By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD
Udumbar is appreciated as astringent and a cooling herb. Bark, fruits and leaves are commonly used in therapeutics. The plant is known for Pitta and Kapha pacifying nature.
It is one among 5 milk exuding trees, namely Pancha ksheeri vrikshas. Their barks are used together and hence it is they are named as Pancha Valkala herbs. Commonly it is recognized as country fig or cluster fig. Ficus racemosa Linn is the botanical name of this plant.
Read related: Udumbar – Ficus racemosa Uses, Research, Side Effects
Panchavalkala kashaya, Udumbara sara, Udumbara avaleha etc are the important formulations of this drug.
As the plant is available plenty in foot hills and village sides, people use this drug in several home remedies and simple preparations useful in therapeutics. Few important and simple recipes are codified here:
1. Cluster fig bark decoction in mouth ulcer:
The bark of the tree is collected and its brown colored outer skin is removed/scraped. Then it is crushed a little, a tablespoon of this coarse powder is added with 2 cups of water, boiled and reduced to half a cup. Filtered. This decoction is used for mouth gargling (rinsing), 3-4 times in a day. This helps to relieve mouth ulcers and stomatitis.
Read related: Mouth Ulcers: Ayurvedic Treatment, Medicines, Remedies, Tips
2. Tender leaf paste in sore throat and pharyngitis:
Tender leaves fine paste is made. This is retained in the mouth for 10 minutes then spit out. This helps to pacify the sore throat and pharyngitis.
3. Country fig milk added to milk or ghee in sexual debility:
A small incision is made in the base of the plant stem. Milk (Latex) starts oozing out. This is collected gently and stored. 8-10 drops or ¼ spoon of this milk is added to 100 ml of milk or sugar water and taken internally. This helps to cool down the body. This can be taken by mixing with ghee also. This is effective in all Pitta disorders such as excessive burning sensation, bleeding disorders such as heavy periods, gastritis etc.
In sexual debility and oligospermia cases also this is beneficial.
4. Medicated milk of the Bark in Gastritis and acid peptic disorders:
30-40 gram of the fresh or dry bark is taken and cooked well with cow’s milk. This is consumed(about 100-200 ml) early in the morning. This helps to pacify Gastritis and acid peptic disorders.
Read related: Peptic Ulcers: Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment, Herbs, Home Remedies
5. Fruit pulp or juice in hiccup:
Mature fruits are taken and fine paste/pulp is made. Or else by adding little amount of milk, milk shake can be prepared(by adding little sugar or jaggery). This pulp as well as juice relieves all paittic problems and hiccup.
Now a days we are constantly thinking of organic, safe, nutritive fruits and vegetables. Ripened fruits of Udumbara is appreciated well by the village people which fulfills the need during their hunger and thirst. Likewise, the tender fruits of country fig is a very good organic vegetable which can be popularized ion huge population once by education and introduction in the organic vegetable markets.
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