The peepal tree, Ficus religiosa, also known as the "bodhi" tree, is a deciduous tree that is native to India. This tree is sacred to those of the Buddhist faith, as it is believed to be the personification of Buddha. Cuttings from this tree exist in Sri Lanka that date back to 288 B.C.
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The peepal tree is medium-sized and has heart-shaped leaves. The figs of the tree house the flowers and grow in pairs. The berries are purple and also grow in pairs.
Peepal trees are native to India and thrive in hot, humid weather. They prefer full sunlight and can grow in most soil types, though loam is the best. When planting, use soil with a pH of 7 or below. While it is possible for the plant to grow indoors in a pot, it grows best outside.
Peepal trees have many medicinal uses. Juice extracted from the leaves is used for eardrops. The bark is used to heal inflammations of the neck and glandular swellings. Chewing the roots of a peepal tree is said to help prevent gum disease.
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