Ficus benghalensis (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Introduction
List of species


Ficus benghalensis L.

Protologue: Sp. pl. 2: 1059 (1753).

Synonyms

  • Ficus indica L. (1753),
  • Ficus lasiophylla Link (1822),
  • Ficus banyana Oken (1841).

Vernacular names

  • Banyan tree, Indian banyan (En)
  • Indonesia: beringin India
  • Malaysia: banyan (general), ara tandok, bohdi (Peninsular)
  • Burma (Myanmar): pyi-nyaung
  • Thailand: krang, ni khrot (central)
  • Vietnam: da lá tròn.

Distribution

Originally from India and Pakistan but widely planted in Indo-China, Thailand and in the Malesian region and locally naturalized.

Uses

The leaves are used to remedy dysentery and diarrhoea, and are applied to abscesses as a poultice to promote suppurations and discharge of pus. In a decoction with toasted rice, the leaves are used as a diaphoretic. The bark is tonic and diuretic, an infusion is antidiabetic and a decoction is used as an astringent in leucorrhoea. A decoction of root fibres is useful against gonorrhoea, whereas the tender ends of aerial roots are used for obstinate vomiting. An infusion of the twigs is good for haemoptysis. The milky latex is used against pains and fever, rheumatism and lumbago, toothache, and applied to cracked and inflamed soles. The concentrated latex plus fruit is aphrodisiac and used to treat spermatorrhoea and gonorrhoea. The fruit is tonic and has a cooling effect.

Observations

  • A deciduous to evergreen, wide-spreading banyan up to 20(-25) m tall, with copious aerial roots, bark surface smooth, grey.
  • Leaves arranged spirally, ovate or broadly ovate to elliptical, 10-30 cm × 7-20 cm, base cordate, apex blunt to rounded, margin entire, with 5-7 pairs of lateral veins, puberulous below, stipules 1.5-2.5 cm long.
  • Figs paired, sessile, globose to depressed globose, 15-25 mm in diameter, puberulous, orange to red or pinkish-red when ripe; male flowers many, shortly stipitate, with 2-3 tepals and 1 stamen, female flowers sessile, with 3-4 tepals.


F. benghalensis occurs in evergreen to deciduous lowland forest.

Selected sources

9, 167, 248, 281, 284, 478, 795, 874, 921, 1115, 1178, 1191, 1289, 1404. medicinals

Authors

  • J.P. Rojo, F.C. Pitargue & M.S.M. Sosef