The Peepal tree is a tropical plant that has many beneficial medicinal properties and is recognized for its spiritual and religious significance. Ayurvedic literature mentions various therapeutic properties of the Peepal tree. Let us learn more about the fantastic Peepal tree, which several Indian myths call the ‘Tree Of Life.’
Botany Of The Peepal Tree
The Peepal tree is a tall, wide-trunked tree that grows as high as 100 feet above the ground. The unique feature of the Peepal tree is that it can grow as wide as it is tall. Pimpal, Ashvattha, Arayal, Bodhi tree, and sacred fig are some other names for the Peepal tree. Botanists call the Peepal tree Ficus religiosa, and they have classified it under the botanical family Moraceae.
The Peepal tree has a grey-brown, broad, and strong trunk that sprawls into a heavily branched tree. The peculiarly heart-shaped, dark green Peepal leaves are perennial and do not shed.
The Peepal fruit often grows in pairs of two and has a green color that matches the leaves. The fruit ripens to develop a distinct purple hue.
Pollination by birds may form long aerial roots that dangle from the branches of the Peepal tree. The aerial roots are known as Banyans (not to be confused with the Banyan tree) and give the Peepal tree its characteristic sprawling appearance.
Peepal Tree: A Wonder Medicine
The mighty Peepal tree has medicinal properties used in Ayurvedic treatment for various health conditions.
- Pain Relief
The juice obtained from the leaves or the bark of Peepal trees is known for its analgesic properties. The pain relief properties of the Peepal tree may be attributed to its anti-inflammatory effect on various body organs. Peepal leaf juice may be used to treat joint complaints, migraine, stomach pain and other pains of inflammatory origin.
- Digestive Tonic
In the olden times, Ayurvedic physicians used medicines imbibed with Peepal juice to treat diarrhea, worms, digestive tract ulcers, and other digestive disorders. The powdered bark of the Peepal tree may have a positive effect in controlling vomiting and reducing the impact of excess Kapha dosha. An interesting fact about the Peepal tree is that it effectively treats both diarrhea and constipation.
- Heart Healthy
Medicinal extracts from distilling the Peepal leaves are an excellent tonic for cardiac health. Ayurvedic physicians may use Peepal-based medicines to restore the strength of weak heart muscles. Mild to moderate palpitations may also respond to treatment with the juice of Peepal leaves.
- Respiratory Cleansing
The dried Peepal fruit yields a medicinal powder with excellent therapeutic efficacy in combating asthma and pneumonia. Coughs of all types, particularly whooping cough, are likely to respond well to treatment with the powder of dried Peepal leaves. Peepal fruit powder is an excellent decongestant that clears your respiratory airways.
- Skin Friendly
A medicinal decoction prepared by distilling the juice of Peepal tree bark is helpful in treating eczema. Skin conditions causing itching, scab formation, and uneven eruptions may respond well to treatment with Peepal extract. Non-healing skin wounds and ulcerations may also be treated with Peepal-based medicinal applications.
Besides the above health conditions, various parts of the Peepal tree also have therapeutic power against kidney disorders, infections, and nerve disorders. Medicinal extract or powders obtained from the Peepal tree and its parts should be used only at the discretion of an Ayurvedic physician. The medicinal properties of the Peepal tree are effective only when the extract or powder is processed and consumed in a specific manner.
How Does Peepal Tree Enhance Your Spiritual Well-being?
Spiritual well-being is an important yet sadly ignored aspect of our well-being. The principles of Yoga state that every person’s well-being will be in a state of perfect harmony when they are spiritually, mentally, and physically healthy. Spiritual well-being focuses on understanding oneself and discovering one’s true purpose and happiness through introspection.
Since ancient times people have closely associated the Peepal tree with spiritual growth. The Peepal tree has the most extended lifespan among all the trees that botanists have studied. According to Yogic philosophy, one can increase lifespan by working dedicatedly toward spiritual enlightenment. In the olden times, sages, hermits, and Yogis often sat under a Peepal tree to meditate and perform other spiritual practices.
Eastern cultures often associate the Peepal tree with happiness, contentment, good luck, and prosperity. The Peepal tree’s sprawling appearance causes it to cast a vast shadow, symbolizing giving and selfless behavior, which are essential qualities for a person who seeks spiritual enlightenment.
The shade of a Peepal tree is believed to create a positive and calming environment that is crucial to connect oneself. The great Gautam Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was formerly a royal prince who sought to break the shackles of emotions that the material world bestowed on humanity. He meditated while sitting under a Peepal tree, where he eventually attained spiritual enlightenment. Thus, the Peepal tree gained the name of the ‘Bodhi’ tree; Bodhi signifies the final spiritual enlightenment as per the principles of Buddhism.
Religious Importance Of Peepal Tree
Forests and nature have been profoundly associated with religion for a long time. The Peepal tree ranks high among the crucial plants from a religious perspective. The Peepal tree is revered and utilized for several spiritual practices by followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
The Upanishads and Vedas, two of the most sacred Hindu religious scriptures, state that the Peepal tree is the paradise of Gods. Hindus worship the Peepal tree on Saturdays, for they believe that on this day, Lord Vishnu (the protector of the Universe) and his wife, Goddess Lakshmi (the Hindu deity of wealth), reside within the tree. The Brahma Purana is a revered Hindu scripture that states that Lord Vishnu was born under a Peepal tree’s shade. As per a Hindu legend, Lords Brahma (the creator of the Universe), Vishnu, and Mahesha (the destroyer of the Universe) held councils under the Peepal trees. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna compares himself with a Peepal tree. The Peepal tree is sacred to Hindus because several deities are closely associated with the tree.
The Peepal tree is revered and deeply respected among followers of Buddhism. Prince Siddhartha, known as Gautam Buddha, attained salvation while meditating under a Peepal tree. Gautam Buddha preached non-violence and spirituality and was the founder of Buddhism.
Followers of the Jain religion consider the Peepal tree auspicious and worship it to ward off evil energy.
Worshipping the Peepal tree is said to bestow people with fame, good luck, prosperity, and wealth. Astrologers often advise you to worship and water the Peepal tree on specific days or times to enhance your fortunes. Ancient traditions in various Indian communities revolve around using the Peepal tree parts to ward off the evil eye. Most Hindu cultures discourage cutting Peepal trees or separating the tree and its roots, for Gods reside within it.
The Peepal tree has great Ayurvedic as well as religious importance. Please VISIT our blog section to learn about more such trees, shrubs, and herbs with immense medicinal properties and great spiritual significance.