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Medico-historical review of Nyagrŏdha (Ficus bengalensis Linn.).

Authors
  • Varanasi, Subhose
  • Narayana, A
Type
Published Article
Journal
Bulletin of the Indian Institute of History of Medicine (Hyderabad)
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2007
Volume
37
Issue
2
Pages
167–178
Identifiers
PMID: 19580111
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Nyagrŏdha the Banyan tree (Ficus bengalensis Linn.) is a sacred medicinal plant since Vedic times. The English name Banyan is given by the Britishers to this tree because under the tree Banias i.e., the Hindu merchants used to assemble for business. The triad Ganges, the Himalayas and the Banyan tree are symbolise the images of India, hence it is considered as National Tree. Ficus means fig and bengalensis means belonging to or is of Bengal. To the most of Indians it is Sacred and symbolizes all three Gods of Hindus. The bark represents Lord Visnu, Brahma the roots and Siva the branches. Since Vedic times its small branches are used in Yajña (a sacrificial rite) and known for its giant structure. Alexander the Great is said to have camped under a banyan tree, which was big enough to shelter his whole army of 7,000 men. As per Vĕda it checks the environmental pollution and one of the source of Lăksă (Lac). Its medicinal importance is well documented in Ayurvĕda literature. However, more research needs for understanding the medicinal properties of this symbolic tree.

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