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Ficus bengalensis

Latin Name : Ficus bengalensis
English Name : Banyan Tree
Sanskrit Name: Wata
Nepali Name: Bar
kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Family: moraceae /Ayurvedic – Watt kul
Genus: Ficus
Species: bengalensis
It is well known all over Nepal. It possesses aerial roots. Its branches drop to the ground, take roots again, and send out more twisting and trailing branches, thus extending the growth of the tree indefinitely. It has smooth, shining, rather stiff and leathery leaves, broadly oval in shape. The flowers and fruits are inconspicuous, very minute, many of them being held together in the fig, which is a sort of pouch that contains hundreds of flowers or fruits.
Ficus bengalensis
Chemical Constituents:
The stembark contains ß-sitosterol, a-D-glucose and meso- inositol. The leaves contain petunidin di-glycoside and quercentin 3-galactoside. The fruits contain cyanidin rhamnoglycoside and polysaccharides.

According to ayurveda it contains
Gunna (properties) – guru (heavy) and ruksh (dry)
Rasa (taste) – kashaya (astringent)
Virya (potency) – sheet (cold)

Parts used:
Bark, milk, leaves, bud and fruit

Medicinal properties and Uses
According to Ayurveda it is kapha and pitta suppressant. The milky juice is externally applied for pains and bruises and as an anodyne in rheumatism and lumbago. It is also used as a remedy for toothache. It helps in wound healing and suppresses inflammation. It acts as a good pain reliever. It also improves vision of eyes. It helps in easy absorption and purifies blood and improves circulation in the body. It tones up the excretory system. It is an aphrodisiac agent. The leaves are heated and applied as poultice to abscesses. The bark is tonic, astringent and cooling. The seeds are also considered as cooling and tonic.

Healing power and curative properties:
The banyan has many medicinal properties. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of several ailments. The bark and leaf buds of the tree are useful in arresting secretion or bleeding. The fruit exercises a soothing effect on the skin and mucous membranes, alleviates swelling ad pain, and serve as a mild purgative. It is also nutritious.

Diarrhoea and dysentery:
The leaf buds of the banyan tree are beneficial in the treatment of chronic diarrhoea and dysentery. The buds should be soaked in water overnight and taken as infusion in the treatment of these diasesae. The latex is also useful in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery.

A few drops of the latex of the banyan tree mixed in milk and taken daily helps to cure bleeding piles. With this treatment, the diet of the patient should contain liberal quantities of green vegetables especially fenugreek and black nightshade or solanum nigrum.

Female sterility:
Tender roots of the banyan tree are considered beneficial in the treatment of female sterility. These roots should be dried in the shade and finely powdered. One part of powder should be mixed with five parts of milk and taken at night for three consecutive nights after menstruation cycle every month till the conception takes place. No other food should be taken with this.

A regular douching of the genital tract with a decoction of the bark of the banyan tree and the fig tree is helpful is helpful in leucorrhoea. A tablespoon each of the powders of the bark of the two trees should be boiled in a litre of water till it is reduced to about half. Douching with the lukewarm decoction will keep the tissues of virginal tract healthy.

Teeth disorders
Cleaning the teeth with the aerial roots of the banyan is beneficial in preventing teeth and gum disorders. As one chews the stick and brushes, the astringent secretion from the rootstick cleanses and strengthens the teeth and gums.

The latex is commonly used locally for rheumatism, pain and lumbago.

Skin Disorders:
A hot poultice of the leaves can be applied with beneficial results to abscesses to promote suppuration and to hasten their breaking. The milky juice from the fresh green leaves is useful in destroying warts. The latex is commonly used locally for sores, ulcers and bruises.

Those who do not wear socks and shoes suffer from cracking of heels, a condition known as kibes. The best way to deal with this condition is to fill the cracks with the sap of the banyan tree.

Other diseases:
An infusion of the bark is a specific medicine for diabetes. The tender ends of the aerial roots can be taken in obstinate vomiting.

Decoction: 50-100ml
Powder: 3-6 gm
Milk: 5-10 drops.

Ayurvedic Preparations:
Nyagrodhadi churna, Nyagrodhadya Ghrita.

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