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Recently I heard from a group of commentators that the Bodhi tree, a tree species which Buddha choose to attain enlightenment under, was actually known to have medicinal properties. Has anyone ever heard this before? Apparently, this tree was what allowed Buddha to sit under the tree for long periods of time without developing pressure sores across his lower body. This particular sect of Buddhism believes Buddha sat under the tree for at least 7 years. Honestly I'm not surprised to find apologetical statements because of their position. Does anyone know if the Bodhi tree actually has these "medicinal" properties? Also, would you consider it's properties sufficient enough in explaining away the lack of pressure wounds we would expect to find on Buddha's body?

To summarize my question:

  1. Does the Bodhi tree actually have medicinal properties as some Buddhists claim?
  2. Are the medicinal properties sufficient enough in explaining away the pressure sores we would expect to find on Shakyamuni's body through his prolonged meditation model (years)?
  3. Please no short term models to undermine the question, thank you.
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Does the Bodhi tree actually have medicinal properties as some Buddhists claim?

Maybe it does? For example, Phytopharmacology of Ficus religiosa references studies which say it does. I can't judge whether these are good/reliable studies (questioning the reliability of those studies might be a good question for Skeptics.SE if you really want to pursue it).


Are the medicinal properties sufficient enough in explaining away the pressure sores we would expect to find on Shakyamuni's body through his prolonged meditation model (years)?

I can't say I'm an expert on pressure sores, I'm not sure what to expect.

Bicyclists for example can sit on their saddle for hours and days on end, partly because they have become physically accustomed to it through practice/use.

Also, for what it's worth and for example, to prevent pressure sores in a bed-ridden geriatric patient, this paper says,

When older adults are admitted to a hospital or a nursing home, caregivers should inquire how often patients will be repositioned, Edsberg says. She suggests ascertaining the facility’s policy on repositioning. “It’s recommended that the patient be repositioned every two hours,” she says. “Caregivers might want to consider being proactive in enforcing this by setting a timer in the patient’s room so that it’s not forgotten.”

It also recommends good nutrition. Anyway, that confirms my preconception that occasional repositioning is important (and is used) to help prevent pressure sores.

See also this topic, Buddha meditation under the bodhi tree, which questions whether the Buddha "sat and did not move for days"... a meditator might change position occasionally.

Also I presume that Gautama maybe did develop sores and so on, when he was practicing during his ascetic period.


I suppose that ideally to answer this question you might like a comparative (double-blind) study of people sitting on Bodhi tree leaves, or something like that (I don't know of such a study); or an answer from someone with personal experience of it.

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The Bodhi-Tree is sacred to Buddhists. In the scriptures it says that Ven. Ananda once asked the Buddha what could be done to help the many disappointed devotees who travelled to Savatthi (a city of ancient India and one of the six largest cities in India during Gautama Buddha's lifetime) to see the Buddha, only to find that He was away attending to another in distress. The Buddha then advised Ven. Ananda to plant a sapling from the great Bodhi tree under which He had attained enlightenment in Savatthi. It was at this occasion that He proclaimed that the Bodhi Tree would be a symbol of the Buddha that devotees could venerate in His absence.

I have not heard of any healing/medicinal properties but even to this date we can see devotees conducting Bodhi Poojas at the local temples to invoke blessings. What is important IMO, is to get a true understanding of the Dhamma than having a belief that all problems could be solved by Bodhi Poojas.

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