Ficus religiosa L.
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Ficus religiosa L. in Pandanus database of Indian plant names
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 Latin nameFicus religiosa L.
 FamilyMoraceae
 Identified with (Skt)pippala, aśvattha
 Identified with (Hin)pīppal, pīplī, pīpār
 Identified with (Ben)aśvatha, aśatha, aśattha, pippal, pipul
 Identified with (Tam)aracu, acuvattam
 Identified with (Mal)arayāl
 Identified with (Eng)Peepal tree, Pipal, Sacred banyan tree, Sacred fig, Bo-tree, Ashwattha tree
 Botanical infoA deciduous widely branched tree with few aerial roots, purple fruits in pairs, grows wild all over India, also cultivated.
 Search occurrencepippala, aśvattha, in the Pandanus database of Sanskrit e-texts
 See plant's imageFicus religiosa L. in Google image search
 Encyclopedias &
 Dictionaries

Monier-Williams: A Sanskrit-English Dictionary (p. 115)
aśvattha, as, m. (ttha-stha, 'under which horses stand') the holy fig tree, Ficus Religiosa, AV.; ŚBr. &c.; a vessel made of its wood, RV. i, 135, 8; x, 97, 5; the upper (or male) araṇi made of its wood, AV. vi, 11, 1; ŚBr. xi; KātyŚr.; the plant Thespesia Populneoides, L.; N. of a Nakshatra (also called Śroṇā), Pāṇ. 4-2, 5 & 22; a N. of the sun, MBh. iii, 151; (ās), m. pl., N. of a people, VarBṛS.; (ā), f. day of full moon in the month Āśvina (in which month the fruit of the Ficus Religiosa generally becomes ripe); (ī), f. the small Pippala tree, L.; (mfn.) 'relating to the Nakshatra Aśvattha,' (with muhūrta) the moment in which the moon enters that Nakshatra, Pāṇ. 4-2, 5 Sch.

Monier-Williams: A Sanskrit-English Dictionary (p. 627)
pippala, m. the sacred fig-tree, Ficus Religiosa (commonly called Peepal) MBh. Yājñ. Var. &c. (cf. IW. 39, 3 MWB. Yājñ. Var. &c. (cf. IW. 39, 3 MWB. 515) a kind of bird L.; a nipple L.; = niraṃśuka, or -śula L.; the sleeve of a jacket or coat W.; N. of a son of Mitra and Revati BhP.; pl. N. of a school of AV. (prob. for pippalāda); (ā) f. N. of a river VP.; (ī) f. see s.v.; (pippala) n. a berry (esp. of the Peepal tree) RV. &c. &c.; sensual enjoyment BhP.; water L.; the sleeve of a coat L.

Tamil Lexicon, University of Madras (p. 34)
acuvattam: 1. Pipal

Tamil Lexicon, University of Madras (p. 118)
aracu: 01 1. Pipal, l. tr. Ficus religiosa; 02 1. Kingliness; 2. King; 3. Kingdom, territory of a ruler; 4. Government; 5. That which is pre-eminent; 6. An ancient title of Vēḷāḷa chieftains; 7. Tiru-nāvukkaracu Nayaṉār, the author of a part of the Tēvāram, an exclamation equivalent to 'check', used in chess

Dymock, Warden, Hooper: Pharmacographia Indica (vol. III, pp. 337-341)
Ficus religiosa, Ficus bengalensis, Ficus tjakela, Ficus glomerata, Urticaceae
In the Kāthaka Upanishad am eternal and cosmogonic Aśvattha or Pippal tree is described; this tree is said to have its roots above and branches bellow (ūrdhvamūlo 'vākśakha esho 'śvatthah sanāntanah); it bears the names of 'seed,' 'brahman,' 'amrita'; the worlds rest upon it; beneath it there is nothing. The wood of the Aśvattha when rubbed against that of the Sami (Acacia Suma) engenders fire, which is symbolic of reproduction, the former representing the male and the latter the female energy. At the marriage ceremony of the Hindus, both of these plants are necessary. To this mythic tree, which represented the macrocosm, wonderful medicinal properties are ascribed in the Atharvaveda; the medicine chest of the Vedic physician, and the cup to contain the Soma, are to be made of it; its branches are the Vedas. In the Vālakhilya, a collection of apocryphal hymns in the Rigveda, the marriage of the actual tree with Tulasi is enjoined; it is worshipped on Saturdays in the month of Sravan and on Somvatis or "lunar days." Women perform Pradakshina, "walking round it from left to right," to secure the survival of their husbands and good luck generally, as Savitri, the wife of Satyavan, is said to have recovered her deceased husband by its worship. The thread ceremony and marriage of the tree with the Durva (Cynodon dactylon) is also performed by women. Sacrificial spoons are still made from its wood. F. religiosa is the Budhidru, or tree of wisdom, of the Jains and Buddhists, who relate that at the birth of the Buddha an enormous Aśvattha sprung from the centre of the universe, an offshoot, no doubt, of the Vedic and cosmogonic tree. In the Rāja Nirghanta it bears the synonym of Yājnika "sacrificial," Srimana "fortunate," Vipra "wise," Sevya "worthy of worship," &c. Its root-bark, together with that of the three other species of Ficus placed at the head of this article (F. bengalensis, F. Tjakela, F. glomerata), and the root-bark of the Neem, form the Panchavalkala or "five barks," and a decoction of them (panchavalkala kashāya) is much used as a gargle in salivation, as a wash for ulcers, and as an astringent injection in leucorrhoea. The powdered root-bark of the Aśvattha, rubbed with honey, is applied to aphthae and unhealthy ulcers to promote granulation.
F. bengalensis, the Vata or Nyagrodha, has been sometimes confounded with the Aśvattha; both trees bear the synonyms Bahupada "many-footed," and Sikhandin "crested," but the Vata is specially described as Skandaja "born of the trunk," Ava-roha-śāyin "sending down branches," Skanda-ruha "growing from its own trunk," Pāda-rohana, &c. In Indian mythology an enormous Vata tree is supposed to grow upon mount Supārśva, to the south of the celestial mount Meru, and to cover eleven yojanas; in the Vishnu Purana we find a similar account of the Pippala growing on mount Vipula and covering eleven hundred yojanas. Devaki, when pregnant with Krishna, is said to have taken refuge under a Vata tree from Kansa, who had destroyed her first six children. The tree was a special favourite of the Buddha, and Arrian speaks of the Indian sages as sitting under it. There is one famous tree mentioned in the Ramayana, the Uttara Rama-charita, the Kurma-purana, and elsewhere, which still grows on an island in the Nerbudda; it is said to have been planted by the sage Kabira some two thousand years ago, and is popularly known as the Kabir Bar. Owing to the peculiar growth of these trees, there is no reason why they should not last for an indefinite period.
The figs of the Udumbara (F. glomerata) are considered to be astringent, stomachic and carminative, and are given in menorrhagia and haemoptysism, in doses of one tola of the dried fruit with sugar and honey. The fresh juice of the ripe fruit is used as a vehicle (Vern. anupān) for metallic preparations. The juice of the root is used as a tonic, is applied to glandular swellings (It is interesting to note that the juice of the F. Sycomorus, the -*- of Dioscorides, and the Jumčz of the Arabs, was used by the Greeks, and is still used in Egypt for a similar purpose, and that both trees have much the same habit. /Dios., i, 148, and Prosper Alpinus, p. 20./ The Indian Mahometans use F. glomerata as a substitute for F. Sycomorus.), and is given in doses of four tolas with cumin and sugar in gonorrhoea. The small blister-like galls, which are common on the leaves, are soaked in milk and mixed with honey as a remedy for pitting in small-pox. This tree bears the synonyms of Yajniya "sacrificial," Pavitraka "purifier," &c., and is much used in Hindu ceremonial. According to the Grihya Sutra, a married woman in the fourth month of pregnancy should be rubbed with the fruit to fortify the germ.
Mahometan and European physicians do not add much to out knowledge of the medicinal properties of these trees. Ainslie, speaking of F. glomerata, says: -"From the root of the tree, which in Tamil is called attievayr, there exudes, on its being cut, a fluid, which is caught in earthen pots, and which the Vytians consider as a Cōlpām (Tam.), that is, a powerful tonic, when drank for several days together. This Cōlpām is termed attie-vayr tannic." (Mat. Ind., ii., p.30.)
Ainslie also states that the seeds of F. religiosa are supposed to posses cooling and alterative qualities, and quotes the following passage from Bartolomeo's Voyage to the East Indies: "Pulverised, and taken in water for fourteen days together, the fruit removes asthma, and promotes fruitfulness in women." The tree is the Areālu of Rheede, and the Arbor conciliorum of Rumphius. (Mat, Ind., ii., p. 25.)
The white glutinous juice of F. bengalensis is applied as a remedy for toothache, and to the soles of the feet when cracked and inflamed. The leaves, after they have turned yellow, are given in the Concan with roasted rice in decoction as a diaphoretic; dose three leaves.


 
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