Ficus benghalensis L.

Last updated: 25 Aug 2016

Scientific Name

Ficus benghalensis L.

Synonyms

Ficus banyana Oken, Ficus benghalensis var. benghalensis, Ficus benghalensis var. krishnae (C.DC.) Corner, Ficus chauvieri G.Nicholson, Ficus cotoneifolia Vahl, Ficus cotoneifolia Vahl, Ficus crassinervia Kunth & C.D. Bouché [Invalid], Ficus karet Baill., Fiscus krishnae C.DC., Ficus lancifolia Moench, Ficus lasiophylla Link, Ficus procera Salisb., Ficus pubescens B.Heyne ex Roth, Ficus umbrosa Salisb., Perula benghalensis Raf., Urostigma benghalense (L.) Gasp., Urostigma crassirameum Miq., Urostigma procerum Miq., Urostigma pseudorubrum Miq., Urostigma rubescens Miq., Urostigma sundaicum Miq., Urostigma tjiela Miq. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Ara tandok, banyan, bohdi [2]
English Banyan, banyan tree, East Indian fig tree, Indian bayan [2]
China Jung [2]
India Aaladamara, achhaya, al, ala, bahupadakandhajanma, bargat, dhruva, goli, karmaja, mandala, marri, padarohona, peral, raktaphala, rohina, shikhandin, skandaja, vada, vanaspati, vrikshanath, wad, war, yakshataru, yamapriya [2]
Indonesia Beringin India [2]
Thailand Krang, ni khrot [2]
Nepal Bar, barahar, borhar [2]
Sri Lanka Al, arla, maha-nuga [2]
Tibet Nya gro dha, nya-gro-dha [2]
Vietnam Da l[as] tr[of]n [2]
Japan Ban-garu-bodai-ju [2]

Geographical Distributions

Ficus benghalensis is originally from India and Pakistan but widely planted in Indo-China, Thailand and naturalised in the Malesian region. [3]

F. benghalensis occurs in evergreen to deciduous lowland forest. [3]

Botanical Description

F. benghalensis is a member of the family Moraceae. It is a deciduous to evergreen, wide spreading banyan up to 20(-25) m tall. The bark surface is smooth and grey. [3]

The leaves are arranged spirally, egg-shaped or broadly egg-shaped to elliptical size 10-30 cm x 7-20 cm. The base is heart-shaped. The apex is blunt to round, margin entire with 5-7 pairs of lateral veins. It is lately hairy below. The stipules are 1.5-2.5 cm long. [3]

The male flowers are many and short stalked, with 2-3 segments of floral leaf and 1 stamen. The female flowers are sessile, with 3-4 segments of floral leaf. [3]

The figs are paired and sessile, spherical to depressed spherical size 15-25 mm in diametre, lately hairy with orange to red or pinkish-red when ripe. [3]

It is supported with copious aerial roots. [3]

Cultivation

No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

F. benghalensis has been reported to contain β-sitosterol, caoutchouc, ester of si-taraxasterol, friedelin, leucoanthocyanidin, leucoanthocyanin, leucopelargonidin-3-O-α-L-rhamnoside, quercetin-3-galactoside, resins, rutin, and tiglic acid. [4]

Plant Part Used

Bark, leaves, latex and fruit. [4][5]

Traditional Use

Actions attributed to F. benghalensis by traditional practitioners include it being astringent, haemostatic, and anti-inflammatory. It is also considered to be acrid, sweet, refrigerant, anodyne, vulnerary, depurative, anti-inflammatory, ophthalmic, styptic, antiarthritic, diaphoretic, antidiarrhoeal, antiemetic and tonic. [4][5]

The F. benghalensis leaves are good for promoting the healing of ulcers, abscesses and leprosy. The bark also helps in promoting healing of ulcers, skin diseases and gonorrhea. The latex is useful in the treatment of neuralgia, rheumatism, lumbago, bruises, nasitis, odontopathy, haemorrhoids, gonorrhea, inflammations, and cracks of the sole and skin diseases. The aerial roots have been applied topically in cases of acne vulgaris. [4][5][6]

The bark and leaves are used in the treatment of vaginal disorders, leucorrhoea, menorrhagia and deficient lactation. They are also believed to promote fertility and cure debility. The decoction of the bark or of the aerial roots is used to treat leucorrhoea and other forms of vaginal discharge. For infertility the leaf-bud had been prescribed. [4][5]

The bark and leaves had been used to treat diabetes mellitus, diarrhea and dysentery. To check diarrhoea Charaka prescribed aqueous extract of leaf-buds mixed with sugar and honey. For haemorrhages and bleeding piles, milk processed with the aerial roots or leaf-buds were prescribed. The decoction of leaf-buds or aerial roots with honey helps check vomiting and relieve thirst. Infusion of the bark helps in seminal weakness, nervous disorders, and burning sensation of the skin. [4][5][6]

Preclinical Data

Pharmacology

Antidiabetic activity

F. benghalensis was amongst the plants included in a comparative study to evaluate the hypoglycaemic activity of Indian medicinal plants in alloxan diabetic rats. It was found that the crude ethanolic extract of the plant exhibit significant antidiabetic activity. [7]

Antioxidant activity

Panchvalkala, an Ayurvedic preparation, has F. benghalensis bark as one of its components. The study on the preparation and its component herbs individually showed significant antiradical activity with good superoxide scavenging potential ranging from 41.55 to 73.56 microg). [8]

Immunomodulatory activity

The aqueous extract of the aerial roots of F. benghalensis showed immunostimulant activity in SRBC induced hypersentivity reaction and haemagglutination reactions in rats. It also significantly increase the percentage of phagocytosis by human neutrophils in vitro. This proves that the aqueous extract of the aerial roots exhibited both cell mediated and antibody mediated immune response. [9]

Wound healing activity

Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of roots of F. benghalensis were evaluated for their wound healing activity. Results showed that they were able to increase the breaking strength, decrease the period of epithelialization, increase percentage of wound contraction and increase hyroxyproline content significantly. Between the two, the aqueous extract seems to be better. [10][11]

Toxicity

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation

Dosage

No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing

164

Figure 1: The line drawing of F. benghalensis [3]

References

  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Ficus benghalensis L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 Aug 25]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2809652
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume III E-L. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 226-227.
  3. Nguyen QB. Amomum aculeatum Roxb. In: de Padua LS, Bunyapraphatsara N, Lemmens RHMJ, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers, 1999; p. 281-282
  4. Khare CP. Indian herbal remedies: Rational western therapy, ayurvedic, and other traditional usage, botany. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2004; p. 216-218.
  5. Warrier PK, Nambiar VPK, Ramankutty C, editors. Indian medicinal plants: A compendium of 500 species. Volume 3. Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 1995; p. 20–23
  6. Khare CP, editor. Indian medicinal plants: An illustrated dictionary. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2007; p. 264.
  7. Kar A, Choudhary BK, Bandyopadhyay NG. Comparative evaluation of hypoglycaemic activity of some Indian medicinal plants in alloxan diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Jan;84(1):105-108.
  8. Anandjiwala S, Bagul MS, Parabia M, Rajani M. Evaluation of free radical scavenging activity of an ayurvedic formulation, panchvalkala. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2008;70(1):31-35.
  9. Khan T, Tatke P, Gabhe SY. Immunological studies on the aerial roots of the Indian banyan. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2008;70(3):287-291.
  10. Murti K, Kumar U, Panchal M. Healing promoting potentials of roots of Ficus benghalensis L. in albino rats. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2011;4(11):921-4.
  11. Garg VK, Paliwal SK. Wound-healing activity of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of Ficus benghalensis. J Adv Pharm Technol Res. 2011;2(2):110-114.