By Syed Akbar Peepal has always played a key role in the religious history of India. It is consideredholy by Hindus and Buddhists. It was under the Peepal tree, popularly known as the Bodhtree, that Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment. Peepal is also called the holy fig andBuddhists recognise it as Bo tree. Apart from its religious significance, Peepal has been used in traditional systems ofmedicine for more than 2000 years. In fact this tree was associated with the Indus Valleycivilization. The leaves and fruits of Peepal are extensively used by Ayurveda and Unanipractitioners to prepare a number of medicines for problems ranging from simple boils tothe control of heart beat and from treating mumps to fighting water loss due to diarrhea. Peepal is also recommended as a general health tonic. It is considered good particularlyfor those suffering from constipation. Often Peepal formulations are prescribed forjaundice, to control bleeding, to arrest nocturnal emission, and relief from general bodypain caused by inflammation or swelling. Readymade herbal formulations of Peepal tree are available in the market for those who donot have the time and energy to collect its leaves or fruits and prepare medicine athome. One has to be extra cautious about the genuineness of the Peepal formulations soldin the market. Always be moderate in taking the medicine as any excess intake may leadto health complications. ============= Home remedies ============= If you have troubled bowels and often suffer from constipation, you may take a few Peepalleaves, clean them and dry them. One you obtain dried Peepal leaves, make them intopowder. Take a small piece of jaggery and mix it with the leaf powder. Take a smallportion of the Peepal-jaggery preparation and see the results. Mumps are rare now thanks to universal vaccination. And yet some people suffer from thishighly painful problem. Peepal is a handy and readily available treatment for relief fromthe pain and swelling caused by mumps. Take a couple of Peepal leaves; apply a thin layerof ghee on them. Put the leaves near a flame for them to become tender. Then apply theleaves on the affected portion. Ayurveda and Unani practitioners recommend Peepal decoction for jaundice. This hometherapy is quite simple and easy. Take a small piece of Peepal bark. Wash it properly andthen put it in a glass of water for about eight hours. Filter the water and consume it.