Family: Moraceae

Bengali/vernacular name: Aswatha, Pipal; Pan Bot (Dhaka-Mymensingh).

Tribal name: Phrap Thi Brong (Garo); Bathi (Marma).

English name: Pipal, Bo-tree, Peepul Tree.

Description of the plant:
A large, glabrous, deciduous tree with irregularly shaped trunk and spreading crown. Leaves 10-18 cm long, coriaceous, ovate-rotund, with a long linear-lanceolate tail at the apex. Receptacles in pairs, sessile, in axills of the leaves, depressed globose, 13 mm diam., dark purple when ripe.

Using information:
Fruits are digestive, laxative and aphrodisiac; checks vomiting. The dried fruit, pulverized and taken in water for a fortnight removes asthma. The ripe fruit is cooling and alexipharmac; good for burning sensation, foul taste, thirst, biliousness and diseases of the heart. Seeds are cooling, alterative, laxative and refrigerant; useful in urinary discharges. Leaves and young shoots are purgative and used in skin diseases. Bark is astringent; infusion is given internally in scabies, ulcers and gonorrhoea. The root is good for gout; root bark is aphrodisiac; useful in stomatitis, lumbago and as an astringent in leucorrhoea (Yusuf et al. 2009).

Aquous extract of the bark is antibacterial. EtOH(50%) extract is antiprotozoal, anthelmintic and antiviral. Aquous extract of root bark contains orally effective hypoglycaemic principle (Asolkar et al., 1992). The bark extract has relaxant and spasmolytic effects on various smooth muscles in animals (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990).


Chemical constituents:
Bark contains tannins, wax and a powerful CNS stimulant and hypoglycaemic constituent, phytosterolin. Leaves contain proteins and amino acids. Fruits contain sugars, flavonoids and enzymes (Ghani, 2003).

Usually planted as an avenue and shed tree by the road side, village markets, Hindu and Buddist temples throughout the country.

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