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Botanical Name: Ficus benghalensis
Common Names: Indian banyan ‘Bengal fig’ and ‘Indian fig’. In Bengali it called Bot language, it is known as bat. In Tamil, it is known as aalamaram. In Telugu, it is known as marrichettu. Sanskrit names include nyagrodha and vata. In Kannada it is known as aalada mara. In Malayalam it is known as aalmaram or Peraal and in Punjabi It is known as “bodha”
Habitat :Banyan tree is native to India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but has been imported in other tropical regions. It is also the national tree of India. The first banyan tree in the U.S. was planted by Thomas Alva Edison in Fort Myers, Florida. It was given to Edison by Harvey Firestone after Firestone visited India in 1925 and was planted in the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. The tree, originally only 4 feet tall, now covers 400 feet.
Banyan tree is a evergreen tree with spreading, often horizontal branches supported by prop roots. Bears elliptic to broadly ovate, leathery, deep green leaves, flushed bronze when young and with a distinct pattern of pale veins when mature. Spherical red figs are borne in pairs.It can grow 20 to 30m, the foilage color is dark green.
They are large trees that usually start life as a seedling growing on another tree (or on structures like buildings and bridges), where a fig-eating bird has deposited the seed. The roots descend over the trunk of the host, seeking out the soil below. Once they have rooted into this, the fig roots rapidly thicken and lignify (become wooden). Where the fig roots cross each other they fuse, thus creating a lattice around the host tree trunk. The fig competes with its host for light, water and nutrients, while its roots prevent the host trunk from growing. Eventually the host dies and rots away, leaving the fig self supporting as an ordinary tree, but with a tubular lattice of lignified roots instead of a trunk. For this reason banyans are often referred to as strangler figs.....click & see
Another unusual feature of the banyan is its ability to produce adventitious roots from the branches. This characteristic of developing aerial roots allows a single tree to spread over a large area. One famous banyan tree was planted in 1873 in Lahaina’s Courthouse Square in Hawai’i, and has grown to now cover two-thirds of an acre.
Like other members of this genus (which includes the common edible fig Ficus carica), banyans have a unique fruit and insect mediated fertilization process.
List of species: The Indian Banyan (Ficus benghalensis) can grow into a giant tree covering several hectares. The Great Banyan in the Indian Botanic Garden, Howrah, is reckoned to be the largest tree in the world.
The Chinese Banyan (Ficus microcarpa), also known as the Malayan Banyan is native from Ceylon to India, southern China, the Malay Archipelago, the Ryukyu Islands, Australia, and New Caledonia.
The Central American Banyan (Ficus pertusa) is native to Central America and northern South America, from southern Mexico south to Paraguay.
The banyan has many medical qualities. It is used in the traditional medicine for the treatment of several ailments.
Skin disorders: The banyan fruit exercises a soothing effect on the skin and mucous membrances and alleviates pain and swelling. It serves as a mild purgative too.
Arresting bleeding: The bark and the leaf bus of the banyan tree is very useful in preventing bleeding.
Diabetes: An infusion of the bark is a specific medicine for diabetes.
Vomiting: The tender ends of the aerial root can be taken in obstinate vomiting.
Dysentery & Chronic Diarhhoea: The leaf buds of the banyan tree are beneficial in thr treatment dysentery and chronic diarhhoea.
Luocorrhoea: A regular douching of genital tract with a decoction of the bark of the banyan tree and the fig tree is very helpful in lucorrhoea.
Rheumatic pain: The latex is commonly used locally for rheumatic pain and lumbago.A few drops of latex of the banyan tree mixed with milk is beneficial to cure bleeding piles.
Kibes – The cracking of heels : To deal with the problem it is useful to fill the cracks with the sap of banyan tree.
Female Sterility: Tender roots of banyan tree are considered beneficial in the treatment of female sterility.A hot polutice of the banyan leaves can be applied with beneficial to abscesses to promote suppuration and to hasten their breaking.
Warts: The milky juice from the fresh green banyan leaves is useful to destroy warts.
Ulcers: The latex of the banyan tree is commonly used locally for ulcers,bruises and sores.
Teeth Disorders: Cleaning the teeth with the arial roots of the banyan tree is beneficial in preventing teeth and gum disorders.
Leaves of banyan tree yield ficusin and bergaptene . Latex of the tree is very much toxic
Banyan tree is the National tree of the Republic of India.It’s huge spreaded structures gives shade to birds & graging cattles,the fruit is eaten by birds & squirrels,leaves are eaten by goats & cows..
Known Hazards: The foliage and milky sap of all figs can sometimes be an irritant to skin and eyes for especially sensitive people, but most people are not effected.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources: Help taken from :en.wikipedia.org and book named miracles of herbs
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- Be a Banyan Tree (andrewbwatt.wordpress.com)
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