The peepal tree grows to large proportions with hard, cracked and grayish white bark and numerous offshoots. Its leaves are somewhat leathery, broadly oval in shape, which suddenly narrow at the apex and into a long tail. The bark and leaves of peepal are useful in many common ailments. Its leaves are laxative and a tonic.
Botanical Name: Ficus religiosa
Indian Name: Peepal
Below are some of the medicinal properties of peepal:
- The leaves of the peepal are beneficial in arresting secretion or bleeding – about 50 ml of raw juice of the leaves or 1 tablespoon of powdered dried leaves can be taken with water in such cases.
Likewise, its fruits can be dried in shade, powdered and mixed with an equal quantity of sugar. This compound in doses of 4 to 6 grams taken at bedtime with milk, serves the same function.
- The leaves of peepal are also a valuable remedy in treating dysentery. Equal parts of tender leaves, coriander leaves and sugar are chewed slowly to relieve the condition.
- Peepal leaves are also used in the treatment of mumps. They should be smeared with ghee, warmed over a fire, and bandaged over the inflamed part to get relief.
- The leaves of the peepal are used in boils. A leaf smeared with ghee can be bandaged lukewarm on the boil. If there is any pus formation, it will burst, if it is in preliminary stages, the growth will subside.
- The fruits of the peepal dried in shade and powdered are helpful in disorders like spermatorrhea, nocturnal emissions and premature ejaculations.
- A popular remedy for excessive urine output amongst jaundice patients is to soak a piece of tender bark of the peepal in water overnight and allow the water to be taken the following morning.
- Its leaves are also beneficial in bruises and wounds. They are ground fine, mixed with 25 grams of jaggery and made into pills. One pill taken daily with milk can also relieve pain due to injury.
- The leaves of the tree are effective in the treatment of heart diseases. They are infused in water at night, distilled the next morning and then stored in white bottles. About 15 mg of this infusion is administered thrice daily. It is highly effective in relieving palpitation of the heart and cardiac weakness.
- The leaves of the peepal are useful in constipation. They should be dried in the shade and powdered. Pills can be prepared by adding the required quantity of a solution of anise and jaggery with water. One pill taken with warm milk at bedtime ensures proper bowel movement the following morning.
- Peepal is a specific remedy for scrofula – a serious disease of the neck, characterized by swollen lymphatic glands of the region. A plaster like paste prepared by rubbing its root with water can be applied on the glands of the affected people.