Banyan trees have a variety of uses. They produce a special type of rubber, and their sticky milk is used in gardening. In the Nepal region, the milky sap is used for polishing copper and brass.
The women in Nepal crush the root of the banyan tree with a paste to create a hair and skin conditioner. The banyan tree is also used to produce shellac, which is widely used as an adhesive and surface-finisher in the industrial world.
In India its edible leaves are used as the plates. It is planted for the soil conservation. Wood is used for well curbs, door panels, boxes, furniture etc. It is suitable for paper pulp. The wood of the aerial roots is
stronger and is used for the tent poles and cart yokes. The milky latex that comes from its leaves and stems is used in many Ayurvedic medicines.
Banyan trees are a source of shellac and dye. Shellac is an important ingredient in French polish. Shellac is produced by lac insects which parasitise banyan trees.
Banyan tree is respected and is considered as sacred by the people in India. In the sacred Hindu Book 'Bhagwad Gita' Lord Krishna has sung praises on the Banyan tree. People in India grow Banyan tree closer to the
Peepal tree. As Banyan tree is considered as the male plant closely related to the Peepal tree. It symbolize Trimurti with Vishnu as the bark, Shiva as the
branches and Brahma as the roots. Indians considered Banyan tree as 'Kalpa Vriksha' the tree that fulfill all your wishes. The mighty Banyan Tree is
considered as immortal and has always been the focal point for the village communities in India. It is probably the biggest and friendliest of all trees. Banyan tree is the tree of knowledge and tree of life.
Banyan trees are sacred in South Asia, particularly to Hindus and Buddhists. The tree features in many myths. The tree represents eternal life because it supports its expanding canopy by growing special roots from its
branches. These roots hang down and act as props over an ever widening circle, reflecting the Sanskrit name bahupada, meaning 'one with many feet'.
The banyan tree is considered as sacred by various tribal communities.
Banyan is mentioned in the Buddhist Jataka tales. As Gautam Buddha sat under this tree for seven days it is regarded as holy by the Buddhists. The first Tirthankara of Jainism,
Rishabhanath received perfect knowledge under the banyan tree. Thus, it is sacred to the Jains. The tree is also associated with the life of the 15th century saint Kabir.
Vat-Pournima is celebrated on the full moon day of the Jyeshta, symbolizes the worship of the banyan tree. Jyeshta is the third month of the Hindu calendar. There is a
mythological story associated with the ceremony of Vat-Pournima which tells that
Savitri, by worshipping the banyan tree on the Jyeshta Pournima, brought back to life her dead husband by the grace of Yama, the god of death.
In Goa, Hindu married women observe a whole day of fasting and perform pooja of the banyan tree, urging the tree to grant a long, healthy and happy life to their husbands.
The main focus for research has been on the use of the banyan tree for the treatment of diabetes. So far, some compounds called leucocyanids have been
isolated from the tree and these compounds could be associated with the anti-diabetic activity of the plant. However, more research needs to be completed to understand the medicinal properties of this symbolic tree.
With the emergence of its first spa resort in Phuket, Thailand in 1995 the Banyan Tree introduced the concept of the Tropical Garden Spa. To destination spa goers worldwide, the
Banyan Tree quickly came to symbolize holistic healing and the wisdom of basing spa therapies on ancient Eastern healing techniques. The Banyan Tree also introduced the concept of health-based beauty.
With its complementary blend of health and beauty therapies, the Banyan Tree quickly became a favorite among international guests. With its low-tech, high-touch philosophy, the Banyan Tree represents a return to natural healing.
The success of its first spa led the Banyan Tree Developers to open spa resorts in other locations.
By 1998, readers of the Conde Nast Traveller recognized the Banyan Tree as the World's Best Spa. The Banyan Tree developers have opened other luxury spa resorts in Bangkok, Thailand; Bahrain, Arabia;
Sanya, Hainan Island, China; the Maldives; Bintan, Indonesia; Shanghai, China and the Seychelle Islands in the Indian Ocean.
The goal of the Banyan Tree is to provide a holistic, sensory experience.
Services include intimate retreats and natural health and beauty treatments based on ancient Eastern restorative remedies. Guests are offered healing programs on an individual basis depending on their particular needs.
Banyan tree inspired the great English poet Milton to give description of the banyan tree in Paradise Lost in the following lines.
The fig-tree at this day to Indians known
In Malabar or Deccan, spreads her arms,
Branching so broad and long, that on the ground
The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow
About the mother tree, a pillar’d shade,
High over-arched and echoing walks between.