Ficus (Fig) species in Nepal: a review of diversity and indigenous uses
Ficus (Fig) species have a wide range of distribution and uses in Nepal. Of the 36 Ficus species native to Nepal, 21 are indigenously used as food, fodder, fuel wood, vegetable, medicine, etc. and some are used religeously in Nepal, and 10 in the closer study area. Ficus religiosa (Pipal), F. benghalensis (Bar), F. benjamina (Sami), F. racemosa (Dumri), especially have a high religious value for both Hindus and Buddhists and are deemed sacred. The indigenous use as medicine is very important. F. benghalensis (Bar) was found as the medicinally most important species , used to treat 22 ailments.
Key words: Ficus, Nepal, traditional use, biodiversity
Over 300 species of fodder trees are found in Nepal and more than 50% of these are Ficus species (Kunwar 2002), which are being cultivated in and around farmlands.