Peepal also called Ashvatha in Sanskrit means the tree of life. The Peepal is the earliest-known depicted tree in India: a seal discovered at Mohenjodaro, one of the cities of the Indus Valley Civilisation (c. 3000 BC – 1700 BC), shows the Peepal being worshipped. It is also considered as “Bodhi” or the ‘tree of wisdom’. It is believed that the Trimurti resides there: Brahma the roots, Vishnu the trunk and Siva the leaves.
The Brahma and Padma Purana, relate how once, when the demons defeated the gods, Lord Vishnu hid in the peepal. It is also believed that Lord Vishnu has been born under this tree. Therefore, worship to Lord Vishnu is often offered to a peepal. Lord Krishna also said in Bhagwad Gita, among the trees I am Peepal.
This sacred tree native to the Indian subcontinent is a storehouse of medicinal value. According to Ayurveda every part of peepal tree – the leaf, bark, shoot, seed, and it’s fruit – has medicinal properties. Along with neem and tulsi, it provides the maximum oxygen and purifies the surroundings. It plays a vital role in preserving the ozone layer and reducing air pollution. Peepal can also exhale oxygen during the night.
Peepal or Ficus Religiosa falls in the category of astringent medicines and is useful in pacifying bleeding from different parts of the body. It is effective in healing wounds, checking excessive urination, pacifying burning sensation and curing diarrhoea. From a snake bite to asthma, skin disease, kidney disease, constipation, dysentery, impotency and various blood-related problems – peepal has a cure for all.
Coated in clarified butter, peepal leaves are applied in the form of poultice for healing swollen salivary glands and boils. The powder of the peepal fruit is used to cure asthma and latex is used in curing warts. The infusion of decoction of the peepal bark with honey is used for curing gonorrhoea. Vomiting and hiccups are controlled using freshly burnt ashes of its bark with water. The oil made from the bark is used externally for healing skin diseases such as eczema and leprosy and leaf extracts or its milk is used for curing cracked hands and heels. Consuming ripe fruits of peepal helps to get relief from cough, blood-related problems and burning sensation.