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Indian Medlar

Botanical Name Mimusops elengi Linn.
Common NameIndian Medlar, Bakul (Hindi), Mahilam (Tamil), Bakula (Sanskrit)


Deccan Peninsula

Religious association

The Bakula tree is associated with Lord Trimurti, and Bakula is one of his several names. The flower is offered to Gods and Goddesses throughout India. Because of the flowers’ ability to hold on to their fragrance for many days after they fall from the tree, the offering of the flower has a symbolic meaning – the flower signifies unwavering devotion.

The tree is also sacred to the Buddhists and the Jains.


The berry-like fruits of the Bakul tree are edible. The pulp is given to patients suffering from stomach upsets. Lotion prepared from the flowers is used to cure wounds and ulcers. A paste of the roots mixed with vinegar is applied to swellings on the face and a paste made with water is applied to eruption of the skin. The seeds are used in the preparation of eye drops and antidotes.

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