Banyan is commonly known as Ficus benghalensis, Indian banyan and banyan fig. It is a huge tree that belongs to the mulberry family moraceae. Banyan tree is the national tree in India. In India, people use the leaves of this in all traditional occasions. The banyan tree is native to tropical Asia from India through Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia and southern China.
It is naturalized and cultivated in the tropical regions of the world including North America, Australia, West Indies, Western Africa, Middle East and many islands in the Pacific Oceans. This specimen in India is one of the biggest trees in the world by canopy coverage.
Banyan tree is known to be a hindu folklore as the wish fulfilling tree and banyans represent eternal life. Other few popular names of the banyan tree are East Indian Fig tree, Indian Banyan, Banyan fig, Weeping Chinese Banyan, Bengal fig, Horn fig, Bengal banyan and Vada tree.
The name banyan is derived from ” banias’ ‘, who rested under the trees to discuss their plans, policies, and ideas regarding business, and so it is commonly called as banyan. The specific epithet benghalensis refers to plants that are native to Bengal. The tradition of worshiping sacred trees is prevalent by the people who follow Hinduism. When a woman is married to a Hindu, they worship the banyan tree to lead a long and happy married life.
Common Names Of Banyan
English Name: Banyan tree, Banyan fig, Indian banyan, East Indian fig tree, Bengal banyan, Weeping Chinese banyan, Horn fig, Bengal fig, vada tree, banyan
Tamil Name: Al (ஆல்), Aal, Aalam vizhudhu, Alam (ஆலம்), Peral, Alamaram (ஆலமரம்), alai (ஆலை)
Malayalam Name: Peraal, Ala, Vatam, Peral, pērāt (പേരാത്) peeraath, Vatavarksam, ālmaraṅṅaḷ (ആൽമരങ്ങൾ), peraal (പേരാല്)
Telugu Name: Marri, Mari peddamari, Vata vrikshamu, Peddamarri, marri chettu (మర్రి చెట్టు)
Kannada Name: Alada, Ala, Aalada mara, Alada mara, Nyagrodha, Goli, aaladamara (ಆಲದಮರ), Vata, golimara (ಗೋಳಿಮರ), basarimara (ಬಸರಿಮರ), vatavruksha (ವಟವ್ಱುಕ್ಷ), Gōṇimara (ಗೋಣಿಮರ) gonimara, alada (ಆಲದ)
Hindi Name: Bargad, Bad (बड़), Barh (बर) Bar, Bargat (बरगद), Bat (बट) Bata, Vata (वट ), Bhaandiir (भाण्डीर), nyagarodh (न्यगरोध), barh (बढ़)
Marathi Name: Peddamarri, Marri, Wad, Vad (Vada, Vadd), nyagrodh (न्यग्रोध), hajaripaan (हजारीपान), vadangale (वडांगळें), vad (वड), Vaḍācē jhāḍa (वडाचे झाड), vat vruksh (वट वृक्ष)
Gujarati Name: Vadlo, Vad, bayana (બયાન), વડ vad
Bengali Name: Bat, Aśbat’tha gācha (অশ্বত্থ গাছ) Bar, Bot, Bath, bata (বট)
Kashmiri Name: Bad
Konkani Name: vada rooku (वडा रूकु), Goli rooku (गोळी रूकु)
Nepali Name: Bar, banyan
Punjabi Name: bhod, Bar, bhaur
Sanskrit Name: Avaroha, Akshaya vruksham, Bat, Bahupada, Jatalo, Bhringi, Nyagrodha, Vata, Vat, Vatah, vata (वट), nyagrodh (न्यग्रोध)
Urdu Name: bar (بر), bargad, bat,برگد
Banyan – Plant Description
Banyan tree is the largest evergreen tree that grows up to 20-25 m tall, with wide leaves and branches. It spreads up to 100m or more than that with pillar-like prop roots and accessories trunks. A sigal banyan tree may spread over a large area and it looks like a small forest.
Banyan tree is considered to be sacred in many places in India. It is mostly found in the rain forests, evergreen forest, and deciduous lowland forest. The trunk of the tree is massive, bark is grey, fluted, smooth, young soft white puberulous.
You can take a main trunk 13 feet in diameter, 230 trunks as large as an oak tree and more than 3000 smaller ones from a single medium size banyan tree. The largest banyan tree is known to be in the island of Sri Lanka. It has 350 larger trunks and 3000 smaller one.
Ficus benghalensis produces propagating roots in each branch which grows downwards as the aerial root. The tree is placed at the center, and the branches of the tree are surrounded by it, so it looks like a small forest. Once the root of the trunk is grown and reaches the ground, they grow like woody trunks that can become indistinguishable from the main trunk.
The leaves of the banyan tree look like an elliptic ovate, it is 10-30 cm long and 7 to 20 cm wide. The leaf of the banyan tree has margin entire, obtuse at apex, glossy above, rounded at base, coriaceous, 5-7 veins, lateral veins 5-7 on either half of mid vein, prominent beneath, looped within the margin. Petiole is 2-3 cmm, stipules of the banyan tree have 1.5 to 2.5 cmm, deltoid, coriaceous, acute.
Ficus genus is characterized by a type of involuted inflorescence called syconium. The syconium is a fleshy receptacle that has about 50 to 7000 floretes on the inner side of the flower. Depending on the tree the number of florets also differs.
The syconium seals off the florets from the outside of the flower and leaves a tiny opening at the base through which wasps can enter. The syconium is both monoecious or dioecious. Both the male and female florets are there in the monoecious syconium on the same tree at the same time dioecious syconium has male and female florets present in different trees.
Like other fruit giving trees, banyan trees also bear this in the specific structure called “syconium”. Female florets are pollinated by tiny wasps that enter through a base hole of the fig. Once pollinated the female flower forms a tiny fruit that contains seed. Pollination of the banyan tree is dependent solely on the wasp. When the wasp of the tree dies, the banyan tree also becomes extinct. The banyan tree shows the best example for the interdependence between flourish to species.
POSSIBLE HEALTH BENEFITS OF BAYAN
The banyan tree is also known as bargad. It is intensely worshiped and honored in India. Traditionally Indian people used to pray in front of the banyan tree and it has also secured the best place in the Indian Tradition. It is known for its ability to survive for many years and grow into a huge tree.
It takes a significant place in Hindu mythology and it is believed that the banyan tree fulfills our wishes. It also gives some material gains, which is entitled as kalpa vriksha. A banyan tree not only fulfills material wishes but it also provides a lot of healthy benefits. Let’s discuss the health benefits of the banyan tree.
1. Prevents Tooth Decay & Gum Disease
Aerial root of the banyan tree has major benefits of treating tooth and gum diseases. Take one aerial root and chew it well, this prevents gum disease, bleeding gums and tooth decay. The aerial roots act as a natural toothpaste and also helps with bad breath. In ancient days people had used this aerial root as a toothpaste. Brushing with an aerial root makes your teeth strong and healthy.
2. Provides Heart Health
Heart attack is one of the major deadly diseases in the world. Besides the fat that clogs the artery, heart disease such as coronary heart disease is also caused by the high sodium level in our body. High sodium level of the artery narrows and reduces the blood distribution level all over the body.
Based on the research about the nutritional value of banyan fruit, the fruit has a rich amount of potassium that helps in lowering the sodium levels of the body. It also contains some natural minerals like phosphor, magnesium, polyphenol, omega 3 and 6, which is useful in decreasing the blood pressure and also prevents coronary heart diseases. Experts say that consuming one banyan fruit at least once a day will help you to reduce the risk of sudden heart attack.
3. Boosts Immunity Strength
Immunity power is an essential thing to lead a healthy life. Immunity strength helps you to fight against various diseases and it acts as a shield to protect you from harmful diseases. Bark of the banyan tree is also used as an immune boosting agent.
4. Prevents Cancer
Banyan tree fruit has another health benefit of preventing the second major disease in the world, called cancer. Banyan tree fruit has some benefits of curing cancer. How cancer is caused? It is caused due to the free radicals present in our body. It will damage the skin cell and it activates the growth of the upper cell which is known to be cancer.
Consumption of banyan tree enables the need of polyphenol which performs as an antioxidant that helps to fight against the free radicals. There are different types of cancers and consuming the banyan fruit will help to prevent all the types such as prostate cancer, cervical cancer, brain cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer.
Also Read: Best Herbs to Treat Cancer
5. Helps to Control Weight
Banyan tree fruit can be used for both increasing and decreasing weight. To increase the weight you have to consume the banyan tree fruit juice with milk regularly before going to bed.
Banyan tree fruit contains dietary fiber that helps to increase body weight and helps to tighten your body posture without adding fat to your body.
You can also reduce your body weight by trying this banyan fruit juice without adding sugar and milk. Consuming it regularly helps to reduce weight and also you get effective results when doing regular exercise.
Also Read: Best Herbs For Weight Loss
6. Helps to Improve Good Vision
Regular consumption of banyan tree fruit helps in reducing the risk of ageing problems like macular degeneration. Banyan tree fruit has rich amounts of vitamin A, C, and E which helps to maintain good vision.
7. For Diarrhea & Dysentery Problem
The leaf buds of the banyan tree have the benefits of treating diseases like chronic diarrhea and dysentery. To cure this disease you have to consume the leaf buds of a banyan. Before eating you have to soak it in water overnight and then take it as an infusion to cure these diseases.
8. Cures Piles
Taking a few drops of the latex of the banyan tree with the milk regularly helps in curing bleeding piles. In this treatment the patient should follow some diet rules literally, he /she wants to take green vegetables, particularly manathakkali, fenugreek and black nightshade leaves in their daily diet.
9. Best for Skin Disorder
The hot poultice of the leaves can be applied to cure some skin related problems. You can apply it to the abscesses to promote suppuration and to hasten their breakings. The fresh milk juice of the green leaves give some benefits of destroying warts. The latex is commonly used for ulcers, sores and bruises. Here you can see some other best herbs for skin.
10. Female Sterility
The tender root of the banyan tree has the benefit of curing female sterility. Dry the root of the banyan tree in the shade and then finely powder it and take it in a bowl. Now take some powder and mix it with 5 times its weight of milk. Have this drink for three successive nights after your menstrual cycle. You should follow this every month till the conception takes place. A specific rule that you have to follow is that you should not take any other food while consuming this medicinal powder.
11. Treates Leucorrhoea & Vaginal Infections
Banyan trees also have the ability to treat vaginal infections. The vaginal infection occurs due to the unhygienic habits and also because of the moist condition. Banyan tree bark and the leaf helps in treating the vaginal infections.
The bark of a banyan tree and fig tree helps to treat leucorrhoea. Take a tablespoon of banyan tree bark power and fig tree powder and boil it in water. You should boil it until it reduces to half and let it cool in air for some time. Douching with this lukewarm decoction helps to keep the tissues of the vaginal tract healthy and clean.
12. Boost Immune System
Banyan tree fruit contains flavonoid, vitamin C and polyphenol that acts as an antioxidant which helps in boosting your immunity power. If you have a proper immune system then you’re free from several diseases. Here, you can see some other best herbs to boost immune system.
13. Regulates the Blood Sugar
We all know that sweet things should not be consumed by the diabetics patients. But the sweetness of the banyan tree fruit helps to regulate the blood sugar level. The banyan tree fruit contains fructose and glucose that will not increase the blood sugar level. It also has unsaturated fiber and carbohydrate which helps in decreasing the excess sugar in your digestive system. The potassium helps to regulate the blood sugar level. So that diabetics patients can eat this fruit with no worries.
14. Fits your Body Strength
If you drink the banyan tree fruit water for at least once a day helps you to maintain your body fitness. You can also take this drink by boiling it well in water. Or prepare infused water by soaking the banyan tree fruit in water and you can drink this infused water by mixing it with your favorite fruit juices.
15. Reduces Respiratory Problems
One of the common respiratory syndromes is asthma. Asthma is caused due to the infection in the human respiratory system and especially on the alveolus. Do you know regular consumption of banyan tree fruit helps to cure asthma? The antibacterial and antiseptic component in the fruit effectively reacts on the infected area and helps you to cure diseases.
Banyan tree fruit has a rich amount of natural fluids that helps you to reduce sore throat. Consuming the banyan fruit juice will humidify the inflamed throat.
Also Read: Best Herbs For Respiratory Health
16. Prevents Anemia
Banyan tree fruit has incredible benefits for anemia. Consuming this fruit helps you to get the hemoglobin formation in your blood. Banyan tree fruit has a high level of iron and we all know that iron is the main source that you need in enhancing the hemoglobin formation. So if you have anemia you can eat this fruit to get cured.
17. Fights Against Hemorrhoid
Some research experts found that banyan tree fruit helps in treating hemorrhoids. It is also agreed by the comprehensive research of the banyan tree fruit. Because this fruit has a high flavonoid level which helps you to prevent the inflammations of hemorrhoids.
18. Cures Kidney Stones
Banyan tree fruit has the habit of curing several diseases. Do you know that it helps to cure kidney stones? No doubt, If you drink the banyan fruit juice daily once a day helps to cure kidney stones.
19. Strong Bones
Regular consumption of the banyan tree fruit helps you to fight against the Osteoporosis diseases. This fruit contains a rich amount of calcium. Researchers say that calcium and phosphorus in milk is lower than the calcium and phosphorus level available in the banyan tree. So consuming banyan tree fruit gives more bone strength than drinking a cup of milk.
It is good to consume this fruit because it is filled with calcium. In particular, people above 30 and childrens can eat this, as it prevents them from calcium deficiency and also gives strong bones, teeth and naturally increases the height of your little ones.
Also Read: Best Herbs For Bone Health
20. Helps Insomnia Problems
Excessive caffeine consumption and stress is the only reason for insomnia. To solve this problem, sit under the banyan tree and take a deep breath, this helps to reduce the caffeine consumption and stress relief.
21. Prevents Alzheimer
Banyan tree fruit has a high amount of Vitamin B6 which helps you to get improvement from the concentration. If you regularly consume the banyan fruit then it helps to prevent you from the degenerative brain disease namely Alzheimer’s disease.
22. Has Anti-aging Properties
Those who regularly consume banyan tree fruit, the antioxidant component in the fruit helps them to slow down the aging process. It is highly recommended for womens to consume this fruit especially in their menopause period.
23. Moisturizes Skin
Banyan tree fruit has a high level of water that can remove toxic and unwanted water from the body. It also helps you to get glowing and moisturizing skin. You can apply the banyan tree fruit in your face to get a soft and glossy skin.
Take a few fruits, make it as paste and then apply it on your face. Let it dry for about 15 minutes. Now the paste transports nutrients into your dermal layer of the skin so that you can get a proper glowing skin. After 15 mins wash it with warm water.
24. Controls Cholesterol
Banyan tree fruit contains unsaturated fat that is good for lowering the cholesterol level. It comes with a lot of benefits to cure diseases because the pectin of the unsaturated fat will flush out the cholesterol from the human body through the human excretory system such as urine, sweat and feces.
25. Cures Injuries and Abscess
The banyan tree fruit has a habit of curing injuries and abscesses. The antiseptic content in this fruit has the capacity to fight against bacteria. This prevents infections and inflammations on the skin. You can directly apply the smashed fruit in the affected area and leave it to dry. After it dried, wash it with cool water. Do this process continuously until you get well from abscesses.
26. Maintains Hair Healthy
We can maintain your hair with the help of banyan tree fruit, do you know, in olden days, some women in villages have used this fruit as the natural conditioner for their hair. Due to this reason, nowadays we can get shampoos with banyan tree fruit extract.
Ancient people had used the paste of this fruit for hair treatment. Magnesium , Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin A is available in the banyan tree fruit that encourages blood circulation in your scalp and accelerates hair growth.
Also Read: Best Herbs For Hair
27. Good for Pregnancy
We all know that banyan tree fruit is rich in nutritional value because it contains all types of valuable nutrients such as folate, calcium, dietary fiber, protein and some other natural minerals that are needed for all pregnant womens and their fetus. And the zinc contained in this fruit is also beneficial for the mother who has just given birth.
Recommendation Dosage for Daily Intake
Because of the various health benefits of the banyan tree, but pay attention to the recommended dosage of consumption of banyan tree fruit. You should not take more than 40 grams of banyan tree fruit a day that means you want to consume only 4 to 5 small fruits per day. By consuming the right amount of banyan tree fruit you can avoid the side effects and enjoy the benefits.
Side Effects Of Banyan
The mixture and medicine prepared by using banyan have found that it does not cause any side effects. There are no reports that prove that the medicine prepared by using banyan extract has side effects.
Anyhow, the study conducted with the banyan extract on breastfeeding and pregnant women is not reported. So, breastfeeding and pregnant women is better to avoid the consumption of banyan extract or the medicine prepared by using banyan extract to avoid the side effects.
The banyan tree is known as the National Tree of India. Because of its health benefits and other uses it becomes the National tree. In India, the Banyan tree is worshipped and revered by the Hindus. You can consume it daily in the right amount to enjoy the health benefits. In the banyan tree each part is used for medicinal purposes and helps in treating several diseases. And we can also use it with consultation from a doctor.
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