Home Blogs Herbs Peepal: Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

Peepal: Health Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

By NS Desk | Herbs | Posted on :   19-Dec-2020

Peepal is a large evergreen tree that is believed to be sacred in the Indian subcontinent. It has great religious significance in three major religions thriving in the area, namely – Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. Ascetics from various religions are often found meditating under them. It is the tree under which Gautam Buddha is said to have received enlightenment while meditating. Also known as the sacred fig, the Peepal tree has been chosen as the state tree of Odisha, a state on India's eastern coastline.
 
Scientifically known as 'Ficus religiosa,' the Peepal tree is a species of fig indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. It belongs to the family 'Moraceae,' that is, the fig or mulberry family. Along with religious significance, Peepal also has great scientific value. It releases huge volumes of lung-cleansing oxygen into the environment, not only during the day but even at night. Different parts of the tree, such as roots, stem, seeds, fruits, leaves, and even the bark, serve several medicinal purposes as each has a different therapeutic property. Managing high blood sugar levels, constipation, asthma, skin diseases, wound healing, reducing inflammation due to eczema, diarrhea, and managing respiratory issues are some of the remedial purposes that parts of the Peepal tree serve. However, Peepal is known to have caused allergies in some hypersensitive individuals. So, it is prudent to use any preparation derived from Peepal under medical supervision only.
 
Other Names of The Peepal Tree
The Peepal tree has come to acquire several names throughout history. Scientifically known as ‘Ficus religiosa,' some of its other common names are – Pippala, Ahant, Asvattha, Ashud, Ashvattha, Piplo, Jari, Piparo, Pipalo, Pipala, Pipal, Arlo, Ranji, Basri, Ashvatthanara, Ashwatha, Aralimara, Aralegida, Ashvathamara, Basari, Ashvattha, Bad, Arayal, Pimpal, Pippal, Aswatha, Ashwarthan, Arasamaram, Arasan, Arasu, Arara, and Ravichettu.
 
Historical Uses of Peepal
Different parts of the Peepal tree have been used for a long for a wide range of medicinal services. Pastes for application on the skin and tonics for consumptions made from Peepal have been in practice for a long time. It has been a primary herb for the natives to prepare simple and basic forms of medicines for common ailments.
 
Treating Diseases/Health Problems Using Parts of The Peepal Tree 
Different parts of the Peepal tree can be used to treat several medical problems. They can also be used in several forms. Some of them are listed below. 
 
• Diarrhoea 
Peepal is regarded as an effective remedy for diarrhea. According to Ayurveda, Diarrhoea is known as Atisar, is caused due to numerous reasons. Some of them are improper food, accumulation of toxins in the body, impure water, mental stress, and Agnimandya or weak digestive fire. These factors combined together aggravate the Vata, which brings fluid into the intestine, causing the stool to get mixed with it and become loose and watery, which is a characteristic feature of diarrhea. Using Peepal bark powder is known to control this water loss from the body and consequently make the stool thicker due to its Kashaya or astringent and Sangrahi or absorbent properties.
 
Tips for Usage 
- Take 2-4 grams of Peepal bark powder.
- Add it to 1 cup of water and boil for 10 minutes till the liquid reduces to ¼ of its original quantity. 
- Strain it and have 15-20 ml twice a day (or as directed by the physician).
 
• Menorrhagia 
Excessive secretion of menstrual blood or Menorrhagia is also known as Raktapradar or heavy menstrual bleeding. According to Ayurveda, this is caused due to an aggravated Pitta dosha. Peepal bark helps control this aggravated Pitta dosha and reduces heavy menstrual bleeding due to its Sita or cold and Kashaya or astringent properties.
 
Tips for Usage 
- Take 1-1.5 grams of Peepal bark powder (or as directed by physician). 
- Swallow with water once or twice a day to achieve the desired effect. 
 
• Constipation 
According to Ayurveda, constipation is the result of an aggravated Vata and Pitta dosha. Some of the causes for the same include stress, depression, irregular sleep schedule, and excessive intake of tea, coffee, and junk food. Peepal leaves juice or pills are known to help relieve constipation due to their Rechana or laxative nature. This helps make the process of waste removal from the body smooth.
 
Tips for Usage
- Take 5-10 ml of Peepal leaves juice (or as directed by physician). 
- Mix with mild hot water and drink before bed to relieve constipation. 
 
• Epistaxis 
Epistaxis refers to bleeding from the nose. Nasal bleeding indicates an aggravation of the Pitta dosh, according to Ayurveda. Peepal is considered to be a useful herb to control nasal bleeding as its Kashaya or astringent nature helps in thickening the blood, which inhibits the bleeding. It also helps reduce inflammation because of its anti-inflammatory properties, which are a result of its Sita or cold nature.
 
Tips for Usage 
- Put 1-2 drops of Peepal juice into each nostril to control the bleeding (or as directed by the physician).
 
• Wound Healing 
According to Ayurveda, Peepal's Ropan or healing properties help in quick healing of wounds, decrease swelling, and help skin grow back. It also helps to restrict the bleeding due to its Sita (cold) and Kashaya (astringent) properties.
 
Tips for Usage 
- Take 2-3 grams of Peepal bark powder. 
- Mix honey and stir to make a thick paste. 
- Apply it externally on the affected area and leave to dry for 15-20 minutes. 
 
How to Consume Peepal?
Peepal can be used both internally as well as externally. The steps to consume it has been summarized below.
 
1. Peepal Bark Powder
- Take 1-1.5 grams of Peepal bark powder (or as directed by physician).
- Swallow it once or twice a day (or as advised). 
- This helps to get rid of indications of Menorrhagia.
 
2. Peepal Leaves Juice 
- Take 5-10 ml of Peepal leaves juice (or as directed by physician). 
- Mix with mild hot water and drink before going to bed. 
- This helps to get rid of constipation. 
 
3. Peepal Bark Decoction 
- Take 2-4 grams of Peepal bark powder. 
- Add 1 cup water and boil for 10 minutes till the only ¼ of the original quantity remains.
- Strain and drink 15-20 ml per day (or as directed by physician). 
- This helps to get rid of symptoms of diarrhea.
 
How to Use Peepal for External Application?
Peepal is beneficial to the skin and can be used for the same in a variety of ways, including for healing wounds. Some easy methods are listed below, which can be made at home without much difficulty.
 
1. Peepal Leaves Juice 
- Put 1-2 drops of Peepal leaves juice in each nostril (or as directed by physician). 
- This helps to control epistaxis or nasal bleeding. 
 
2. Peepal Bark Powder 
- Take 2-3 grams of Peepal bark powder or as much is required. 
- Mix honey and stir to obtain a thick paste. 
- Apply it to the affected area and leave to dry for 15-20 minutes.
- This helps in the quick healing of wounds.
 
Precautionary Expert Advice 
Even though Peepal provides a lot of health and medicinal benefits, it is essential to keep a few points in mind with regard to its safe consumption, which can become problematic if not adhered to.
1. Pregnant women should consult their physicians before taking Peepal in any form.
2. Peepal is known to cause allergies or skin rashes in some individuals due to latex presence in its fruit. Therefore, it is advisable to consult your physician before applying Peepal in any form on the skin.
 
Frequently Asked Questions 
Some frequently asked questions are answered below to help with better understanding and to clarify common doubts. 
 
1. Can we eat Peepal leaves?
Yes, Peepal leaves are edible. However, it is recommended to wash them properly before consumption. Tea made with Peepal leaves is also beneficial for health. It makes you feel rejuvenated and helps remedy mild skin diseases like patches and itching. 
 
2. What is the lifespan of the Peepal tree?
The Peepal is an evergreen tree best suited to the hot and humid weather prevailing in the Indian subcontinent. Its lifespan is about 900 to 1500 years. 
 
3. How to make Peepal leaves juice?
Peepal juice can be made by following the simple steps given below.
- Take a few freshly plucked leaves of Peepal. 
- Wash thoroughly. 
- Crush or grind them to extract the juice. 
- Peepal juice is also available in the market in packed containers. 
 
4. Does Peepal show any anti-fertility property?
Scientifically, Peepal fruits may show an anti-fertility property in females. This is due to the presence of some specific constituents in the fruits, such as terpenoids, glycosides, and flavonoids. Scientific research and studies suggest that these compounds promote anti-implantation activities that inhibit the fertilized egg from getting embedded in the uterine lining.
 
5. Can Peepal help in diabetes?
Due to the presence of certain antioxidant compounds, Peepal exhibits anti-diabetic properties. Two such compounds present are β-sitosterol-D-glucoside and phytosterolin. These constituents prevent the damage of pancreatic cells by free radicals and hence enhance insulin secretion to a great extent. Consequently, this helps in reducing blood pressure levels.
 
6. Is Peepal good for the heart?
Due to antioxidants' presence, Peepal is considered to be very good for the heart when consumed as an ingredient in a variety of food products. The antioxidants prevent cardiac damage and clear the blockage of arteries due to free radicals. It also improves the cholesterol levels in the body and is believed to enhance the functioning of the heart overall.
 
7. Does Peepal help improve asthmatic conditions?
Scientifically, Peepal leaves or Peepal fruit powder may help regulate asthmatic conditions due to its anti-allergic nature. It prevents bronchoconstriction or the narrowing of the airways in the lungs, which is caused by certain compounds such as histamine and acetylcholine. Thus, it helps in easing the process of breathing considerably.
According to Ayurveda, due to the Kapha balancing nature of Peepal, it helps manage asthma symptoms. It gives relief in asthmatic conditions by helping in the expulsion of excessive sputum. It is usually used in the form of Peepal leaves or Peepal fruits dry powder for this purpose.
 
8. Can Peepal be used to treat Parkinson's disease?
Peepal leaves are considered to be beneficial for people suffering from Parkinson's disease as it helps to enhance the motor performances and capabilities of an individual. The antioxidants present in Peepal help relieve oxidative stress and help prevent cell damage by countering free radicals' action.
 
9. Is Peepal beneficial in managing constipation?
Yes, due to the presence of certain compounds such as flavonoids and sterols, Peepal leaf powder might help get relief from constipation. These compounds show a distinct laxative property that helps to loosen the stool and promote bowel movements. 
According to Ayurveda, Peepal helps in maintaining healthy digestion. Due to its Kashaya or astringent properties and Sangrahi or absorbent properties, Peepal helps to manage diarrhea. On the other hand, it also helps to get relief from constipation due to its Rechana or laxative property.
 
10. Does Peepal help in wound healing?
Peepal contains certain compounds that exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which might help in the healing of wounds. Researches and studies show that applying Peepal leaf extract on wounds promotes its closure and contraction. It helps in the formation of new skin cells by promoting the synthesis of collagen. Its antimicrobial properties also help to reduce the risk of infection in the wound.
 
11. Can Peepal be used to treat Ulcers?
Certain constituents in Peepal show gastroprotective and anti-ulcer properties. It decreases the volume of gastric juice, subsequently decreasing the total acidity and increasing the gastric pH in the stomach. This prevents ulcers by protecting the gastric cells against acid damage.
 
12. Is Peepal beneficial in Arthritis?
Due to the presence of certain constituents exhibiting anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, Peepal shows antiarthritic properties to some extent. By inhibiting the activity of inflammatory proteins, these compounds reduce pain and inflammation. Thus, Peepal is believed to help relieve Arthritis symptoms by reducing the joint pain and swelling associated with the disease. 
 
13. Is Peepal helpful in eczema?
Even though enough scientific evidence is not available to solidify Peepal's role in eczema treatment, it is believed to be helpful due to its anti-inflammatory nature.
However, according to Ayurveda, Peepal does help control the symptoms associated with the disease like eruptions. When applied to the affected area, the powder of Peepal bark proves effective due to its Ropan (healing) and Kashaya (astringent) properties.

NS Desk

Are you an Ayurveda doctor? Download our App from Google PlayStore now!

Download NirogStreet App for Ayurveda Doctors. Discuss cases with other doctors, share insights and experiences, read research papers and case studies. Get Free Consultation 9625991603 | 9625991607 | 8595299366

Read the Next

view all