Multi-purpose and medicinal Umbar (Audumbar) (also known as a cluster-fig tree)

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Umbar is also known as Audumbar. There are two types of ‘Umbar’, viz. Umbar and Kakodumbar. Kakodumbar is known as ‘Gandya Umbar’ in rural areas because it bears fruits right from the bottom. Umbar is known as ‘Gular’ in Hindi. Umbar is a small tree often found on the banks of small and big rivers.

The bark, fruit, and to some extent the leaves of Umbar have medicinal use. The roots of Umbar go deep under the ground and it is tricky to extract water from its roots. This extracted water gives relief against many chronic ailments. There is a soapy substance found in this tree; therefore, its inner side of the bark can be powdered and used as an alternative to ‘Ritha’ and ‘Shikakai’. The bark of this tree is used for Stambhan (A process which means to stop or obstruct). The ripe fruits are cold, stambhak (the one which performs the process of Stambhan is called stambhak) and accumulates blood.

 

Medicinal value of Umbar’s milky sap

Along with the qualities mentioned above, the sap of Umbar has other qualities like ability to quickly reduce swelling and make the body strong. For this reason, very little quantity of the milky sap is consumed through milk and sugar. Umbar fruits are used in all such ailments in which there is occurrence of bleeding, swelling, or blood passing through urine and stools and minor diseases like measles, small pox, etc. In the olden days, it was customary to give the sap to stop blood passing through dysentery and for the growth of underweight children. For this, ten drops of sap is taken with milk. The sap is also applied on mumps, wounds with a lot of pus, chronic swelling, swelling in the neck etc. to quickly reduce the swelling and alleviate the pain. Leaves of Umbar bear small boils which can be blended with milk for quick relief in measles and chicken pox.

 

Medicinal properties of Umbar fruit

Some people are addicted to alcohol, smoking, chewing tobacco, etc. These addictions cause liver enlargement and the risk of hydrocephalus. Some have a habit of eating outside food often; and therefore, get affected with jaundice again and again. If the fruits of Umbar are boiled and consumed with goat’s milk, it gives relief against such diseases within 15 days. In case of burns, heel blisters and bleeding these fruits are grinded and the paste is applied to the affected part and kept for the whole night by tying a cloth get a quick relief.

 

Qualities of the bark of Umbar and its inner side

Umbar bark powder given in milk is useful in malaria. An extraction of bark after boiling in water should never be prepared because by heating its property to cure fever is lost. Nowadays, a large number of people from rural as well as urban areas are affected by diabetes. They are fed up of taking various medicines for diabetes. In such a situation, taking powder made of the inner side of barks of Umbar, banyan, peepul, payri etc. regularly helps in controlling diabetes.

-Vaidya Pa. Ya. Vaidya Khadiwale

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