Sacred fig is a species of fig native to the Indian Subcontinent and Indochina that belongs to Moraceae, the fig or mulberry family. It is also known as the bodhi tree, pippala tree, peepul tree,
peepal tree or ashwattha tree (in India and Nepal).
The sacred fig is considered to have a religious significance in three major religions that originated on the Indian subcontinent, Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Hindu and Jain ascetics consider the tree to be sacred and often meditate under them. This is the tree under which gautama Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment. The sacred fig is the state tree of the Indian states of Odisha and Haryana.
In Malayalam it is called Arayal (Ficus Religiosa, Linn) is a large deciduous tree found throughout the Indian subcontinent. It is also known as Peepalam. This tree is considered sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists. There is evidence from Harappa and others that trees were worshiped even before the advent of these religions. However, with the advent of atheistic philosophies such as Buddhism and Samkhya, the importance of banyan trees increased. There are records that Emperor Ashoka anointed a Bodhi tree with a thousand jugs of rose water. Worship of palm trees and worship of deities who are believed to reside in them are still practiced in many parts of India today as in ancient times. In addition, various parts of it are used as an ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicines.
These trees are very long lasting. The Mahabodhi tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka is believed to have existed for more than two and a half thousand years. Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment while meditating at the base of a Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya. It is believed that the Mahabodhi tree of Anuradhapura was grown from the sapling of that Bodhi tree. This tree is sacred to Buddhists. The seeds of the banyan tree germinate and grow without soil. Even if the seeds are blown away by the wind and fall on the walls or gutters of the house, they will start to germinate.
Al tree grows well in fertile soils
Although they do not have soil, they absorb as much water and nutrients as possible from the air. The Upanishads cite these as examples for students to grow in any adverse conditions. This is an attempt by the tree to provide more nutrients. These roots receive moisture from the air and nitrogen from dust and dead insects. The branches of this large tree are broad and spreading. The roots attached to the stem feel like they are making big holes in the stem.
It is used in traditional medicine for about fifty types of disorders including asthma, diabetes, diarrhea, epilepsy, gastric problems, inflammatory disorders, infectious and sexual disorders.