Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of Ficus religiosa
Herbal medicine is one of the oldest valuable bestowal that was given to mankind. Many plants and herbs hold their prestigious position in the field of medicine among which Ficus religiosa belonging to the family Moraceae is the vital one. It is commonly named as “sacred fig”, “Bo tree” “Peepal” or “Ashwattha” in Sanskrit. It is found all over India, as it is one of the sacred tree worshipped by Hindus. The different parts of the F. religiosa species tree namely bark, fruits, leaves, seeds and latex are used as chief indigenous medicines to cure various ailments. Recent studies have reported that F. religiosa is used in the traditional medicine to relieve about 50 types of disorders including diabetes, diarrhea, epilepsy inflammatory disorders, and gastric problems, sexual and infectious disorders. Green synthesis of Nano Particles (NPs) plays significant roles in medicines, clinical applications and in vitro diagnostic applications. This has also attracted the use of F. religiosa in the process of green synthesis of NPs where specific targeted treatment and theranostics are made easier. The applications of the green nanotechnology using F. religiosa has shown that the phytochemical investigation of plant extracts exhibits the presence of flavonoids, tannins, phenoids, alkaloids, saponins and terpenoids. The studies also prove that the extracts express pharmacological activities like anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, hypoglycemic, hypo-lipidemic, wound-healing, anti-helmintic, immune-modulatory, anti-convulsant and anti-ulcer in Humans. The present study is an attempt to compile and provide a brief review on the phytochemical investigations and pharmacological applications of F. religiosa.