The Peepal tree is known as the Sacred Fig in English and as Ficus Religiosa in modern sciences.
It is worshiped all over India, especially in the park nearby my home. 🙂
I was discussing it with a friend who very unscientifically refutes anything connected to religion or spirituality. I told him that it is said that Peepal tree releases Oxygen 24 hrs unlike other trees which release Oxygen during the day. This is one of the reasons it is worshiped (oxygen being quintessential to life) apart from its many medicinal benefits.
I got curious and did a bit of digging about the oxygen aspect of it. Here is an excerpt from an article published in the ‘International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research’:
” Some plants such as F. religiosa (Peepal) can uptake CO2 during the night also like day because of their ability to perform a type of photosynthesis called Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM). However, it is not true that they release large amounts of oxygen during the night.”
This also explains the myth in some parts of India that ‘ghosts reside on a Peepal tree’ intended to prevent people from cutting it down (by stopping them to go near it).
The other day I was feeling a bit disconcerted and went and meditated under the one in my park. It was beautiful.