Ethnobotanical Leaflets: 10: 329-335. 2006.

 

 

Paca Ksra Vrksa (Ficus Species Used in Ayurvedic Medicine)

 

Dr. Amrit Pal Singh, BAMS; PGDMB; MD (Alternative Medicine),

Herbal Consultant, India –Swift Ltd, Chandigarh.

 

Address for correspondence:

Dr Amrit Pal Singh,

House No: 2101 Phase-7,

Mohali-160062.

Email amritpal2101@yahoo.com

 

Issued 19 December 2006

 

 

Abstract

 

Paca Ksra Vrksa is significant part of yurvedic pharmacy. Milky-latex of five trees is included in this group. The plants mentioned in this group have diverse pharmacological actions. Basically they are astringent and are useful in treating bleeding. This may be pharmacological basis of inclusion of medicinal plants like Ficus bengalensis L. in the treatment of vaginal diseases (yoni roga in yurveda) like menorrhagia and dysfunctional uterine bleeding. In addition they have vulnerary and galactagouge properties as per yurveda (although it needs scientific validation). Modern investigations have thrown on hypotensive, hypoglycemic and hepatoprotective properties of extracts of these plants. The article reviews yurvedic dynamics and modern investigations of constituents of Paca Ksra Vrksa.

 

Key Words: Paca Ksra Vrksa/yurveda/ Ficus bengalensis/ Moraceae

 

Introduction

Paca Ksra Vrksa is group of five trees belonging to genus Ficus.  It includes nyagrodha, udumbura, avattha, paria and plaksa. All these plants are used in yurveda as astringent medicines. Paca Ksra Vrksa refers to tress having milky latex. Just as milky latex of above mentioned trees is used in medicine, bark and leaves also find application in medicine.

 

Scientific names of Paca Ksra Vrksa

Nyagrodha = Ficus bengalensis L.

Udumbura = Ficus glomerata Roxb. 

Avattha= Ficus religiosa L.

Paria= Ficus arnottiana (Miq.) Miq.

Plaksa = Ficus lacor Buch.-Ham.

 

All these plants are members of family Moraceae.

 

yurvedic dynamics of Paca Ksra Vrksa

Action on Tridoa (Vta, Pitta and Kapha): Pacifies Pitta and Kapha.

Vrya (potency): Cold.

Karma (specific action): Galactagouge.

Therapeutics: Diseases of the vagina, ulcer and diseases of blood element. Paca Ksra Vrksa promotes union of fractured bones.

 

Nyagrodha (Ficus bengalensis L.)

 

Syn: Ficus indica L.

 

yurvedic synonyms: Jatala, nyagrodha, rohina, avroh, vitap, rakatphala, skandaruh, mandal, mahchchya, yakavasa, yakshatar, padrohina, nla, kshiri, shipharuha, bahupda and vanaspat.

 

Family: Moraceae.


English name: Banyan tree.

 

Hindi name: Bargad.

 

Location: Native to India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan

 

 

Botany: Large evergreen tree with spreading branches, sending down to the ground many aerial roots, which afterwards develop into separate trunks. Leaves coriaceous, 10-20x5-12.5 cm, ovate to elliptic, cordate or rounded base, shining above. Fruit globose, with male, female and gall flowers.

 

Chemical composition: The stem bark contains ß-sitosterol, a-D-glucose and meso- inositol. The leaves contain petunidin di-glycoside and quercentin 3-galactoside. The fruits contain cyanidin rhamnoglycoside and polysaccharides. Three ketones (20-tetratriacontene-2-one, 6-heptatriacontene-10-one, pentatriacontan-5-one and two other compounds, beta-sitosterol-alpha-D-glucose and meso-inositol) have been isolated from the stem bark (Subramanian and Misra, 2005).  

 

Actions: Tonic, sweet and astringent in taste, cold in potency, pacifies Kapha and Pitta.

 

Therapeutics: Fever, burning sensation, thirst, ulcer and edema. The milky latex is used externally for the treatment of neuralgia, bruises, toothache, rheumatism and lumbago. Warmed leaves are applied as cataplasm to abscess. The seeds are cooling and tonic.

 

Phytoactivity: Glycoside of leucopelargonidin isolated from the bark of Ficus bengalensis has significant hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic and serum insulin raising effects (Cherian and Augusti, 1993). Flavonoids (leucopelargonin and leucocyanin derivatives and quercetin) isolated from the bark of Ficus bengalensis have antiatherogenic, hypocholesterolemic and antioxidant effects (Daniel, et al., 2003).

Parts used: Bark, root-fibers, leaves, seeds and milky juice.

 

Udumbura (Ficus glomerata Roxb.)

 

Syn: Ficus racemosa L., Ficus goolereea Roxb., Covellia glomerata (Roxb.) Miq.

 

yurvedic synonyms: Kiravrksa, hemdugdh, sadphala, klaskanda, yagyayogy, yagyeya, supratititha, itvalka, jantuphala, pupaunya, pavitraka, saumy and itphala.

 

Family: Moraceae.


English name: Cluster fig.

 

Hindi name: Gular.

 

Location: Throughout India.

 

Botany: A middle-sized or large tree with smooth, reddish-brown bark. Leaves alternate, ovate or elliptic-lanceolate, glabrous. Flowers unisexual enclosed in receptacles. Fruits on the trunk and larger branches in bunches, yellow orange coloured syconium.

 

Chemical composition: Cellulose, tannin, and lignin.

 

Actions: Unripe fruit is astringent in taste. Ripe fruit is sweet in taste and cold in potency.

 

Therapeutics: Bleeding diathesis, apoplexy, burning sensation and thirst.

 

Phytoactivity: Hypolipidemic (Agarwal and Chauhan, 1988) and antibacterial: leaf-extract (Mandal, Saha and Pal, 2000).

Parts used: Root, root-bark, leaves fruit, milky-juice and galls. 

 

Avattha (Ficus religiosa L.)

 

yurvedic synonyms: Kiravrksa, hemdugdh, sadphala, klaskanda, yagyayogy, yagyeya, supratititha, itvalka, jantuphala, pupaunya, pavitraka, saumy and itphala.

 

Family: Moraceae.


English name: Pipal tree.

 

Hindi name: Peepal.

 

Location: Sub-Himalayan forests, Bengal and Central India. 

 

Botany: A medium sized, glabrous tree. Leaves:  10-15x10-12 cm, ovate-round, entire, coriaceous, shining, apex long tailed. Fruit: receptacles sessile, paired, smooth, depressed, globose, dark purple when ripe.

 

Chemical composition: Tannin.

 

Actions: Sweet and astringent in taste, cold in potency, pacifies Kapha and Pitta.

 

Therapeutics: Cures blood diseases, burning sensation. Ripe fruit rapidly cures diseases of the vagina. Ripe fruit acts as cardiac tonic and is cold in potency. It cures bleeding diathesis, poisoning, pain, burning sensation, vomiting, edema and anorexia.

 

Phytoactivity: Hypolipidemic (Agarwal and Chauhan, 1988).

 

Parts used: Bark, fruit, seeds and leaves.  

 

 

Paria (Ficus arnottiana (Miq.) Miq.)

 

yurvedic synonyms: Kaptana, kir, suparava, kamandalu, ring, baroakh, gardbhanda, kaptaka, dridprorha, plavaka, plavanga and mahbal.

 

Family: Moraceae.


English name:

 

Hindi name: Paras pipal.

 

Location: India.

 

Botany: Tree.

 

Chemical composition: Tannins.

 

Actions: Pungent and astringent in taste and cold in potency,

 

Therapeutics: Blood diseases, apoplexy, vertigo and delirium.

 

 

Plaksa (Ficus lacor Buch.-Ham.)

 

Syn: Ficus virens Aiton

 

yurvedic synonyms: Hasvaplaksa, suit, itaviryaka, pundra, mahvroh, hasvaparna, pimpr, bhidura and manglachaya.

 

Family: Moraceae.


Hindi name: Pakar.

 

Location: India.

 

Botany: A large spreading evergreen tree low-crowned thick shady tree, 35 to 40 feet high with greenish-grey smooth bark, sending down aerial roots. Leaves are alternate, narrow, and abruptly acuminate. Fruit when ripe are white.

 

Chemical composition: amyrin, amyrin, lupeol, sitosterol, stigmasterol and campesterol.

 

Actions: Pungent and astringent in taste and cold in potency,

 

Therapeutics: Blood diseases, apoplexy, vertigo and delirium.

Parts used: Stem bark.

 

Kkodumbarik (Ficus hispida L.f.)

Syn: Ficus heterostyla Merrill; Ficus oppositifolia Willd.

 

yurvedic synonyms: Phalgu, malapu and citrabhesaja.

 

Family: Moraceae.


Hindi name: Daduri.

 

Location: Throughout India.

 

Botany: Dioecious tree, 3–18 m high with milky latex, hollow branches; bark grey and peling off. Leaves opposite, ovate or ovate-oblong, serrate or entire, acuminate. Flowers pyriform and yellow.

 

Chemical composition: Saponin and tannin.

 

Actions: Unripe fruit is astringent in taste. Ripe fruit is sweet in taste and cold in potency. Ingestion of the dried unripe fruit and application of powder to the skin produced a lowered minimal erythema dose by irradiation with an ultraviolet lamp (Ansari et al., 1975).

 

Therapeutics: Bleeding diathesis, apoplexy, burning sensation and thirst.

 

Phytoactivity: Methanolic leaf-extract: hepatoprotective (Mandal, et al., 2000) and leaf-extract: anti-diarrhoeal (Mandal and Kumar, 2002) and ethanol extract of bark: hypoglycemic (Ghosh, et al., 2004).

Parts used: Bark, fruit and milk.

Note: Some yurvedic physicians use irsa (Albizzia lebbeck Benth. Fabaceae)  and vetasa (Salix caprea L. Saliaceae) in place of pria.

 

 

Kkodumbarik is not constituent of Paca Ksra Vrksa. It has been included on account of member of family Moraceae.

 

References

 

Agarwal,V., and Chauhan, B.M. 1988. Plant Foods Hum Nut. 38(2):189-97.

 

Anonymous. 1998. Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia Volume 1. Worli, Mumbai: Indian Drug Manufacturers Association.

 

Ansari, Z., Dioivedi, R.M., and Singh, G. 1975. Int. J. Derm. Venereol. 41: XVII. Mandal, S.C. et al., 2000. Phytother Res. 14(6):457-9.

 

Cherian, S., and Augusti, K.T. 1993. Indian J. Exp. Biol. 31(1): 26-29.  

 

Chopra, R.N.; Chopra, I.C.; Handa, K.K.; Kapur, L.D. 1982. Indigenous Drugs of India, 2nd ED, M/S U. N. Dhar &Sons Ltd. Calcutta.

 

Daniel, R.S. et al., 2003. Indian J Exp Biol. 41(4):296-303.

 

Ghosh, R. et al., 2004. Indian J  Pharmacol. 36(4): 222-225.

 

Gogate, V.M. 1982. Dravyagunavignyana, Continental prakashan, Pune (1982).

 

Kapoor, L.D. 1990. CRC Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

 

Krishnamurthy, A. 1969. The Wealth of India vol VIII. New Delhi, Publication and Information Directorate, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

 

Mandal, S.C.; Kumar, C.K. 2002. Fitoterapia. 73(7-8):663-7.

 

Mandal, S.C.; Saha, B.P.; Pal, M. 2000. Phytother  Res. 14(4): 278-280.

 

Nadkarni. K.M.; Nadkarni, A.K. 1976. Indian Materia Medica. Bombay, Popular Prakashan.

 

Sivarajan, V.V. 1994. Ayurvedic Drugs and their Plant Sources. Lebanon, New Hampshire: International Science Publisher.

 

Subramanian, P.M.; Misra, G.S. 2005. Pol J Pharmacol Pharm.  30(4): 559-562.

 

Usher, G. 1974. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. (Publisher not listed).