September Plant of the Month: Bodhi Tree
Join us on Sunday, September 16th for a tour of the Bodhi Garden! Register here!
Latin name: Ficus religiosa, Moraceae
Common names: Bodhi, Sacred Fig, Peepal
Preparation: Decoction of bark used as a gargle or in small doses, dry & powder the fruits and add to honey for coughsThe Sacred Fig has been studied recently for its historical use in the treatment of asthma, diabetes, diarrhea, epilepsy, gastric problems, inflammatory disorders, infections disorders, and sexual disorders. More studies are needed to isolate the particular constituents that are active, to get Ficus religiosa integrated with modern medicine. It has a rich history of folk use, using the bark, fruit, new leaf growth, and latex. The ripe figs that grow directly on the trunk are edible.
Our garden’s centerpiece, our Bodhi Tree, is a fifth-generation descendant from the Bodhgaya grove in India, where the Buddha is said to have sat when he reached his enlightenment. This tree was rescued by staff of the Florida School of Holistic Living from the University of Central Florida, where the administration was removing its mother to pour a concrete courtyard.
This tree was planted on September 11th, 2007 – a New Moon – with 250 community members in a procession of prayer. Each participant added a shovel-full of soil along with their prayers for peace and harmony within our community. In the Fall of 2017 Hurricane Irma uprooted the Bodhi Tree, and after weeks of effort (both physical and monetary), we planted it back – stronger & deeper. The tree has bounced back with the familiar tenacity seen in other figs.