Chemical Compounds in Peepal
Help to reduce air pollution
Peepal or Pipal or Sacred Fig (Ficus Religiosa) is a large woody, fast growing deciduous tree with few or no arial roots. The Peepal tree is native to India, Bangladesh, Nepal , Pakistan, Sri Lanka,
southwest China and Indochina. It has mythological, religious and medicinal importance in Indian culture
since times immemorial!. Peepal is one of the longest living trees, hence it symbolises the continuity of life. Peepal is the
only tree which is honoured as the state tree of three Indian states, .Bihar, Haryana and Orissa.
The root, leaves; bark and fruits of the Peepal
tree contains medicinal values and cures many diseases. The Peepal tree is held sacred both by the Hindus and Buddhist. Peepal
has the great importance in India especially among Hindus and the Buddhist.
Hindus holds the great spiritual regard for the Peepal while Buddhist regard Peepal tree as the personification of Buddha.
Latin : Ficus religiosa
English : Peepal tree, Sacred Fig
Sanskrit : Aśvattha ( अश्वत्थः )
Hindi : Peepal , Pippal ( पिंपळ),
Tamil : Kaavam (கணவம்) , Arasa maram ( அரச மரம்
Malayalam : Arayal (അരയാല് )
Telugu: : Raavi (రావి)
Kannada : AraLi mara ( ಅರಳಿ ಮರ)
: PimpaL (पिंपळ)
Bengla : Ashwattha (অশ্বত্থ ) , Peepal (পিপল)
Gujarati Pipdo ( પિપળો )
Nepali : Pipal (पिपल)
Urdu :Peepal ( پیپل )
Thai - Pho ( โพธิ์ )
Peepal tree Ficus religiosa) is a large, fast growing deciduous tree. It has a
heart shaped leaves. It is a medium size tree and has a large crown with the wonderful wide spreading branches. It shed its leaves in the month of March and April.
Leaves are shiny, thin and bear 5 to 7 veins.
Fruits are small and are about ½ inch in diameter similar to that of eye pupil. It
is circular in shape, compressed. When they are raw it is of green color and when it is ripe then it turns brown or black in color. The tree fruits in
summers and gets ripened by rainy season. The fruits of the Peepal are hidden with the figs.
The figs are ripen in peepal-treethe month of May. The figs which contain the flowers grow in pairs just below the leaves and look like
the berries. Its bark is light gray and peels in patches. Its fruit is purple in colour. It is one of the longest living trees.
Peepal tree is found mainly in India, Bangladesh, Nepal , Pakistan, Sri Lanka, southwest China and
Indochina. In India it is mainly grown in State of Haryana, Bihar, Kerala, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh
Peepal tree Ficus religiosa) is grown by specialty tree plant nurseries for use as an ornamental tree
, in gardens and parks in tropical and subtropical climates. Peepal tree is easily propagated through the seeds or
through the cuttings. It can grow in any type of soil. In initial stage Peepal tree needs proper nourishment,
Peepal tree requires full sunlight and proper watering for growth.
The Peepal (Ficus religiosa) parts as bark, fruits, tender shoots and seeds are
used in traditional medicine for about 50 types of disorders including asthma, diabetes, diarrhea, epilepsy, gastric problems,
arthritis, inflammatory disorders, infectious , sexual disorders and vigour and vitality
The dry leaves powder of Peepal tree is used in Asthma. Use 5gm of this powder with honey every
morning for Asthma and Coughs.
Dysentery The leaves of peepal are used in treating dysentery.
Equal parts of tender leaves, coriander leaves and sugar are chewed slowly to relieve the condition.
Cure wounds: Tender leaves of the tree boiled with oil for some time and applied
on the wound, they heals fast.
Boils and Acne : The paste of bark of Peepal tree is used for boils and acne.
Gouty arthritis: Peepal bark powder with honey may helpful in arthritis. The tender leaves of peepal are boiled into
water and after cooling poured on the joints.
For vigour and vitality: The fruit of root, bark and tender
shoots are boiled with milk and after filter taken with sugar and honey are helpful to increase vitality.
Other Diseases : An infusion of the bark is a specific medicine for
the diseases of uterus and vagina, in vomiting, ulcers in mouth and in inflammation swellings.
The leaves are a good fodder for animals and cattle. The leaves are used for the decoration purpose. From the bark of the
Peepal tree reddish dye is extracted. Its bark yields the tannin used in treating leather. The bark yields a tenacious milky juice which hardens
into a substance resembling rubber. Its bark yields a fibre as well. The latex is used as a sealing wax to fill cavities.
The Peepal tree is held sacred both by the Hindus and Buddhist.
Hindu mythology: Peepal tree is considered to be the most auspicious tree in Hindu mythology which
says, “Peepal tree is the abode of Gods and Goddesses.” Peepal tree is also closely linked to
Lord Krishna . He says in the Bhagavad Gita, "Among trees, I am the
Ashvattha." Hindus regard it as the tree beneath which Lord Vishnu विष्णु)
was born. As of the belief that trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh or Lord Shiva (शिव)
used to reside in the tree, the roots being Brahma, the trunk Vishnu and the leaves Shiva.
Buddhist; Peepal has the great importance among the Buddhist who regard Peepal tree as the personification of Buddha. According to the
Buddha 'He who worships the Peepal will receive the same reward as if he worshiped me in person'.
Lord Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment under this tree, it is often referred to as the
Bodhi tree or the ‘Tree of Enlightenment’. Peepal tree has also symbolic meaning of Enlightenment and Peace.
Chemical Compounds in Peepal
Bark of Peepal contains 4 % tannins. Besides this it contains certain alkaloids, mineral and vitamins.
The antidote for fluoride poisoning may well lie in the Peepal and Drumstick trees. The Animal Disease Research Institute (ADRI) at
Phulnakhara to conduct a research to find this out. The basis for the research project was formed after preliminary
investigation by the Institute’s experts in the fluorosis affected zones of Angul district revealed that these plants can thwart the debilitating
effect of the disease. A project proposal for an in-depth study of the plant’s characteristics,
which will help formulate an antidote, was recently accepted by the ICAR.
Help to reduce air pollution
Generally all plants by photo-synthesis utilise carbon dioxide and release oxygen during day time. But Peepal can also do
a modified form of photosynthesis called as Crassulacean Acid Metabolism. Though they may not release large amount of oxygen by this
process but they are capable of doing photosynthesis during night. Besides this research work conducted on several plants revealed that the
Peepal releases large quantities of Isoprene a volatile organic compound necessary for preventing depletion of ozone layer concluding that these
trees play an important role in preserving ozone layer. Hence Peepal helps to reduce air pollution.
1 Singh D, Singh B, Goel RK "Traditional uses, photochemistry and pharmacology of Ficus religiosa: a review.
2. Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press
3. Journal of Ethno pharmacology Traditional uses, photochemistry and pharmacology of Ficus religiosa: A review
4. Asvalayana Srauta Sutra, Sankhayana Srauta Sutra;Macdonell and Keith 1912
5. D.S. Chauhan in Radhakrishna, B.P. and Merh, S.S. (editors): Vedic Sarasvati, 1999