Banyan tree: A tree of life and fertility

Banyan: An immortal tree

The 23rd episode of the series #SacredIndianHerbs is about banyan tree which has been adopted as the “National Tree of India” in 1950. Banyan tree is well known because of its endurability, that makes it to survive for hundreds of years and longer than any other tree. This tree has long branches, deep roots and strong trunks that can stretch to several acres. The roots of banyan tree also grows out from the stems which gets grounded and it has capability to regrow from those roots.

Scientific name: Ficus benghalensis
English name: Banyan tree
Hindi name: Vad, vat, bargad

Banyan is an evergreen tree that grows in tropical climate. The parts of the banyan tree that are used are aerial root, latex, fruits, buds and leaves which all are comprising with lots of medicinal values and helps in treating many diseases. Let’s know its some featured benefits and usages in ayurveda.

Benefits of banyan tree

Banyan for clear skin
Banyan tree roots nourishes our skin. You can cut the soft part of the aerial roots into small pieces and let them sun dry to make fine powder. Prepare the paste with water and apply it on face to make your skin glowing. For more effective results you can take the roots of banyan, sariwa, turmeric, sandalwood, and red lentils, and grind them to fine powder. Make a paste either by adding water or cow milk (if you have a dry skin). Its application would tone up your skin, and skin problems like acne and pimples would also reduce.

Banyan for diabetes
Diabetes is the most common lifestyle disease that causes increased blood sugar levels. The banyan tree has antidiabetic effect due to the presence of water soluble and insoluble glycosides. 3-4 dried fruits of banyan tree can be given daily to lower down the blood sugar levels. Besides, the other effects caused due to diabetes such as body pain and increased thirst, hunger and urge to go urine gets restrained too.

Banyan for bladder health
Urinal infections or prostate disorders may cause frequent urination. For such cases consume the decoction of banyan tree roots or bark. Take 10g of its quantity and add eight times water. Heat it till one fourth of the amount is left. Let it cool and consume when lukewarm two times a day. Alternatively banyan tree latex can also be used to treat urinary disorders. The banyan, peepal, gular, paras pipal and pilkhan trees, all together are called as ‘Panchakshari vriksh’. If we make some incisions in the bark of these trees, a milky white fluid oozes out of it, known as latex. 4-5 drops of latex of banyan tree when consumed with sugar helps to treat urinary disorders and also help people suffering from dream anxiety disorder.

Banyan for vaginal health for females
When it comes to feminine hygiene, it's important for women of all ages to be very particular with maintaining the cleanliness of their genital areas. Vaginal infections in women happen due to lack of hygiene which can be cured with the help of panchakshari trees according to ayurveda. The barks of all the five trees are collected and grinded to form powder. Boil 10 g of this powder in eight times water until the water reduces to one fourth. Let the infusion cool and consume it two times daily to cure various kinds of vaginal infections. Moreover, if we clean the vagina with this infusion, it provides cure for leucorrhea.

Other benefits of banyan tree

  • The bark of the tree helps to treat diarrhea.
  • The latex from banyan tree can be used to prevent caries when applied with cotton. It is astringent in taste so it prevents the growth of bacteria and thus the bad odor from mouth can also be prevented.
  • Its leaves are eaten by the cows and other domestic animals. The milk of milking cows increases with the consumption of latex of the banyan tree.

Banyan: A sacred tree for all

Banyan tree not only symbolises the pride to the nation’s identity but is also considered a sacred tree of Indian soil. Like Peepal tree, it can be seen grown in every temple. The banyan tree holds an important place in Hinduism and is considered as a 'kalpavriksha' for fulfilling the wishes to stay healthy. It is believed that by worshipping the tree, infertile women will be able to bear children in their wombs and can attain the pleasure of being a mother. It has positive vibes that helps to maintain happiness and peace at home. This tree is also highly regarded in Buddhism, as lord Buddha sat under this tree after he attained nirvana. It is believed that the ‘pirs’ are present on this tree and they influence our lives. Hence, muslims also consider it as a pure tree to worship.

We are obliged by the nature for it has provided us with various resources to treat various diseases and keep ourselves healthy. We would be glad if you participate with some suggestions regarding these herbs so that we can bring up new things and keep you informed. Do make these herbs and trees part of your life. Stay healthy !

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Dr. Vinod Pr Upadhyay

B.Sc, BAMS, ND (Naturopathy & Yoga), Phd, FES, FIAES | Ayurvedic Pharmaceutics and Pharmacologist | Ex Principal at Himalaya Ayurvedic Medical College | Former Sr. Lecturer at Govt. Ayu. College, Gurukul Kangri

Haridwar

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