HISTORICAL AND MYTHOLOGICAL REVIEW:
Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Species: Ficus racemosa
Allied species:not known
VERNACULAR NAMESSanskrit: udumbar, jantuphala, hemdugdhaka, kshirvriksha, sadaphala, kalaskandha, yagnyayoga, sheetvalka, phalasambadha, yagnyasara, panibhuk
English: cluster fig, country fig Crattock, Gular fig, Redwood fig
Hindi: Gulara, Gular
Telugu: atti,medai , Brahmamamidi, medi pandu, Attimaram
Bengali: Jagnadumur, Yagnadumur
Marathi: Atti, Gular, Umber
Oriya: Jajnadimbri, Dimbiri
Gujarathi: Umbro, Umerdo, Umardo, Umarado
Kannada: Attihanninamara, Oudumbara, Athimara, Attigida
Punjabi: Kath Gular, Gular
Assamese: Jangedumuru, Yagyadimru
Chinese: Ju Guo Rong.
Varities:Ficus species are common and form an important element of lowland rain forest, both as canopy and understorey trees.
SynonymsSynonyms in Ayurveda: udumbar, jantuphala, hemdugdhaka, kshirvriksha, sadaphala, kalaskandha, yagnyayoga, sheetvalka, phalasambadha, yagnyasara, panibhuk
उदुम्बरो जन्तुफलो यज्ञाङ्गो हेमदुग्धकः |
Guna: Guru Ruksha
The bark of audumbar (oudumbar) tree is said to have healing power. In countries like India, the bark is rubbed on a stone with water to make a paste, which can be applied over afflicted by boils or mosquito bites. Allow the paste to dry on the skin and reapply after a few hours. For people whose skin is especially sensitive to insect bites, this is a very simple home remedy
Cultivation:Ficus species are common and form an important element of lowland rain forest, both as canopy and understorey trees. Most species prefer per-humid forest, but several are found in areas with a monsoon climate and in teak forest, including locations where the soil dries out.
Succeeds in full sun to partial shade Succeeds in most soils that are reasonably moist but well-drained
Cluster fig is resistant to fire
Fig trees have a unique form of fertilization, each species relying on a single, highly specialized species of wasp that is itself totaly dependant upon that fig species in order to breed. The trees produce three types of flower; male, a long-styled female and a short-styled female flower, often called the gall flower. All three types of flower are contained within the structure we usually think of as the fruit.
The female fig wasp enters a fig and lays its eggs on the short styled female flowers while pollinating the long styled female flowers. Wingless male fig wasps emerge first, inseminate the emerging females and then bore exit tunnels out of the fig for the winged females. Females emerge, collect pollen from the male flowers and fly off in search of figs whose female flowers are receptive. In order to support a population of its pollinator, individuals of a Ficus spp. Must flower asynchronously. A population must exceed a critical minimum size to ensure that at any time of the year at least some plants have overlap of emmission and reception of fig wasps. Without this temporal overlap the short-lived pollinator wasps will go locally extinct
Propogation:Seed - germinates best at a temperature around 20°c.
Tip cuttings around 4 - 12cm long, taken from lateral branches
Harvesting:The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is often cultivated, both for its fruit and also as a shade tree in plantations and an ornamental tree in parks, large gardens etc
Parts used for medicinal purposeBark, Fruit, ,
Dosage:powder - 3-6 g
Controversy:It is common practice for clinicians to prescribe drugs such oral hypoglycemic agents and or insulin to achieve glycemic control. Many patients are using alternative therapies including dietary supplements or complementary and alternative medicine treatment. However, the safety and efficacy of alternative therapies in general and of medicinal plants in particular must be evaluated by rigorous clinical investigations to confirm and advocate the excellence over the conventional therapies. Medicinal herbs with antihyperglycemic activities are increasingly sought by diabetic subjects and health care professionals and the market for herbal medicines is expanding globally, it is being simultaneously counterbalanced by inadequate regulation
Commercial value:The bark of audumbar (oudumbar) tree is said to have healing power. In countries like India, the bark is rubbed on a stone with water to make a paste, which can be applied over afflicted by boils or mosquito bites. Allow the paste to dry on the skin and reapply after a few hours. For people whose skin is especially sensitive to insect bites, this is a very simple home remedy
Goolar is an attractive fig tree with a crooked trumk and a spreading crown.
Unlike the banyan, it has no aerial roots. The most distinctive aspect of this tree is the red, furry figs in short clusters, which grow directly out of the trunk of the tree. Those looking for the flower of goolar should know that the fig is actually a compartment carrying hundreds of flowers
Leaves: The leaves are dark green, 6-10 cm long, glabrous; receptacles small subglobose or piriform,
in large clusters from old nodes of main trunk
Fruits: The fruits receptacles are 3-6 cm in diameter, pyriform, in large clusters,
arising from main trunk or large branches.
The fruits resemble the figs and are green when raw, turning orange, dull reddish or dark crimson on ripening.
The fruit of Ficus Racemosa Linn is 3/4inch to 2 inches long, circular and grows directly on the trunk
Seeds: The seeds are tiny, innumerable and grain-like.
Outer surface of the bark consists of easily removable translucent flakes grayish to rusty brown,
uniformly hard and non-brittle
Bark: Bark is reddish grey or grayish green, soft surface, uneven and often cracked, 0.5-1.8 cm thick,
on rubbing white papery flakes come out from the outer surface, inner surface light brown, fracture fibrous,
taste mucilaginous without any characteristic odour. Unlike the banyan, it has no aerial roots.
Those looking for the flower of goolar should know that the fig is actually a compartment carrying hundreds of flowers.
Texture is homogeneously leathery
Roots: The roots of F.racemosa are long, brownish in colour.
It’s having characteristic odour and slightly bitter in taste
Roots are irregular in shape
- Transverse section of bark
shows cork, 3-6 layers of thin-walled cells filled with brownish content,
cork cambium single layered,
- secondary cortex 6-12 layered, composed
of thin-walled rectangular cells arranged regularly,
- a number of secondary cortex
cells contain starch grains and some contain rhomboidal crystals of
- most of the cells filled with
chloroplast giving green appearance, cortex a fairly wide zone composed of
circular to oblong, thin-walled cells, containing orange-brown content,
most of the cells filled with simple and compound starch grains, a number
of cells also contain cubical and rhomboidal crystals of calcium oxalate,
- some cortical cells get
lignified with pitted walls found scattered singly or in large groups
throughout cortical region,
- secondary phloem a very wide
zone composed of parenchyma with patches of sieve tubes, companion cells
by medullary rays, phloem parenchyma circular to oval and thin-walled,
phloem fibres much elongated, lignified, very heavily thickened and
possess a very narrow lumen: medullary rays uni to pentaseriate widen towards
peripheral region , a number of ray cells also get lignified and show
pitted wall as described above,
- laticiferous cells also found
in phloem region similar to parenchyma but filled with small granular
masses, starch grains and rhomboidal crystals of calcium oxalate also
found in most of phloem parenchyma and ray cells, cambium, when present,
- 2-3 layered, of tangentially
elongated thin-walled cells.
Geographical distribution:E. Asia - Southern China, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia.
ECOLOGICAL ASPECT:Ficus racemosa trees are one of the most common trees that grow along the river bank which is criss-crossed by numerous elephant trails.
Used in leprosy, diarrhoea, circulatory and respiratory disorders
Tender fruits are used as
astringent, stomachic, refrigerant, in dry cough, loss of voice, diseases of
kidney and spleen, astringent to bowel,
styptic, tonic, useful in the treatment of leucorrhoea, blood disorder, burning
sensation, fatigue, urinary discharges, leprosy, epitasis, carminative and
intestinal worms. They are also useful
in miscarriage, spermatorrhoea, epididymitis, cancer, myalgia, scabies, haemoptysis,
intrinsic haemorrhage and extreme thirst [, 18].
It is administered in haemorrhoids, boils, alleviates the edema in
adenitis, parotitis, orchitis, traumatic swelling, toothache, vaginal
disorders, diarrhoea particular in childrens and also aphrodisiac. Latex is
applied externally on chronic infected wounds to alleviate edema, pain and to promote
the healing. The latex is reportedly used for treating piles.
It is used for treating diabetes. The sap of this plant is a
popular remedy for mumps and other inflammatory enlargements. In Sri Lankan
indigenous system of medicine, it is used in the treatment of skeletal
fracture. The Australian aborigines use this plant in the treatment of mumps, smallpox,
heamaturia, menorrhagia and inflammatory conditions. In Siddha the bark, fruits
and latex are used to treat constipation, anaemia and dysentery
Roots are used in dysentery, pectoral complaints, and diabetes,
applied in mumps, other inflammatory glandular enlargements and hydrophobia
It is highly effective in threatened abortion and also recommended
to treat Menorrhagia, leucorrhoea, gonorrhoea, urinary diseases, hemorrhage and
The bark is highly recommended in urological disorders, diabetes,
hiccough, leprosy, dysentery and piles
The leaves are excellent wash for wounds and ulcers. They are
useful in dysentery and diarrhea.
The infusion of bark and leaves is also employed as mouth wash to
spongy gums and internally in dysentery, menorrhagia, efficient remedy in
glandular swelling, abscess, chronic wounds, cervical adenitis and haemoptysis
latex used in treating leucorrhea
bark used to make decoction / kashaya
Increases kapha but decreases pitta dosha
- Role of Udumbara Sutra in the Management of Fistula in Ano a Rare Case Study (Bhagandara)
- A clinical study on the efficacy of Panchavalkala cream in Vrana Shodhana w.s.r to its action on microbial load and wound infection
- Understanding role of three ficus species in the
management of skin diseases with respect to pittaj kushtha
- Overview of Academic Researches on Vranaropan
(Tissue Healing) Properties of Ayurvedic Drugs
- International Journal of Applied Ayurved Research
ISSN: 2347- 6362 effect of ficus glomerata (udumbara) on various diseases
occurring in persons born in kruttika nakshatra
Precautions:As it is quite a coolant tree, precaution should be taken in using kapha dominant person with recurrent allergic rhinitis, cough and cold
Use in other system of medicine:All parts of this plant (leaves, fruits, bark, latex, and sap of the root) are medicinally important in the traditional system of medicine in India
CONCLUSION:F. racemosa is the well-known fig plant in the Indian Traditional System of Medicine, with multiple pharmacological actions. The extracts and phytoconstituents isolated from this plant have been shown to produce different pharmacological responses, which include hypoglycemic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, hypolipidemic, antidiuretic, and renal anticarcinogenic activities. The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is often cultivated, both for its fruit and also as a shade tree in plantations and an ornamental tree in parks, large gardens etc
KEY WORDS: Ficus racemosa, pharmacology, phytochemistry, toxicology, traditional uses, udumbara
- » Classification and names of udumbara
- » Synonyms and definitions of udumbara
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- » Standardization of udumbara
- » Parts used and Dosage of udumbara
- » Morphology and Histology of udumbara
- » Distribution and Conservation of udumbara
- » Cultivation of udumbara
- » udumbara in the market
- » Medicinal Uses of udumbara
- » Researches and clinical trails of udumbara
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