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Indian Jujube


Botanical Name Zizyphus mauritiana Lam.
Common NameIndian Jujube, Ber (Hindi), Ilandai (Tamil), Badari (Sanskrit)

Distribution

Throughout India

Sabari offering the Ber fruit to Lord Rama and Lakshmana


Religious association

The tree is associated with Lord Shiva, whose worship is considered incomplete without offering of the jujube fruit, especially during Mahashivaratri.

The Ber fruit is also associated with Sabari, an old woman who is mentioned in the Hindu epic Ramayana. She is believed to have tasted the fruits first, and then offered only the sweet and ripe ones to Lord Rama and His brother Lakshmana.

The tree is also considered sacred by the Sikh community. The Golden temple in Amritsar has a ‘Ber’ tree called the ‘Beri Sahib’ in its central courtyard. The tree is also worshipped.

Uses

The ripe fruit is very nutritious and is consumed raw. It is also used for making candies, pickles and used in desserts. The powdered raw fruit is eaten to cure ulcers, swellings in mouth, diarrhoea. The fruit juice is used to treat venereal disorders. The leaves of the tree are used as fodder for the cattle. A paste of the bark helps to cure boils and tumours. The wood is used for construction and for making agricultural implements. The thorny tree makes good fencing. The tree is also used as a host for the lac insect, Kerria lacca in India.

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