The banyan tree has many medicinal properties. It is used in traditional medicine for the treatment of several ailments. It has aerial roots. Its branches drops 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. The leaves of the banyan tree yield ficusin and bergaptene. The latex of the tree is very toxic.
Botanical Name- Ficus bengalensis
Indian Name- Bar
Below are some of the medicinal properties of banyan:
- The leaf buds of the banyan tree are useful in the treatment of chronic diarrhea and dysentery. The buds should be soaked in water overnight and taken as infusion in the treatment of these diseases.
- 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 leaves.
- 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 root-stick cleanses and strengthens the teeth and gums.
- Tender roots of the banyan tree are valuable in the treatment of female sterility. These roots should be dried in the shade and finely powdered. This powder should be mixed 5 times its weight, with milk, and taken at night for 3 consecutive nights after menstruation cycle every month till the conception takes place. No other food should be taken with this.
- The latex is commonly used locally for rheumatism, pain and lumbago.
- A hot poultice of the banyan 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.
- A regular douching of the genital tract with a decoction of the bark of the banyan tree and the fig tree is helpful in leucorrhea. A tablespoon each of the powders of the bark of the two trees should be boiled in a liter of water till it is reduced to about half. Douching with the lukewarm decoction will keep the tissues of vaginal tract healthy.