Review Article religiosa Linn. (Peepal): A Phyto-Pharmacological Review

Sunita Panchawat

Department of Pharmacognosy, Bhupal Noble’s Girls’ College of Pharmacy, Udaipur, , . ______ABSTRACT is known to be a native Indian tree. It is a familiar sight in Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries and shrines, villages and at roadsides. It is known to be a sacred in India and since ancient times it is widely being used to treat various ailments like skin diseases, heart diseases, constipation, dysentery, snakebite and important constituent of various traditional herbal preparations like vati, chandraprabha vati, kaminivindravan rasa. In recent studies Ficus religiosa has been investigated for presence of a wide range of phytoconstituents viz. glycosides, flavonoids, tannin, terpenoids and sterol. This compilation provides comprehensive review of its ethnopharmacological use, phytochemistry, phytopathology, pharmacological activities, traditional and medicinal use.

Keywords: Ficus religiosa, phytochemistry, Phytopathology, antioxidant, pharmacological activities.

INTRODUCTION Ficus religiosa is a variety of fig tree that Vedic history was already known as the bodhi tree, The Brahma Purana and the Padma even before Gautama Buddha sat under Purana, relate how once, when the its branches meditating and achieved demons defeated the Gods, Vishnu hide enlightenment. It is the oldest depicted in the peepal. Therefore spontaneous tree in Indian art and literature and it can worship to Vishnu can be offered to a be said that this is the mythical 'World peepal without needing his image or Tree' or the 'Tree of Life' of the Indian subcontinent. This plant is considered temple. The Skanda Purana also sacred by the followers of , considers the peepal, a symbol of Vishnu. and Buddhism, and hence the He is believed to have been born under name 'Sacred Fig' was given to it. this tree. Some believe that the tree Siddhartha Gautama is referred to have houses the Trimurti, the roots being been sitting underneath a Tree when Brahma, the trunk Vishnu and the leaves he was “enlightened” (Bodhi) or Shiva. The Gods are said to hold their "awakened" (Buddha). Thus, Bo Tree is councils under this tree and so it is well-known symbol for happiness, associated with spiritual understanding. prosperity, longevity and good luck1. The peepal is also closely linked to Peepal tree or sacred fig is a large Krishna. In the Bhagavad Gita, he says: deciduous tree. It is often planted near "Among trees, I am the ashvattha." temples and holy places. It is supposed to Krishna is believed to have died under this be one of the longest-living trees and tree, after which the present Kali Yuga is there is one in which is said to said to have begun. Five-trees (Pancha- be over one thousand years old. This tree vat) are considered sacred in India. They grows very fast and roots are attached to are: the trunk as if they are pillars supporting it. 1. Fig tree, The tree needs lots of space, and the soil 2. A wild fig (Sycamore) tree must be deep enough to let the roots grow (Gular), down a long way. It is sometimes also 3. tree, called kalpvruksha2. 4. Pakar (citron-leaved), Indian fig

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tree, 'Pipal' relates (I believe) to the same 5. tree. ancient roots which give rise to English According to the Skanda Purana, if one words like 'Pip' and 'Apple' and therefore does not have a son, the peepal should be mean something like '-bearing tree'. regarded as one. As long as the tree lives, 'Ashwattha' and 'Ashvattha' come the family name will continue. To cut down from an ancient Indian root word "Shwa" a peepal is considered a sin equivalent to means 'morning' or 'tomorrow'. This refers killing a Brahmin, one of the five deadly to the fact that Ashwattha is the mythical sins or Panchapataka. According to the Hindu world tree, both indestructible and Skanda Purana, a person goes to hell for yet ever-changing: the same tree will not doing so. Some people are particular to be there tomorrow5. touch the peepal only on a Saturday. The Brahma Purana explains why, saying that Common names 5 Ashvattha and peepala were two demons Gujrati : Jari, Pipers, Pipal who harassed people. Ashvattha would Hindi: Pipal, Pipali take the form of a peepal and peepala the Kanarese: Arani, Ashwatha mara, Pippala, form of a Brahmin. The fake Brahmin Ragi would advise people to touch the tree, and Marathi: Pimpala as soon as they did, Ashvattha would kill Sanskrit: Ashvattha, Bodhidruma, Pippala, them. Later they were both killed by Shuchidruma, Vrikshraj, yajnika. Shani. Because of his influence, it is considered safe to touch the tree on Habitat Saturdays. Lakshmi is also believed to Ficus religiosa is known to be a native inhabit the tree on Saturdays. Therefore it Indian tree, and thought to be originating is considered auspicious to worship it. mainly in Northern and Eastern India, Women ask the tree to bless them with a where it widely found in uplands and plane son tying red thread or red cloth around its areas and grows up to about 1650 meters trunk or on its branches3. or 5000 ft in the mountainous areas. It is also found growing elsewhere in India and Taxonomy/Botanical classification4 throughout the subcontinent and Southern Domain: Eukaryota Asia, especially in Buddhist countries, wild Kingdom: Plantae or cultivated. It is a familiar sight in Hindu Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae temples, Buddhist monasteries and Phylum: Tracheophyta shrines, villages and at roadsides. People Subphylum: Spermatophytina also like to grow this sacred tree in their Infraphylum: Angiospermae gardens. Ficus religiosa has also been Class: Magnoliopsida Brongniart. widely planted in many hot countries all Subclass: Dilleniidae. over the world from South Africa to Hawai Super order: Urticanae and Florida but it is not able to naturalize Order: Urticales away from its Indian home, because of its Family: dependence on its pollinator wasp, Division: Magnoliophyta Blastophaga quadraticeps. An exception Tribe: Ficeae to this rule is Israel where the wasp has Genus: Ficus (FY-kus) Linnaeus been successfully introduced6. Specific epithet: religiosa L. Description

a. Macroscopic characteristics Nomenclature General 'Ficus' is the Latin word for 'Fig', the fruit of Small tree or taller strangling climber, with the tree. 'Religiosa' refers to 'religion' wide-spreading branches, semi or fully because the tree is sacred in both deciduous in monsoon climates and Hinduism and Buddhism and is very broadly ovate, glossy, leathery, dark green frequently planted in temples and shrines leaves, 5-7 in (12-18 cm) long, with of both faiths. 'Bodhi' or its short form 'Bo' unusual tail-like tips. Bears pairs of means 'supreme knowledge' or rounded, flat-topped green figs, to 1/2 inch 'awakening' in the old Indian languages.

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(1.5 cm) across, ripening to purple with purple (may have reddish dots). The red dots. The trunk has smooth grey bark fruiting tree becomes a treat for many and with age this trunk becomes different birds and animals8. irregularly shaped. It becomes leafless for a brief period in dry habitats7. b. Microscopic characteristics Transverse section of bark shows Leaves rectangular to cubical, thick walled cork When the leaves first appear their colour cells and dead elements of secondary is red-pinkish, but then they turn deep cortex, consist of masses of stone cells; green and grow to about 12 to 18 cm long cork cambium distinct with rows of newly (5-7 inches). They are attached to long formed secondary cortex, mostly flexible stalks which makes them rustle, composed of stone cells towards flutter and dance in the slightest whiff of periphery. Stone cells found scattered in wind. The foliage can often be dense. The large groups, rarely isolated; most of alternate leaves are heart-shaped, shiny parenchymatous cells of secondary cortex with an elegant tail-like tip which is often contain numerous starch grains and few called a "drip-tip", guiding water efficiently prismatic crystals of oxalate; down to the soil. This prevents sometimes secondary phloem a wide zone, consisting heavy monsoon rain from collecting on the of sieve elements, phloem fibers in singles leaves for prolonged periods, which could or in groups of two and non lignified; make them hot in very warm weather. The numerous crystal fibers also present; in leaves have 6-8 pairs of side-veins and a outer region sieve elements mostly further network of very fine veins. This collapsed while in inner region intact; delicate venation and the ability of the leaf phloem parenchyma mostly thick-walled; to disintegrate easily in water are both stone cells present in single or in small clearly illustrated in the greeting cards groups similar to those in secondary which are sometimes made with peepal cortex; a number of ray-cells and phloem leaves. The leaves are soaked for 8 hours parenchyma filled with brown ; (in warm countries) in a bowl of water and prismatic crystals of calcium oxalate and then washed carefully under running water starch grains present in a number of until only the veins remain8. parenchymatous cells; medullary rays uni

to multiseriate, wider towards outer Bark periphery composed of thick-walled cells Bark occurs in flat or slightly curved with simple pits; in tangential section ray pieces, varying from 1.0 - 2.5 cm or more cells circular to oval in shape; cambium in thickness; outer surface brown or ash when present, consists of 2-4 layers of colored; surface uneven due to exfoliation thin-walled rectangular cells7. of cork; inner surface smooth and somewhat brownish; fracture - fibrous; Standardization9 – astringent8. Foreign matter- Not more than 2

percent. Flowers Total ash- Not more than 7 The small red flowers appear in February. percent. The tree is dependent on its associated -insoluble ash- Not more than pollinator wasp, Blastophaga quadraticeps 0.3 percent. to set seed8. Alcohol-soluble extractive- Not less

than 8 percent. Fruit Water-soluble extractive- Not less The tree in May/June and bears a than 9 percent. small flat-topped figs (12-13 mm or ½ inch in diameter), which appears in pairs in the Pests and Diseases angles of the leaves on the twigs (or Several pests including various ants which above the scars in the bark left by fallen were seen carrying off pollinator wasps leaves). They have 3 basal bracts, are from ficus fruits, Hymenoptera and mites green at first and ripen to a blackish that may be parasites of the pollinator

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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES wasps, and staphylinids which were seen , fatty matter, coloring matter, entering ficus fruits and eating the caoutchoue 0.7-5.1%15 Ficus religiosa pollinator wasps9. fruits contain flavonols namely kaempeferol, quercetin, and myricetin15. Phyto chemistry of Ficus religiosa Leaves and fruits contain carbohydrate, Linn. , , calcium, sodium, , Phyto-chemistry is the chemistry of and phosphorus. The aqueous extract of or chemical constituents of plants. Phyto dried bark of Ficus religiosa has been chemistry understood in pharmacy as the reported to contain phytosterols, chemistry of natural products used as flavonoids, tannins, furanocoumarin drugs or of drugs plants with the emphasis derivatives namely bergapten and on biochemistry. The constituents are begaptol16. therapeutically active or inactive. The The fruit of Ficus religiosa contained inactive constituents are structural appreciable amounts of total phenolic constituents of the plants like starch, contents, total flavonoid, and percent or . The inactive inhibition of linoleic acid. Generally higher constituents have however extract yields, phenolic contents, and plant pharmaceutical uses. The active material antioxidant activity were obtained constituents are secondary metabolites, using aqueous organic solvents, as like alkaloids glycosides, volatile oils, compared to the respective absolute tannins etc. They are single substances or organic solvents. Although higher extract usually of several substances. yields were obtained by the refluxing The secondary products of metabolism extraction technique, in general higher are formed from primary products and the amounts of total phenolic contents and plant is not able to reutilize them and they better antioxidant activity were found in are deposited in the cells and so are the extracts prepared using a shaker17. called secondary metabolites10. The reported phytoconstituents of stem Uses of Ficus religiosa Linn. bark of Ficus religiosa Linn. are phenols, Nearly every part of the tree can be used tannins, steroids, alkaloids and flavonoids, as medicine. The leaves are used to feed β-sitosteryl-d-glucoside, , n- camels and elephant, and the tree is often octacosanol, methyl oleanolate, the home to the tiny lac insect. When the lanosterol, stigmasterol, lupen-3-one11. leaves are dried, they are used for Stem bark contains three methyl ethers of decoration and often painted on. Like all leucoanthocyanins, delphinindin-3-0-α-L- the fig trees many birds and bats love to rhamnoside1, Pelargonidin-3-0-α-L- eat the fruit, and in times when there is rhamnoside (11) and Leucocyanidin-3-0- little , villager eats them as well. The β-D-galactosyl-cellobioside (111)-along wood lasts well in water and is sometimes with methyl ether of leucoanthocyanidin used for buildings small boats. isolated from stem bark as characterized; "Proper use makes a good remedy even 20- tetratriaconten-2-one, pentatriacontan- out of poison while a good medicinal plant 5-one and 6 heptatria content-10-one acts as a poison if used improperly" isolated from stem bark and Charaka-samhita (1000 B.C.). characterized; β-sitosterol-α-D-glucoside and meso anisosital also isolated12. a. Medicinal Uses The active constituent from the root bark Ficus religiosa is reported to have F. religiosa was found to be β-sitosteryl-d- numerous therapeutic uses in folk glucoside, which showed a peraral medicine viz.: leaf juice has been used for hypoglycemic effect in fasting and alloxan- the treatment of asthama, cough, sexual diabetic rabbits and in pituitary-diabetic disorders, diarrhoea, haematuria, ear- rats. The fruits contain 4.9% protein ache and toothache, migrane, eye having the essential amino , troubles, gastric problems and scabies. isoleucine, and phenylalanine. [13] The Leaf decoction has been used as an seeds contain phytosterolin, β-sitosterol, analgesic for toothache. Fruits for the and its glycoside, albuminoids, treatment of asthama, other respiratory

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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES disorders and scabies. Stem bark is used by adding the required quantity of a in gonorrhoea, bleeding, paralysis, solution of anise and jaggery with water. diabetes, diarrhoea, bone fracture, In the same way, the fruits can be dried in antiseptic, astringent and antidote18. shade, powdered and mixed with an equal Ficus is used extensively used in quantity of . This compound in doses traditional systems of medicine like of 4 to 6gms, taken at bedtime with milk, Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha in the form of ensures proper bowl movement, the various formulations. Bark is used in following morning24. healing ulcers, various skin diseases and scabies and in treatment of diabetes, the Mumps and boils root bark is stated to be aphrodisiac. Fruit Peepal leaves smeared with , is laxative and digestive. The fruit powder warmed over a fire and bandaged over the is also given to enhance fertility and used inflamed part (mumps) to get relieve. A in dysentery, uterine troubles, ulcers, leaf of peepal smeared with ghee can be biliousness, bitter tonic, in blood diseases. banged like worm on the boil. If there is All plant parts are acrid, sweetish, cooling any pus formation, it will burst, if it is in and are useful in diseases of blood preliminary stages, the growth will subside vagina, uterus, given in leucorrhoea, in initial stage itself24. burning sensation, biliousness and ulcers. The ripe fruit is cooling, alexipharmic, good for burning sensation, foul taste, Gynaecological problems thirst, biliousness and diseases of blood For many vaginal diseases, a decoction and heart19,20,21,22. from the bark is employed to cleanse the Powdered dry fruit destroys sorrows of a vagina as a wash. A decoction prepared person. Seeds are laxative and if taken from the bark of peepul and tamarind or three days during menstruation, sterilizes their freshly extracted juice, is given as a women for long time. Bark phytosterolin is for patients with difficult a powerful CNS stimulant. The fruit extract menstruation or even absence of demonstrated antitumour activity in menstruation. For pregnant ladies who disc bioassay. Fibre from Ficus religiosa have a tendency or fear of abortion, six produces hyper lipidemia23. maashaas of bark powder is to be given with a decoction of the rind of an orange. b. Traditional Uses This is continued 3-8 times a day for a Healing and curative week25. Leaves are laxative and a tonic. They relieve feverish feeling of coolness. They Gastrointestinal diseases are also useful in arresting secretion or Even intolerably severe pain in the bleeding. In such cases, about 50 ml of stomach is relieved by drinking a raw juice of the leaves or 1 teaspoon of decoction of the bark with salt and powdered dried leaves can be taken with jaggery. Severe and repeated vomiting is water24. relieved by using the innerbark of the tree. The bark is dried in the shade and Heart diseases powdered finely. This, when mixed with The leaves of the peepal are used in the repeatedly in a dosage of 4 to 8 treatment of heart diseases. The leaves rattiis, relieves vomiting due to kapha. are infused in water at night. Distilled the Uncontrollable thirst is also quenched by following morning and then stored in white water in which burnt peepul bark is dipped . About 15 ml of this infusion is for cooling. An enema from the tree’s administered thrice daily. It is highly sprouts, cooked in milk and filtered, is effective in relieving palpitation of the advantageously employed for dysentery, heart and cardiac weakness24. rectal prolapse, haemorrhage and fever25.

Constipation Fever and Joint pains The leaves of peepal should be dried in Peepal is effective in fever because of its the shade and powdered. Pills are made cooling nature. Burn the bark fully to

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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES ashes. Sieve this through a fine cloth and sprinkle on the bed of a patient with fever C. Other Uses and eruptions. Take five tolaas (50 gms) People in India collect the leaves, clean of bark and cook it in five liters of water. and dry them and them with the gold When the quantity of liquid is reduced to acrylic in order to preserve them for years. 100ml, filter, add a little honey and let the From the bark of the tree, reddish dye is patient drink a half in the morning and the extracted. People tie threads of white, red rest in the evening. This cures rheumatism and yellow around it to pray for even where aggravation of all the three pregnancy. The Peepal tree has its own doshas has occurred25. symbolic meaning of enlightenment and peace26. Respiratory system For an asthmatic patient, the powder from Pharmacological/Pharmacognostical the dried fruit is given with water. A cough activities of any type is relieved by taking it with Antiulcer activity- The antiulcer potential honey. This is also believed to render the of the ethanol extract of stem bark of voice sweet and melodious. For whooping Ficus religiosa against in vivo cough in children, giving the powder of indomethacin, cold restrained stress peepal lac in a dosage of 3 rattiis along induced gastric ulcer and pylorus ligation with 3 maashaas of , three times a assays were validated. The extract (100, day, has been seen to be beneficial25. 200 and 400 mg/kg) significantly (P<0.05) reduced the ulcer index in all assays used. Skin The extract also significantly increased the A patient with itching or eczema is advised pH of gastric acid while at the same time to drink a decoction of peepal bark. For reduced the volume of gastric juice, free eruptions, the bark is rubbed on a grind and total acidities. The study provides stone with water and the paste is applied preliminary data on the antiulcer potential gently. This is said to aid maturation of the of Ficus religiosa stem bark and support eruptions. Old peepal trees develop a thin the traditional uses of the plant for the papery cover over the bark. This is dried, treatment of gastric ulcer27. powdered fine and stored. For wounds, first smear a thin layer of gingely (sesame) Anticonvulsant activity- The oil and then sprinkle this powder so that a anticonvulsant activity of the aqueous thick layer is formed. If discharge from the aerial root extract Ficus religiosa (25, 50 wound emerges from this layer, apply the and 100 mg/kg, p.o.) was investigated in oil again, followed by another thick strychnine, pentylenetrazole, picrotoxin sprinkling of the powder. By these and isoniazid induced seizures in mice. measures, even severe wounds, that are The extract showed no and not filling up heal easily25. protected the in the strychnine, pentylenetrazole tests in a dose Orodental problems and Ear problems dependent manner. Its effect in the A decoction or cold infusion of the bark picrotoxin and isoniazid tests was less strengthens the gums, heals them, potent. The extract also exhibited dose offering relief even in severe toothache. dependent potentiation of Ach in rat ileum Growing children often suffer from but failed to potentiate the effect of 5-HT frequent mouth ulcers. A favourite and in rat fundus strip preparation28. effective remedy is application of the paste of the powdered bark and tender Bronchospasm activity leaves with honey. Take tender young The in vivo studies of histamine induced peepul leaves, grind and cook them in bronchospasm in guinea pigs and in vitro gingely (sesame) oil over a low fire. A isolated guinea pig tracheal chain and small quantity of this oil is to be poured ileum preparation were performed. Pre- into the painful ear, after making it treatment of guinea pigs with ketotifen (1 comfortably warm, to relieve pain25. mg/kg, p.o.), has significantly delayed the onset of histamine aerosol induced pre-

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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL AND CHEMICAL SCIENCES convulsive dyspnea, compared with and traditional formulations, effective in vehicle control (281.8 ± 11.7 vs112.2 ± various treatments such as diabetes, skin 9.8). The administration of methanolic diseases, ulcers and nervous disorders extract (125, 250 and 500 mg/kg, p.o.) did were studied. Ficus barks were sold in not produce any significant effect on Indian marketunder traditional names latency to develop histamine induced pre- such as plaksah, udumbarah, asvattah convulsive dyspnea. Methanolic extract of and vatah. The barks of the species fruits at a doses (0.5, 1 and 2 mg/ml) has mentioned above are usually interchanged significantly potentiate the EC50 doses of or adulterated with other species of ficus both histamine and acetylcholine in because of the limited knowledge in isolated guinea pig tracheal chain and identification and differentiation. ileum preparation. HPLC analysis of Pharmacognostic evaluation has been methanolic extract showed the presence carried out with the aim to establish the of high amounts of serotonin (2.89% diagnostic keys of important drugs based w/w)29. on the macroscopic, microscopic and HPTLC profile32. Antioxidant activity- The ethanolic extract of leaves of Ficus religiosa was Antidiabetic activity evaluated for antioxidant (DPPH), wound The antidiabetic effect of aqueous extract healing (incision, excision, of Ficus religiosa bark (FRAE) in normal histopathological and dead space wound loaded hyperglycemic and model) and anti-inflammatory streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rats, (Carageenan induced paw odema) at the dose of 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg were activity. The tested extract of different investigated. The effect was more dilutions in range 200 µg/ml to 1000 µg/ml pronounced in 50 and 100 mg/kg than 25 shows antioxidant activity in range of mg/kg. FRAE also showed significant 6.34% to 13.35%. Significant increase in increase in serum insulin, body weight and wound closure rate, skin breaking glycogen content in iver and strength, granuloma breaking strength skeletalmuscle of STZ- induced diabetic was observed. The extract shows rats while there was significant reduction prominent anti-inflammatory activity as in the levels of serum and total compared to that of standard (Ibuprofen cholesterol. FRAE also showed significant gel)30. antilipidperoxidative effect in the pancreas Antiamnesic activity- the effect of the of STZ induced diabetic rats33. methanol extract of figs of Ficus religiosa (FRFE) on scopolamine-induced Antioxidant and Antidiabetic activity- anterograde and retrograde amnesia in The aqueous extract of Ficus religiosa mice was investigated. The methanolic Linn. was assessed at a dose of 100 and extracts were administered at a dose of 200 mg/kg orally, it decreases the fasting 10, 50 and 100 mg/kg, i.p. and blood glucose in streptozotocin induced scopolamine at 10 mg/kg, i.p. Methanol type 2 diabetic rats. The drug had extract of figs of Ficus religiosa showed a induction effect with respect to significant improvement of memory as it (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH- treatment attenuated the scopolamine- Px) activity, however decreased the induced anterograde and restrograde exaggerated activity of superoxide amnesia dose dependently. dismutase (SOD) in type 2 diabetic rats. F. Cyproheptadine pretreatment significantly religiosa modulated the of reversed the antiamnesic effect31. significant antioxidant defense system to combat oxidative stress. Drug at higher Pharmacognostic evaluation-A detailed dose (200 mg/kg) had more pronounced comparative pharmacognostic evaluation effect. F. religiosa, a rasayana group of of the barks of four species, namely Ficus plant drug having anti-diabetic activity racemosa, Ficus virens, Ficus religiosa along with antioxidant potential was and Ficus bengalensis which are beneficial in treatment of type-2 important ingredient in many Ayurvedic diabetes34.

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the chloroform extracts. Aqueous and Wound-Healing activity- The wound methanolic extracts were found to be less healing activity (incision and excision active. The antitumor activity conducted model) of Ficus religiosa leaf extract by crown gall potato disc assay proved prepared as ointment form (5 and 10%) that all the three extracts are efficient in was investigated. Povidone 5% was reducing the tumors formed38. used as standard drug. The healing of wound was assessed by the rate of wound Ethno-botanical evaluation- The new contraction, decreased in the period of ethno-medico botanical information and epithelialization, high skin breaking traditional use of medicinal plants against strength was observed in animals. 10% kidney and urinary disorders were ointment shows better wound healing documented. The use of 68 medicinal activity than 5% concentration35. plants belonging to 29 families and 58 genera of cold desert was documented Anticonvulsant activity with against the treatment of kidney and antiepileptic drugs- Anticonvulsant urinary disorders in the triable activity of methanolic fig extracts of Ficus communities of Ladakh region in India. religiosa (25, 50 and 100 mg/kg, i.p.) was These species were used in combination studied. Seizures induced by maximum of some exotic species such as Bergenia electroshock (MES), picrotoxin and ligulata, Cinnamomum zylanicum, Crocus pentylenetetrazol (PTZ), cyproheptadine, sativus, Elettaria cardamomum, Emblica a nonselective (5HT1/2) serotonin officinalis, Ficus religiosa, Mangifera antagonist (4mg/kg, i.p.) was used to indica, Punica granatum, Santalum album, study the reversal of protective effect of Spondiax axillaris, Terminalia belerica, extract in various models. Extract Terminalia chebula, Zingiber officinale and showed no toxicity, potentiated some medicinal stones, minerals and pentobarbitone induced sleep and salts39. inhibited seizures induced by MES and Antibacterial activity- Ten medicinal picrotoxin in a dose dependent manner. plants namely Commiphora wightii, Anticonvulsant effect of extract was Hibiscus cannbinus, Anethum gravelons, comparable to clinically used antiepileptic Emblica officinalis, Ficus religiosa, Ficus drugs, phenytoin and diazepam36. racemosa, Ficus benghalensis, Ficus tisela, Mentha arvensis and Mimusops Immunomodulatory activity- The elengi were screened for potential immunomodulatory effect of alcoholic antibacterial activity against medically extract of the bark of F. religiosa important bacterial strains. The ethanol (Moraceae) in mice was investigated. The extracts were more potent than aqueous study was carried out by various extracts of all the plant studied. P. hematological and serological tests. aeruginosa and S. typhimurium were the Administration of extract remarkably most restant strains while the most ameliorated both cellular and tic rats while susceptible bacterial strains were B. there was humoral response. It is cereus and P. mirabilis40. concluded that the test extract possessed promising immunostimulant properties37. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity-Seventy six plant extracts Antibacterial and Antitumor activity- including methanolic and successive The aqueous, methanol and chlorophorm water extracts from 37 Indian medicinal extracts of the leaves of Ficus religiosa plants were investigated for were evaluated for their antibacterial and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory antitumor activities. These extracts activity (in vitro). Results indicated that showed an elevated level of antibacterial methanolic extracts to be more active than activity and a reduced antifungal activity. water extracts. The potent AChE inhibiting The most sensitive organisms S. typhi, P. methanolic plant extracts included vulgaris, S. typhimurium and E. coli were Withania somnifera (root), Semecarpus inhibited even at lowest concentrations of anacardium (stem bark), Emblica ribes

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(root), Tinospora cardifolia (stem), Ficus induced gastric and cystamine induced religiosa (stem bark) and Nordostachys duodenal ulcers44. jatamanasi (rhizome). The IC50 values obtained for these extracts were 33.38, Antifungal activity- The benzene extract 16.74, 23.04, 38.36, 73.69 and 47.21 of both the plants i.e. Ficus infectoria µg/ml respectively41. Roxb. and Ficus religiosa Linn. afforded furanocoumarins, bergapten and Anti-inflammatory activity- The bergaptol. The isolated compounds of methanolic extract of the stem bark of both the plants were assayed against its Ficus religiosa Linn. was screened for its microorganisms Staphylococcus aureus, anti-inflammatory activity in Wistar albino E scherichia coli, Penicillium gluacum and rats and analgesic effects in Swiss albino Paramecium at concentration of 0.2% for mice. A significant inhibition of aqueous bark extracts and 1x10-2 M for carrageenan-induced rat paw oedema, the isolated compounds. The results comparable to that produced by indicate bacterial activity of both the indomethacin, the standard anti- compounds bergapten and bergaptol inflammatory drug was obtained with all against S. aureus and E. coli. An the three doses of the extract. A antifungal activity of the compounds significant inhibition of acetic acid induced against P. gluacum was also observed45. writhing in mice was observed with two doses of the extract. The analgesic effect Isolation of leaf proteins- Leaf protein was comparable to that caused by the concentrates from leaves of Ficus standard drug, aspirin. The methanol religiosa and Mimusopa elengi Linn have extract also showed significant anti-lipid been isolated. Nitrogen contents were peroxidant effects in- vitro42. estimated to be 12.25% in F. religiosa and 11.5% in M. elengi. The amino acids Isolation of compounds- The obtained by the acid and alkaline compounds were analyzed of volatile hydrolysis of leaf protein concentrates blends released by respective figs of were separated and identified by twenty Ficus species to attract their descending paper specific pollinating wasps. In all, 99 technique. The liquid paper different compounds were identified. The chromatography (LPC) of Ficus religiosa compounds are mainly terpenoids, was found to be a condensation polymer aliphatic compounds and products from of L-cystine, L-lysine, L-arginine, DL- the shikmic acid pathway. In each species serine, DL-aspartic acid, glycine, DL- blend there are few major compounds threonine, D and L-alanine, L-proline which are generally common among floral , L-, DL-methionine, fragrances. A possible basis for species- DL-valine, isoleucine and L-leucine46. specificity of Ficus-wasp interactions is discussed in relation to the patterns of CONCLUSION volatiles found in this interspecies India is sitting on a gold mine of well comparison43. recorded and traditionally well practiced knowledge of . This Antiulcer activity- Four sitavirya plants country is perhaps the largest producer of viz. Satavari (fresh root juice, 1250 medicinal herbs and is rightly called the mg/kg), Yastimadhu (water decoctions of botanical garden of the world. The study root, 600 mg/kg), Kutaja and aswattha of herbal medicine spans the knowledge (water decoctions of bark; 400 and 500 of pharmacology, history, source, physical mg/kg respectively) were studied for their and chemical nature, mechanism of effects on different models of action, tradional, medicinal and gastroduodenal ulcers in rats, when given therapeutic use of drug. Ficus religiosa is orally for 3 days. All of them were found to highly regarded and used plant in protect the animals against 2 hr cold Ayurvedic medicine. It is one of the most restraint stress and pylorus ligation versatile plant having a wide spectrum of medicinal activities. This is the unique

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