What is Bael?
Bael or Aegle marmelos is a spiritual, religious and medicinal plant, native of India and Bangaladesh and spread throughout South East Asia. The fruit takes about 10 to 11 months to ripen. Wood Apple is a sweet, aromatic and astringent in nature. Bel has many benefits and uses such as to cure tuberculosis, hepatitis, dysentery, constipation, peptic ulcer, piles and many more, useful in worm infestation and stomach related problems. Bael or Aegle marmelos is also known as Bengal quince, golden apple, Japanese bitter orange, stone apple, etc. It is also known by various names such as Wood apple, Kaitha, Maredu Pandu, Vilam Palam, Belada Hannu, Koovalam, Kothu, Koth Bel, etc. It’s one of the few Ayurvedic plants whose entire parts from root to leaves are used for different diseases. The fruit balances Kaph and Vata doshas, its roots improve digestion, leaves are good for pain, stem for heart and bel flower’s for curing of diarrhea.
Biological classification of Bael
The scientific classification of bael is as below
- Kingdom: Plantae (Angiosperms)
- Order: Sapindales
- Family: Rutaceae
- Subfamily: Aurantioideae
- Tribe: Aurantieae
- Genus: Aegle
- Species: A. marmelos
- Binomial name: Aegle marmelos
Various names of Bael
In different regions, it is known by varied names.
- English name: Wood apple
- Arabic: Safarjale
- Bengali: Belpatthar ka paid
- Hindi: Bael
- Marathi: Belaache zaad
- Tamil: Vilvamaran
- Sinhala: Beli
- Gujarati: Billu
- Kannada: Belladi hannu
- Konkani: Gorakamili
- Malyalam: Koolam
- Marathi: Bel
- Odia: Baela
- Urdu: Bael
- Indonesia: Maja
- Thai: Matum
10 Health benefits of Bael
- Bael for Tuberculosis: In Ayurveda, it is used for the treatment of tuberculosis.
- Bael for Gynecological disorders: The regular consumption of Bael helps to prevent gynecological related issues.
- Bael for Urinary diseases: Use of bel leads you to overcome the problems of urinary diseases.
- Bael for Diabetes prevention: It has bitter pungent, full of antioxidants and helps to stimulate the pancreas to secrete insulin, which leads to lowering of blood sugar. The leaves can be used against diabetes.
- Bael for Digestive disorders: It supports intestinal biological formulations and protects the digestive system from ulceration, reduces the frequency of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), intestinal spasm thus beneficial in treating of dirrrhea, dysentery, and other infections of Elementary canal.
- Bael for Fever prevention: The leaf juice with honey is helpful in prevention of fever.
- Bael for Epilepsy: Flowers are uses as epilepsy tonic.
- Bael Nutritional facts: It is rich in alakloids, polysaccharides, antioxidants, beta carotene, vitamin C, Vitamin B, and many other bio-chemical substances. It also contains tannins, calcium, phosphorous, iron, protein and fiber. The 100 gram of Bael contains the following nutrients: Calorific value (137 Kcal), Moisture (61.5g), Protein (1.8g), Fat (.3g), Minerals (1.7g), Fiber (2.9g), Carb (31.8mg), Calcium (85mg), Phosphorous (50mg), Iron (.7mg), Beta carotene (55 UG), Thiamine (.13mg), Niacin (1.1mg), Vitamin C (8 mg), Potassium (600mg) and Copper (.21 mg).
- Bael for Piles treatment: The extract of unripe bel fruit is helpful in curing of piles and hemorrhoids.
- Bael fights ulcer: Due to its soothing effects on the digestive system, it leads to reduce the acidity level in the stomach thus useful in combating ulcers like gastric ulcers, gastrodudenal ulcers, etc.
Uses of Bael
- Its juice is used to make drink and squashes, especially in summer season because of its sweet and pleasant nature.
- Bael tender leaves are used as salads.
- It cleans the atmosphere as it helps to purify the atmosphere by absorbing the harmful gases from the it.
- It is used to increase appetite.
- Its extract oil is used to cure respiratory problems.
- It is used in the preparation of candy, squash, toffee, pulp powder, and other eatable products.
Medicinal benefits of Bael
- Bel is known for its medicinal values because of the presence of many bio-chemical substance such as alkaloids, antioxidants, polysaccharides and essential oils.
- The fleshy inner product of bael is curative, pesticidal, nutritive as well as therapeutic in nature, which is used for the treatment of many diseases and disorders.
- Wood apple leaves are of therapeutic value and used in lowering of blood cholesterol.
- It is anti-inflammatory in nature. Its extracts when applied on the exposed area, help to cure inflammation.
- Bael’s roots are antidiarrhoetic, antidote to snake venom and anti-inflammatory for healing.
Bel juice benefits
- Bel juice is useful in curing of constipation because of its laxative properties.
- Bel juice gives great comfort in heartburn, acidity, hyperacidity and indigestion.
- If you are suffering from intestinal parasites, it is advisable to drink bael juice because of its antidote nature.
- Aegle marmelos juice is good for heart and brain. Bel juice mixed with Ghee, is beneficial in prevention of heart disease. It is also used as heart tonic.
- Chewing of raw leaves of Bel help to solve many gastric problems.
- Bael juice is rich in vitamin C, and good for scurvy treatment.
Though, Bael is a beneficial Ayurvedic plant, but it has some side effects too. Before eating the fruit, one should take caution in the below given conditions.
- Abdominal disorders: Excess of bael consumption leads to abdominal disorders.
- Constipation: If you are taking more quantity of the fruit, it may lead to constipation.
- Pregnancy: One shouldn’t take Bel during pregnancy.
- Breast feeding: Avoid during breast feeding.
- Surgery: It shouldn’t be used in surgery.
- Diabetes: When taking for lowering of sugar in blood, one should observe sugar level carefully as it may down sugar too low.
- Hypertension: One should avoid to take this fruit if having high blood pressure.
Religious importance of Bael
Bael has great religious significance. In Hindu tradition, the leaves and the fruit of the plant are offered to god during prayer, especially god Shiva. Its leaves are also used to worship Parvati and Viva Rupra. The fruit is used in religious ceremonies and rituals and its mentioned is also seen in Vedas and Mahabharata.