heart shaped glossy leaves is also occasionally planted as a specimen tree in landscaping for its aesthetic shape and form.

Asia

Peepal is a species native to the Indian subcontinent and South-East Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, China (Yunnan province), India (all states except Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam. It was firstly introduced to Sri Lanka in 288 BCE and later to other neighboring Asian countries like Philippines and Singapore. In Philippines, it was introduced at an early date and now has become widespread throughout the country. Sacred Fig was accidentally introduced to Israel because of horticulture practices and its associated pollinator wasp was also present in the country by the 1960s, which led to its widespread distribution.

Africa

In Africa, it is a native species of Chad. It is distributed in Egypt and Madagascar where it is cultivated, and Libya where it was introduced and now cultivated.

North America

In North America, it is distributed only in Mexico and 3 states of the United States where it is cultivated. California, Florida and Hawaii are the only states to have a known distribution of the species

Central America and Caribbean

In Central America and Caribbean, the species is distributed in Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, and Puerto Rico. It was most probably transported to these countries from Indian subcontinent in late 19th or early 20th century during the British Empire. In Nicaragua and Panama, it is only found in cultivation.

South America

In South America, the species is distributed in Colombia, Paraguay and Venezuela. In Colombia, it is only found in cultivation while in Paraguay, it is cultivated as well as also occurring in forests at lower altitudes.

Oceania

In Oceania, the species is distributed in the Australian state of New South Wales where it has been naturalized after regional distribution, Fiji where it is cultivated, Mariana Islands (Guam), Northern Mariana Islands (Tinian Is.) and New Caledonia.

Therapeutic Potentials of different parts of F. religiosa

Plant Parts Traditional uses
Bark Diarrhea, dysentery, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, cooling, astringent, gonorrhea, burns
Leaves Hiccups, vomiting, cooling, gonorrhea
Shoots Purgative, wounds, skin disease
Leaf Juice Asthma, cough, diarrhea, gastric problems
Dried fruit Fever, tuberculosis, paralysis
Seeds Refrigerant, laxative

 

Health benefits of Peepal

Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of using Peepal in our daily life.

1. Helps with Fever

Peepal tree is quite effective in treating fever. If you take a few tender leaves from this tree and boil it along with milk and sugar, it will give you a potent mixture that you must drink at least twice a day to bring your fever down. This mixture also works very well on colds.

2. Treats Asthma

Asthma is an extremely dangerous problem as it blocks your breathing, preventing oxygen from getting into your lungs and to other organs in your body. Due to the increasing amounts of pollution in most cities, asthma has become a very common ailment, particularly among young children. If you use the leaves of the peepal tree (or a powdered version of the same) and boil it in milk, it will give you a mixture that you can drink twice a day to help with your asthma.

3. Treat Eye Pain

Pain the eyes can be caused due to a number of reasons. It can be extremely uncomfortable and even affect your eyesight if it gets too bad. Peepal leaves can be used to treat eye pain. Milk of the peepal tree, which can be taken from the leaves, can help with pain in the eyes.

4. Good for oral Health

Peepal tree is also extremely good for your oral health. All you need to do is chew on the twigs of this tree to benefit from it. Chewing on the twigs can help remove any bacteria that are present in your mouth, thus preventing infections or diseases of any kind. Moreover, chewing these twigs can also help you remove stains from your teeth and make them appear cleaner.

5. Helps with Nosebleeds

If you are prone to frequent nosebleeds, then the peepal tree can help you out. All you need to do is take some leaves from the tree and juice them. A few drops of this juice, when applied to the nostrils, can help by providing relieve from nosebleeds within just a few minutes.

6. Treat Jaundice

Jaundice is an extremely common disease and can really take a toll on your body. When you have jaundice, you have to deal with a long recovery period, and diet limitations for at least six months after the illness is gone. It can be really inconvenient. Jaundice can be treated with the help of the peepal tree. You can juice the leaves and add some sugar to it. If you drink this concoction 2-3 times in a day, you can treat your jaundice pretty easily.

7. Helps with constipation

Constipation is more than just an inconvenient problem. It can lead to a ton of different problems within your system if not dealt with properly, and can also eventually lead to painful conditions such as piles. Clearing your digestive system regularly and properly is extremely important as it ensures the smooth functioning of your body. This is where the peepal tree comes into play. Powdered peepal leaves can be mixed with jaggery and anise seed powder. This concoction needs to be had with milk right before your bedtime. This will help clear out your system and provide relief from constipation.

8. Treats heart disease

Heart diseases are deadly and can strike at any time. You can soak some tender leaves from the peepal tree in a jar of water overnight. Once that’s done, distill the water properly and drink it 2-3 times a day. This will keep your heart functioning well. It can prevent heart palpitations and even provide relief from it if the condition is already there. It can also help you prevent weakness of the heart, which can ultimately save you from heart attacks and other dangerous heart related diseases and problems in the future.

9. Treats dysentery

Peepal tree can help you treat dysentery. Dysentery can lead to a major loss of fluids and minerals from your system and cause problems such as dehydration, organ malfunction, and even death if not checked properly. Peepal leaves can cause immediate relief from this problem. All you need to do is take a few leaves, some coriander, and sugar and chew all of it together. This method is guaranteed to work.

10. Helps Diabetes

Diabetes is an extremely dangerous disease. It is also a very common disease and can lead to a host of problems if not controlled or managed efficiently. No matter what branch of medicine you choose, all doctors will tell you that managing diabetes is the most important way to deal with it. The peepal tree can help you here. This is because it can help you lower the sugar in your blood. All you need is powdered peepal fruit, along with powdered Haritaki fruit powder. This will help you lower your blood sugar.

11. Treats Ear Infections

Peepal tree leaves can treat ear infections; simply hold the leaves of the tree near a flame and collect the juice as it drips. Once the extract has cooled, put two-three drops into your ear with a medicinal dropper.

12. Treat skin problems

It is not surprising that the herbal remedy such as peepal leaves is used in the treatment of the skin. Many people consider that it can cure skin disease efficiently. It is possible, because according to scientists, it has healing and anti-irritation properties, as well as health benefits of salicylic acid herbicide to relieve itchy skin.

13. Asthma

Take a bark of plant and its mature fruits. Make their powder separately and mix them in equal amounts. This mixture when taken three times a day is very effective in this problem. Make a powder of dry fruits of peepal and take it with 2-3 grams of water for 14 days twice a day and it becomes very effective.

14. Eczema itching

Take 50 g of peepal bark ash and add lime and ghee thoroughly and make the paste mixture. Apply this paste in effective areas and it will show soothing effects. Take 40 ml tea peepal bark regularly and it will also be useful.

Traditional uses and benefits of Peepal

  • Bark, roots, fruits, leaves, and sap are known for bringing out brilliance in complexion, cleansing the uterus, and controlling bile and phlegm as well as alleviating heat-induced illnesses, sores, asthma, leprosy, plague, and fistulas.
  • Sap is used to treat female-related disorders.
  • Bark is considered binding and promotes weight gain.
  • Decoction of bark- reduced to one-half the starting volume is taken for many skin problems, rashes, and itching; also used as a mouthwash to cure tooth diseases.
  • Dried and powdered inner bark is applied to fistulae to stimulate healing and new tissue formation.
  • Ash from the bark is sprinkled onto genital sores caused by venereal diseases to promote drying and healing.
  • Ash from young bark filtered through fine cloth is rubbed on chronic sores to accelerate healing.
  • Bark is also used in medicines to treat burns, breast problems, lock-jaw, and snakebites in animals.
  • Sap is used to alleviate toothaches and gum pain.
  • Sap and leaf is used to cleanse the blood; also used in preparations to treat boils in the groin, hemorrhaging, and cracked tongues and lips.
  • Decoction of the leaves with jaggery is taken for fatigue to promote strength and well-being.
  • Mixture of the juice from the crushed leaves and the sap is applied topically to treat cracks in the feet.
  • Ripe fruit, which has cooling properties, is considered beneficial for the heart.
  • It is used to treat blood diseases, heat or bile conditions, nausea, lung infections, and loss of appetite.
  • Mixture of the crushed dried fruit and water is taken for asthma and bronchitis.
  • Root bark is stewed in water, reduced to one-half the starting volume, and given for herpes infections.
  • Roots are ground to form a paste applied topically as a remedy for leprosy and other sores.
  • Root decoction with rock salt is taken to alleviate asthma and congestion.
  • Mixture of the root powder and ginger powder is given for diseases involving gas, asthma, coughing, and nausea; also to treat elephantiasis.
  • Decoction of the bark is used as skin wash to treat scabies, whereas the aerial roots are chewed by women to promote fertility.
  • An infusion of the bark is drunk as an anti-diabetic and used externally against ulcers and skin diseases in India.
  • Leaves and twigs are supposedly used against bites of venomous animals, as an astringent, anti-gonorrheal, laxative, aphrodisiac, and for the treatment of Haemoptysis and fistula.
  • Fresh sap from the leaves is used to cure diarrhea, cholera and for wound healing.
  • It is appreciated in treating Skin Diseases like Acne, Abscess, Wounds, Scabies and Warts.
  • Juice prepared from its bark is used as mouthwash.
  • Its roots are chewed to alleviate Gum problems.
  • Its leaf extract is used as ear drops.
  • Its bark is beneficial for treating Adenitis (Swelling of Glands).
  • It eases Digestion and controls Vomiting.
  • Bodhi fruit is consumed in powdered form to cure Asthma.
  • It controls excessive urination during Jaundice.
  • Bodhi leaves are used to cure Constipation.
  • It treats problem of Leucorrhea in women.
  • Its leaf infusion is consumed with honey to cure Gonorrhea.
  • Bodhi tree roots are an effective treatment for Rheumatic Pain and Gout.
  • It is a potent cure for Lumbago.
  • It is an Antidote to venom of Insects bites.

Ayurvedic Health benefits of Peepal

  • External bleeding: Raw juice of Peepal Tree is used to stop Bleeding.
  • Mumps: Take some leaves of Peepal Tree. Apply a layer of ghee over it. Warm it. Bandage it over the affected areas.
  • Pain: Peepal Tree leaves mixed with Jaggery leaves, and taken in the form of pills.
  • Gout: Prepare a juice of Peepal Tree fresh bark. Take it, twice a day.
  • Stomach Diseases: Prepare a juice of Peepal Tree fresh bark. Take it, twice a day.
  • Infertility: Boil 10 g leaves bud of Peepal Tree in 50 ml Milk until Milk evaporates. Cool. Eat it twice a day.
  • Earache: Crush leaves of Peepal Tree. Extract its juice. Use it as an Ear Drop.
  • Gum Disease: Cut roots of Peepal Tree in small pieces. Chew them twice a day. Do not swallow.
  • Asthma: Powder the dried fruit of Peepal Tree. Take quarter tsp. of it with lukewarm water. Have it twice a day.
  • Dysentery: Powder the dried fruit of Peepal Tree. Take quarter tsp. of it with lukewarm water. Have it twice a day.
  • Constipation: Dry the fruit of Peepal Tree. Powder it. Take 4 g of it with same quantity of Sugar during bed time.
  • Vomiting: Burn the bark of Peepal Tree. Mix quarter tsp. of it in a cup of warm water. Stir and filter. Drink it once a day.
  • Piles: Crush dried leaves of Peepal Tree to make powder. Take quarter tsp. of it with warm water once a day.
  • Burns: Make paste of dried bark powder of Peepal Tree with water. Apply it locally.
  • Bruises: Grind fresh leaves of Peepal Tree with Jaggery. Make small pills of about 1 g. Take 1 pill with Milk once a day.
  • Abscess: Fry leaves of Peepal Tree in Clarified Butter. Apply it over Abscess when bearable hot. Its regular use will burst the Abscess and remove pus from it.
  • Arthritis: Make leaf decoction of Peepal Tree. Pour it over painful joints.
  • Stomatitis: Mix Honey with bark powder of Peepal Tree to make paste. Apply it over cavity area in Mouth. Its regular use will cure Stomatitis.
  • Aphrodisiac: Boil 3 g each of fruit, roots, leaves and bark of Peepal Tree with Milk. Take 6 ml of it by adding some Sugar or Honey. Have it once a day.
  • Premature Ejaculation: Powder the dried fruits of Peepal Tree. Take 5 g of it with warm Milk at night.
  • Cracked Heels: Apply latex obtained from bark of Peepal Tree over Cracked Heels.
  • Scabies: Dust dried bark powder of Peepal Tree over infected area. Use it regularly. OR: Prepare a decoction of the bark. Add some Honey and apply on the affected skin.
  • Itching: Mix Coconut oil with bark powder of Peepal Tree. Apply it over Itchy areas.
  • Urinary Tract Infection: Make an infusion with bark of Peepal Tree for 8 hours. Use it to wash your vaginal area after urination.
  • Ear Infection: Use warm leaf juice of Peepal Tree as Ear Drop.
  • Heart Diseases: Take 15-20 leaves. Cut the upper and lower part of all the leaves. Bring to boil. Prepare a decoction. Have 1/3 glass daily for 15 days.
  • Lower back Pain: Mix One gram each of the gum of Drumstick, Peepal Tree fruit and Partridge Berry with 3 grams dry ginger. Boil this mixture in milk. Drink twice a day.
  • Respiratory Diseases: Take 1 tablespoon crushed Dried Bay Leaf and 1 tablespoon crushed dried peepal leaves. Mix them together. Have a pinch once a day with water.
  • Impotence: Milky latex obtained from the bark, root or fruit of the plant is given in a dose of 5-6 drops with honey and ghee to treat impotence and helps in conceiving in females.
  • Swelling: The decoction of the bark or root of ficus religiosa is given in a dose of 50-60 ml to treat joint swelling and pain.
  • Skin Problems: Tender leaves of Ashwattha and vata are made into paste and applied over the skin having black heads, pimples and discoloration to get the original skin tone.
  • Control bleeding: Latex of ficus religiosa is applied over the wound and bleeding spots to heal wound and control bleeding respectively.
  • Diabetes: Decoction of the bark of the tree is given in a dose of 50-60 ml to control diabetes and treat diseases of the vaginal tract.
  • Cough: Dried powder of the fruits or the paste of the bark is given with honey or sugar candy to treat severe cough.
  • Blood purifier: Cold infusion or decoction prepared from the trunk bark or fruit of ashwattha is consumed in a dose of 50 ml to treat skin disease and acts like blood purifier.
  • Strong uterine muscle: In pregnant women decoction of the bark of ficus religiosa helps in strengthening the uterine muscles and retains the fetus till full term.
  • Gingivitis: Gargling with Luke warm decoction of the bark of ashwatta is useful to treat mouth ulcers and gingivitis.
  • Bleeding diarrhea: Take soft stems of peepal, coriander seeds, crystal sugar in equal quantity and mix them well and take its 3-4 grams twice a day and it is very useful in this disease.
  • Poor appetite: Take ripe fruits of Peepal. Peepal fruit can also be taken for cough, pitta, blood-related problems, burning sensation and vomiting etc.
  • Stomach pain: Make paste of 2.5 leaves of a peepal plant and mix with 50 grams jaggery and make small tablets of the mixture and take it 3-4 times a day. It will soothe the stomach pain.
  • For Asthma: Take a bark of plant and its ripe fruits. Make their powder separately and mix them in equal quantities. Intake of this mixture thrice in a day is very effective in this problem. Make a powder of dry fruits of peepal and take it with two to three grams of water for 14 days twice a day and this will prove very effective.
  • Snake Bite: In case of a snake bite give 2-2 spoons of the extracts of Peepal leaves three to four times to reduce the effect of the poison
  • Skin diseases: Eat the soft leaves of Peepal and the problem itching and other skin diseases are cured. Taking 40 ml tea of this leaf is equally effective.
  • Eczema itching: Take 50 gm. peepal bark ash and add lime and ghee properly and make the paste of the mixture. Apply this paste on effective areas and it will prove soothing effects. Take 40 ml tea of peepal bark regularly and it will also be useful.
  • Cracked Heals: Apply Peepal leaf extracts or its milk on cracked hands and heels to get best results.
  • Blood purification: Take one to two gm. of Peepal seeds powder and take it with honey twice a day and it will purify the blood. In the gastric-related blood disorders take 40 ml kwath and five gm. of honey for best results.
  • Impotency: Take half spoon of peepal fruit powder thrice a day with milk. You will get rid of impotency and give strength to the body. OR Equal quantity of peepal fruits, its roots, bark and shunthi may be mixed and treat it with milk and then add sugar candy and honey in it and take the mixture twice a day and it will improve sex power. OR Take equal quantity of peepal fruit, roots, bark and shunga and add sugar and honey in it. It will increase sex power
  • Constipation: Take 5-10 fruits of peepal daily and it will cure the problem of constipation permanently
  • Liver and spline disease: Take 3-4 fresh leaves of Peepal and mix crystal sugar in it and make its powder. Mix the powder in 250 ml water and then filter the mixture. This squash has to be given twice a day to the patient for 5 days. This medicine is very effective for patient of Jaundice.
  • Eye pain: Take the milk of the leaves of the plant and apply on the eye. It will cure eye pains.
  • Tooth disease: Take barks of both peepal and a banian tree in equal quantity and mixes them well and boils the mixture in hot water. Use it for rinsing in the mouth and it will cure teeth pain.
  • Hiccups: Take 50-100 grams bark of peepal and burn it till you get its charcoal, before extinguishing it in water. The extract taken with water is very useful for patients of Hiccups
  • Swelling in your spleen: Take 10-20 grams of peepal bark and burn it out. Add an equal amount of Kalmi Shora and pour it in ripe banana. Eat one such banana each day to cure swelling of spline swelling.
  • Constipation: Take 5-10 fruits of peepal daily to cure the problem of constipation permanently.
  • Stammering: Take some of the powder of its bark with honey to make a paste. Take this paste daily for a month and your speech would become smooth.
  • Fever and flu: Boil 5 peepal leaves in milk and add some sugar. Take this remedy twice daily. This remedy can even provide relief to asthma patients.
  • Cardiac Health: Take few peepal leaves soaked in water overnight and extract the liquid the next day. Store it in a clean white bottle and take it in small quantity thrice daily.
  • Wrinkles or scars: Get a bark of peepal tree at home and dry it out in sharp sunlight. Make its powder and store in some bottle. Take 1 full spoon of this powder and add honey into it. Mix them well to make a paste and apply onto your face. Do this once daily for a month.
  • Toothache: Bark decoction is used as gargling or its bark juice is used as mouthwash which strengthens gums and gives relief against pain.
  • Piles: Get extract of its bark and take 2 ml twice a day for 1 month. OR Take Pipal leaf + 5 Black pepper+ 1 Karela to make a paste. Consume 5-gram paste twice a day for 1 week.
  • Ringworm: Apply its latex on the infected part topically.
  • Leucorrhoea (white discharge): Take 10 gm. of its bark and boil it in a half liter of water. Filter it when 1/4th of the water is left and take it twice a day.
  • Insanity (Mental Illness): Boil 2 to 3 tender leaves in 100 ml milk until the milk condenses. Now, add sugar according to taste and consume it.
  • Syphilis: Boil its bark in milk and take or take its young bud.

Other facts

  • Various plant parts are used for religious purposes; the plant is considered sacred to Buddhists and Hindus.
  • Buddha is said to have become incarnate under the shade of an F. religiosa tree.
  • Vishnu the Destroyer was born among its branches, resulting in its species name ‘religiosa’ and its common name ‘sacred tree’.
  • Wood is made into spoons used in rituals and in sacrificial fires by Hindus, and the entire plant is commonly planted by Hindus in India near temples.
  • Fruits are commonly eaten by birds as food, while the leaves and twigs are lopped for cattle and goats.
  • The species is a rare ornamental and shade tree in Puerto Rico.
  • Small figs have been eaten as a famine food.
  • Sap is used to make latex or rubber and its bark used in tanning.
  • Bark fiber was also formerly used in the manufacture of paper.
  • Wood is used to make packing cases, as it is durable under water, and has also been reportedly used to make cheap boarding, yokes, and bowls.
  • Some trees have been reported to be more than 2,000 years old, like the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, a peepal tree in the ancient city of Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka which is estimated to be more than 2,250 years old and is regarded as the “Oldest historical tree in the world with religious importance”
  • It is considered a sacred tree to most Hindus, and is planted close to temples.
  • Local village meetings are often held under this tree.
  • Women worship this tree as a symbol of fertility.
  • Fruits of the tree are crushed and given to cattle in a dose of 250 grams for improving chances of pregnancy.
  • Bark decoction is given to animal for expulsion of placenta after child birth.
  • In the case of dysuria and hematuria in buffalo, extract of about 5 kg leaves is given orally.
  • Bark consists of tannins and is used as a dye for cloth.
  • Latex obtained from the plant is used for making varnishes.
  • Gum (latex) obtained from the tree is used as a sealing wax.
  • The low-quality wood may be used for packing cases and matches.
  • The wood is used for fuel.

Side effects of peepal tree

Peepal is generally considered safe when used in suitable amounts. However, some people may experience certain side effects upon consumption of peepal. The possible side effects have been described below.

  • Leaf extract of the peepal tree, when consumed in medicinal amounts up to a month, is usually safe. However, if consumed in high doses, the latex might cause bleeding in the digestive tract in some people. It is better to seek physician’s advice before consuming peepal tree extract.
  • Extract of the peepal tree can cause sensitivity towards the sun in some people. So it is advisable to not step out in the sun immediately after applying peepal tree extract to the skin.
  • Fruit of the peepal tree might also cause skin rash or allergies upon contact in some people. Additionally, people who are sensitive to natural rubber latex might have allergic reactions to fig.
  • There have been no reports of studies concerning the effect of the peepal tree extract on pregnant and breastfeeding women. It is, therefore, advisable to consult a physician before its use by such women.
  • Peepal tree is known to have anti-diabetic effects. People consuming formulations prepared from peepal tree extracts need to monitor their blood sugar levels on a timely basis.
  • Use of such formulations might also interfere with the levels of blood sugar during or after surgery. It is therefore, recommended to stop using peepal tree extract at least two weeks earlier to a scheduled surgery.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=506545#null

https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/57822/

http://www.hear.org/pier/species/ficus_religiosa.htm

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=16962

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/24168

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=d409

https://texasinvasives.org/plant_database/detail.php?symbol=FIRE3

https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=FIRE3

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficus_religiosa

https://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/handle/11299/143450/Ficus%20religiosa%20Paper%20Colin%20Doherty.pdf;jsessionid=5F911BD77246BEE9B082F31B72DD8D6D?sequence=2

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/kew-2812027

https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/31353

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/FIURE

http://www.hear.org/Pier/pdf/pohreports/ficus_religiosa.pdf

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