What is Ficus Benghalensis? Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects of Banyan Tree Bark - An Herbal Guide

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. What is Ficus Benghalensis? 
3. Morphology
4. How To Identify Banyan?
5. Ayurvedic properties of Banyan Tree Bark
6. Health Benefits of Banyan Tree Bark
7. Uses of Bargad Chal
8. Banyan extract for Leucorrhea
9. Side Effects of Bargad Chal
10. Frequently Asked Question

1. Introduction

Welcome to the world of Ficus Benghalensis, popularly known as the Banyan Tree. This majestic tree has been revered in many cultures for centuries, and for good reason. The bark of the Banyan Tree, known as Bargad Chal, has been used for various medicinal purposes. But before we dive into the benefits and usage of Bargad Chal, let's explore the fascinating world of Ficus Benghalensis.

The Banyan Tree is not just any tree; it is considered sacred in Hinduism and Buddhism, and it's believed to be the dwelling place of the Trimurti - Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. In fact, it's one of the few trees that have been mentioned in religious texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Ramayana. This tree is native to the Indian subcontinent but can be found in many other parts of the world today.

Apart from its spiritual significance, the Banyan Tree is also an ecological wonder. It's an epiphyte, which means it grows on another plant or structure and uses it for support. The Banyan Tree can grow to be massive, with its branches spreading wide and its aerial roots reaching the ground and taking root, forming new trunks. Some Banyan Trees are so large that they can cover an entire city block.

But it's not just the size and cultural significance that make the Banyan Tree special. The bark of the tree, Bargad Chal, has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It's believed to have various medicinal properties, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anti-microbial. So, let's dive into the benefits and usage of Bargad Chal and explore the potential side effects of using it.

2. What is Ficus Benghalensis?

Banyan Tree Bark’s botanical name is Ficus Benghalensis, some other common names are bargad, banyan, banyan fig, Indian banyan, ficus banyana oken, bar, bargad, bargat and east Indian fig. It is mainly found in the Sub-Himalayan tract and Peninsular India, it is now one of the most common and well-known trees along the country roads, shrines, or uncultivated fields in India.

The name Banyan tree in English has been given by Europeans in the Persian Gulf to a particular tree of this species under which Banias or the members of the Indian merchant class used to congregate for worship and business. Gradually, the name spread to indicate all species of this tree, from time immemorial, poets and mystics of India have been eloquent in praising this tree.

It is a well-known tree throughout India, the tree is known for its Ariel roots. Its branches drop to the ground, retake roots, and send out more twisting and trailing branches, thus extending the tree’s growth indefinitely.

3. Morphology

Leaves 

The leaves of the tree are smooth, shiny, rather stiff, and leathery roughly oval in shape. The leaves contain ficusin and bergaptene. It is beneficial for many health ailments they are good for ulcers.

Ficus Bengalensis LEAVES

Flowers 

They are inconspicuous, many of them being held together in the fig, which is a sort of pouch that contains hundreds of flowers, it has very small, separate, male, and female flowers.

Ficus Bengalensis FLOWER

Fruits 

Fruits are globose, sessile in axillary pairs with fleshy pericarp, and enclosed in the common fleshy receptacles. They are dark red in color with tiny seeds. Fruit is not edible to humans but is eaten by birds and monkeys.

Ficus Benghalensis FRUIT

Bark 

The bark of the tree is used in Ayurveda for its various medicinal health ailments, its bark is smooth, thick, green when young, grayish-white when mature, turning pink when cut. The bark of the plant is used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of diabetes.

Ficus Benghalensis BARK

4. How To Identify Banyan?

Here's a guide to help you identify a Banyan tree.

Overall Appearance

Banyan trees are large, spreading trees with a majestic appearance. They often have a wide canopy that provides ample shade.  The trunk of a mature Banyan tree is stout and massive, with aerial roots descending from the branches and forming additional trunk-like structures.

Leaves

Banyan tree leaves are large, broad, and elliptical, with pointed tips. They are alternately arranged along the branches. The leaves have prominent veins and a glossy, dark green upper surface. The underside of the leaves is usually lighter in color.

Aerial Roots

One of the most distinctive features of Banyan trees is their aerial roots, which grow from the branches and extend downward to the ground. These roots give the Banyan tree a unique, striking appearance, often forming dense networks of roots that envelop nearby structures or descend to the ground and anchor the tree.

These roots give the Banyan tree a unique, striking appearance, often forming dense networks of roots that envelop nearby structures or descend to the ground and anchor the tree.

Fruits

Banyan trees produce small, round fig fruits, known as syconia, which ripen to a reddish-purple color. The fruits are borne in clusters along the branches and often attract birds and other wildlife.

Bark

The bark of a Banyan tree is smooth when young but becomes rough and fissured with age. Older Banyan trees may exhibit distinctive patterns of bark, with patches of gray, brown, or whitish coloration.

5. Ayurvedic properties of Banyan Tree Bark

The Banyan tree, known as Ficus benghalensis in Latin, is a significant tree in Ayurveda, and different parts of the tree, including its bark, leaves, and aerial roots, are used for their therapeutic properties.

Ayurvedic properties of Banyan tree bark:

1. Rasa (Taste): Banyan tree bark is believed to have a combination of astringent (Kashaya) and sweet (Madhura) tastes.

2. Virya (Potency): It is cooling in nature (Sheeta Virya).

3. Vipaka (Post-digestive taste): The post-digestive taste is sweet (Madhura Vipaka).

4. Dosha Effects: Banyan tree bark primarily balances Pitta dosha and Kapha dosha. However, in excess, it may increase Vata dosha due to its cooling nature.

Ayurvedic Uses:

  1. Digestive Support: Banyan tree bark is used to support healthy digestion and manage digestive disorders like diarrhea and dysentery due to its astringent properties.

  2. Wound Healing: The bark can be applied topically to wounds and cuts to promote healing due to its cooling and soothing properties.

  3. Oral Health: Banyan tree bark is used for oral health benefits and can help manage dental issues like bleeding gums and mouth ulcers.

  4. Anti-inflammatory: It possesses anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to manage inflammatory conditions.

  5. Urinary Health: Banyan tree bark is used to support urinary health and manage conditions like urinary tract infections.

  6. Skin Health: It is used in certain Ayurvedic formulations to support skin health and manage skin conditions like itching and irritation.

  7. Respiratory Health: Banyan tree bark is used to manage respiratory conditions like cough and asthma due to its cooling and anti-inflammatory effects.

  8. Anti-diabetic: Banyan tree bark is believed to have anti-diabetic properties and may help in managing blood sugar levels.

6. What are the Benefits of Banyan Tree Bark?

The banyan tree bark is traditionally used in the Indian medical system, the bark and the leaf buds of the tree are useful in arresting secretion or bleeding. The fruit exercises a soothing effect on the skin and mucous membranes, alleviates swelling and pain, and serves as a mild purgative, it is also nutritious.

It has anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antibacterial, antistress and antiallergic, antioxidant, antidiarrheal, analgesic and antipyretic, antidiabetic, ameliorative, and wound healing properties. The bark is astringent and tonic and used in diabetes and leucorrhea, lumbago, sores, ulcers pains, and bruises. The aerial root is styptic, useful in syphilis, biliousness, dysentery, and inflammation of the liver.

Here are the health benefits of Indian Banyan Tree

For Diarrhea and Dysentery

The leaf buds of the banyan tree are beneficial in treating chronic diarrhea and dysentery, the latex is also useful.

For Female Sterility

Tender roots of the banyan tree are considered beneficial in treating female sterility.

For Cracked Heels

Banyan Tree sap is beneficial in healing cracks in heals.

For Leucorrhea

Douching with the lukewarm decoction of banyan bark helps to keep the vaginal tract tissues healthy. Decoction of bark and fig of the tree is helpful in leucorrhea by douching the genital parts.

For Piles

Banyan tree latex is beneficial in the treatment of piles.

For Rheumatism

Latex is commonly used locally for rheumatism, pain, and lumbago.

For Skin Disorder

Latex is commonly used locally for sores, ulcers, and bruises.

For Teeth Disorder

Cleaning teeth with the aerial roots of the banyan prevent teeth and gum disorders.

For Diabetes

Banyan bark is beneficial to treat diabetes.

Buy Ficus Benghalensis Bark Powder

7. How to Use Bargad Chal?

Ficus Bengalensis leaves are good for ulcers, aerial roots are useful in gonorrhea, and seeds and fruits are cooling and tonic The roots of Ficus Bengalensis are given for obstinate vomiting, and infusion of its bark is considered a tonic and astringent and is also used in diarrhea, dysentery, and diabetes. The bark of the plant is used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of diabetes.

Dosage and uses depend upon the health problems and conditions or as recommended by an Ayurvedic doctor. The general recommended dosage is 3-6 grams of Indian Aloe daily once a day.

Here are the uses of Ficus Bengalensis

  • Take the buds of the tree, and soak them in water overnight, drink that water, helps to treat diarrhea and dysentery.
  • Take 5 grams of root powder and mix with 1 cup of milk, take this mixture for 3 consecutive nights after the mensuration cycle till conception takes place. No other food should be taken with this.
  • Take 2 tbsp. of each powder, fig, and bark and boil with 1 liter of water, reduce it by half. Use this water for douching the genital parts. Helps women to get rid of leucorrhea.
  • Take 2-3 drops of the latex of the banyan tree and mix with milk, take daily. Helps to cure bleeding piles.
  • Taking milky juice from fresh green leaves is useful in destroying warts.
  • Chew the root stick and brush the teeth, cleanse and strengthen the teeth and gums.

8. Banyan extract for Leucorrhea

  • Measure out 3-6 grams of Banyan bark or leaves powder, depending on the severity of symptoms and individual tolerance.
  • Place the measured powder in a clean, heat-resistant container.
  • Add 2 cups of water to the container, ensuring that the powder is fully submerged.
  • Place the container with the Banyan bark or leaves powder and water on a stovetop.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and allow the mixture to cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. This process helps extract the beneficial compounds from the bark or leaves into the water.
  • Continue simmering until the volume of the liquid reduces to approximately one-fourth cup.
  • Once the decoction has simmered and reduced to the desired volume, remove it from the heat.
  • Using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, filter out any chunks or solid particles from the decoction. This ensures a smooth and clear liquid without any solid residue.
  • Allow the decoction to cool down to a lukewarm temperature, making it comfortable to consume.
  • Take approximately 15-20 ml (about one-fourth cup) of the lukewarm Banyan bark or leaves decoction.
  • Consume the decoction twice a day, preferably on an empty stomach.

9. Side Effects of Ficus Bengalensis

All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they don’ have any side effects but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have special health issues.

Some side effects are mentioned below

  • Consult the doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take without a doctor’s prescription if you are pregnant.
  • If you are on diabetes or on hypertension medication. Consult first the doctor before consuming Ficus Bengalensis.
  • Ficus Bengalensis may interact with other allopathy medicines, consult the doctor before starting Ficus Bengalensis
  • The right dosage is very important for Ficus Bengalensis, overdosage may cause vomiting and diarrhea.

10. Frequently Asked Question

Q - Is Ficus and banyan tree same?

Banyan tree botanical name is Ficus Bengalensis, it is mainly found in the Sub-Himalayan tract and Peninsular India, it is now one of the most common and well-known trees along the country roads, shrines, or uncultivated fields in India.

Q - What are the health benefits of Banyan tree?

Banyan tree bark is traditionally used in the Indian medical system, the bark and the leaf buds of the tree are useful in arresting secretion or bleeding. Here are some health benefits

  • Diarrhoea and dysentery
  • Female Sterility
  • Leucorrhoea
  • Piles
  • Rheumatism
  • Skin disorders
  • Teeth Disorders

Q - What is the common name of ficus Benghalensis?

Ficus Benghalensis is the botanical name of Banyan Tree, other common names are bargadbanyan, banyan fig, Indian banyan, ficus banyana oken, bar, bargad and bargat. 

Q - What are the medicinal properties of Banyan Tree Bark?

Banyan Tree Bark has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory properties.

Q - How is Banyan Tree Bark used in traditional medicine?

Banyan Tree Bark is used in various traditional medicine systems, including Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha, to treat various health conditions.

Q - What are the potential side effects of using Banyan Tree Bark?

There is limited scientific evidence on the side effects of Banyan Tree Bark. However, excessive consumption of Banyan Tree Bark may cause stomach upset, constipation, and diarrhea.

Q - Can Banyan Tree Bark be used for treating diabetes?

There is some evidence to suggest that Banyan Tree Bark may help regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Q - Is Banyan Tree Bark effective in treating skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis?

Banyan Tree Bark have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that could help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress associated with skin problems.

Q - How does Banyan Tree Bark help in treating respiratory problems?

Banyan Tree Bark has been traditionally used to treat respiratory problems such as cough, bronchitis, and asthma due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

Q - Can Banyan Tree Bark be used for treating digestive problems?

Banyan Tree Bark have gastroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties that could help in the management of digestive problems such as gastric ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.

Q - Is Banyan Tree Bark safe for pregnant women and children?

There is insufficient scientific evidence on the safety of Banyan Tree Bark for pregnant women and children. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a healthcare provider before using it.

Q - What are the different ways to consume Banyan Tree Bark?

Banyan Tree Bark can be consumed in the form of decoction, powder, or capsule.

Q - What are the precautions to be taken while using Banyan Tree Bark?

Banyan Tree Bark should be consumed in moderation, and it is advisable to consult a healthcare provider before using it, especially if you are taking medications.

Q - Can Banyan Tree Bark be used for treating joint pain and arthritis?

Banyan Tree Bark may have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that could help in the management of joint pain and arthritis.

Q - What are the benefits of using Banyan Tree Bark for hair and scalp health?

Banyan Tree Bark have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that could help in the management of dandruff and other scalp problems.

Q - How does Banyan Tree Bark help in treating menstrual problems in women?

Banyan Tree Bark has been traditionally used to treat menstrual problems such as irregular periods and menstrual cramps due to its antispasmodic properties.

Q - Can Banyan Tree Bark be used for treating liver problems?

Banyan Tree Bark have hepatoprotective properties that could help in the management of liver problems.

Q - Are there any contraindications for using Banyan Tree Bark with certain medications?

Banyan Tree Bark may interact with certain medications, including blood-thinning medications, diabetes medications, and immunosuppressants. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a healthcare provider before using Banyan Tree Bark if you are taking any medications.

Q - How long does it take to see the results of using Banyan Tree Bark for a particular health condition?

The time taken to see the results of using Banyan Tree Bark for a particular health condition may vary depending on the individual's age, health status, and the severity of the health condition.

Q - Can Banyan Tree Bark be used for improving immune system function?

Banyan Tree Bark may have immunomodulatory properties that could help in improving immune system function.


Older Post Newer Post


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published