A team of researchers conducted a study on wild Himalayan fig and found that it has medicinal properties to cure pain in the human body. The wild Himalayan fig is a popular Himalayan fruit, commonly known as “Bedu” in the Kumaon region of India. They also have many other medicinal benefits such as curing skin diseases and wound infections.
The research was carried out in collaboration with Lovely Professional University, Kumaon University, Ganpat University, Sharda University, Messina University in Italy and two universities in Iran – Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. The study was led by Dr Devesh Tiwari of LPU.
The study found that the wild Himalayan fig, scientifically known as ‘Ficus Palmata’, contains two major components Psoralen and Rutin. Psoralen helped to block an enzyme called ‘Cyclooxygenase-2’ (COX-2), which is also blocked by pain relievers such as Diclofenac and the other, Rutin, helps bind the mu-opioid, a major binding site in Morphine.
Over a time period of 3 years, the researchers studied the analgesic results of wild Himalayan fig, which were tested on experimental rats, and through computer modelling. According to the study, wild Himalayan fig can be used as an ingredient in nutraceutical products with therapeutic values.
Dr Devesh Tiwari, Research Lead and Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Lovely Professional University said, “Wild Himalayan fig aka Bedu are an excellent and safe plant-based alternative to the synthetic pain relievers like Aspirin and Diclofenac. Traditionally, this fruit was used for curing backaches in the rural areas. So far, there was no study available on the analgesic effects of Ficus Palmata. Our research is the first, to establish Wild Himalayan Fig as a natural pain reliever.”