Ficus bengal, Banyan (lat. Fícus benghalénsis) – a tree of the Mulberry family (lat. Moraceae), native to Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. Growing, it is able to turn into a large tree, occupying several hectares, having a crown circumference of 610 meters in length.
This plant is characterized by a special life form – banyan tree. The formation of a banyan tree begins with the formation of aerial roots on large horizontal branches of an adult tree, usually not bearing root hairs. At certain points in the life of the tree, a lot of them appear, and they hang with garlands from horizontal branches. Aerial roots grow very slowly, and after a while, most of them dry out without ever reaching the soil. Single aerial roots grow to the ground and take root, after which their aboveground part intensely thickens, acquiring the appearance and conducting function of the trunks.
The fruits of Ficus Bengal are edible, contain up to 75% of sugars (glucose, fructose). They are eaten by birds and mammals. Birds are the main distributors of seeds. Studies have shown that seeds that pass through the digestive tract of birds are more likely to germinate earlier.
In folk medicine, banyan is used for medicinal purposes. It uses bark, bark fibers, leaves, seeds and latex – the tree’s milk juice.
Banyan has antiseptic, antibacterial, astringent, wound healing, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic properties.
In Asian medicine, the fruits of Ficus bengal (banyan) are used. Bark and roots containing glycosides and triterpenes are used. The bark is prescribed as a tonic, aphrodisiac, diuretic. Roots – with diarrhea and as a hypoglycemic agent.
The healing properties of Ficus Bengal:
- for the treatment of skin diseases, leprosy, healing of ulcers, wounds, abscesses;
- for the treatment of genital infections – gonorrhea, syphilis, vaginal infections;
- with nausea and vomiting;
- with diseases of the gallbladder and liver;
- with colds, fevers, respiratory diseases, flu, tonsillitis;
- as an aphrodisiac, increases sexual desire, enhances potency;
- like a tonic for the whole body.