Monday, December 15, 2008

Ficus benghalensis L.

Family : Moraceae

Synonym(s) : Ficus banyana Oken, Urostigma bengalensis (L.) Gasp., Ficus cotonaefolia Vahl., Ficus indica L.

English Name : Banyan Tree

Origin : India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.


It is a large evergreen tree upto 30m in height and extending laterally by sending down aerial roots. Aerial roots are many and sometimes develop into accessory trunks and assist the lateral spread of the tree indefinitely. The bark is light grey-white, smooth and about 1.25 cm in thickness. Leaves are coriaceous, ovate-elliptic with subcordate or rounded base. Male flowers are many near the mouth of the receptacel: sepals 4; gall flowers: perianth as in male and fertile flowers: perianth shorter than in male, style elongate; male and female flowers are in same receptacle. Fruits are sessile in pairs, puberulous, sub-globose, 1.3 to 2.0 cm across and red when ripe.


India where it is very common.

Parts Used : Bark, latex, bud, fruit, seed, root and leaf

Herb Effects

The seeds are used as cooling and tonic, antidiarrheal, astringent and hypoglycemic (bark); reduces fever (seed); stops bodily secretions and hemostatic (bark and leaf buds); emollient, demulcent and alleviates pain (fruit).

Active Ingredients

Leucoanthocyanin and leucoanthocyanidin (bark); friedelin, rutin, ficusin and bergaptene (leaf); beta-sitosterol (leaf and stem bark).

Medicinal Use

For lumbago, rheumatism, external pains, sores and ulcers, soles of the feet when cracked or inflamed and toothache (latex); in diarrhea and dysentery (bark and young bud infusion); as a poultice in abscesses (heated leaves); in diabetes (bark); as a tonic (bark and seed); in vomiting, to scalp to grow hair long (paste) and for menorrhagia (root); in gonorrhoea (root-fibres); is good tonic, effective in diabetes, dysentery, gonorrhoea and in seminal weakness (infusion of bark).


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