Bael or Aegle marmelos is one of the miraculous herbs of Ayurveda; of which every part possess several medicinal properties. Bael is packed with numerous therapeutic advantages and has been used in Ayurveda to cure several diseases.
Altogether, the Bael tree is potent to pacify Tridoshas. Hence, it is extensively used in an array of digestive disorders, cardiac conditions, chronic fever, respiratory infections, and swellings. This sacred Indian plant is a natural blessing to humanity.
Let’s know more about this revered medicinal herb.
Bael – All you need to know
Sanskrit name for Bael is ‘Bilva.’ It is renowned in Ayurveda as ‘Shriphala,’ meaning, fruit of prosperity. Offering trifoliate Bael leaves is a compulsory ritual in India while worshipping Lord Shiva. This trifoliate leaf is believed to symbolize three eyes of Lord Shiva.
Bael is an 8-15 meter high deciduous, thorny tree. It has an erect, branched, woody stem with straight single or paired spines. Bael leaves are elliptic-lanceolate, trifoliate, and dotted with glands. The white Bael flowers are sweetly scented.
Bael fruit is large, ovoid-shaped, golden-yellow with a firm, woody shell. It has thick, orange, sweet pulp, having many orange seeds embedded in it. All the parts of Bael are useful in Ayurvedic medicines. Bael root, bark, leaves, flowers, fruit (both ripe & unripe) possess medicinal powers.
Properties of Bael
All the parts of the Bael tree are very useful as a medicine. Ayurvedic texts describe the medicinal properties of each valuable part in detail.
Unripe Bael fruit
Unripe Bael fruit tastes astringent, and bitter. It is light to digest and is unctuous. It acquires pungent taste after digestion and is hot in potency. It pacifies vata and kapha dosha.
Ripe Bael fruit
Ripe Bael fruit is sweet and heavy to digest. It shows a cooling effect and has a sweet post-digestive effect. It pacifies vata and pitta dosha.
Bael root and bark
Root and bark of Bael are astringent, and bitter in taste. It is dry and light to digest. It acquires pungent taste after digestion and is hot in potency. It pacifies kapha and vata dosha.
Bael leaf tastes bitter and is light to digest. It shows the heating effect and pacifies vata dosha.
What are the benefits of Bael?
Different parts of Bael consist of several therapeutic values and hence, are beneficial in various conditions. This sacred tree is utilized in diverse remedies to cure different diseases.
Unripe Bael fruit
The Bael fruit, when just begins to ripen, is the best for medicinal purposes. It is used much more than the ripe fruits in Ayurvedic remedies.
- It is an excellent appetizer and strengthens the digestive system. It is beneficial in treating digestive disorders like indigestion, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome
- It arrests secretions and bleeding. Therefore, it is used to treat dysentery, leucorrhoea, bleeding piles, excessive menstrual bleeding, hemorrhagic disorders
- It possesses cardioprotective, anti-depressant, and anxiolytic properties which makes it an ideal heart and brain tonic
Ripen Bael fruit
- It is sweet and cooling. Hence, it makes a refreshing summer drink
- It acts as a laxative and therefore, is a good option for those suffering from chronic constipation
Bael root and bark
- Highly useful in curing inflammatory disorders caused due to heart and kidney dysfunctioning
- Possesses antipyretic properties and works wonders against malaria, and intermittent fevers
- Treats severe abdominal pain, indigestion, dyspepsia, anorexia, and flatulence
- Leaves are well-known for its anti-diabetic property. Chewing Bael leaves daily can help you lower your blood sugar level
- It possesses anti-histaminic activity which proves it beneficial in respiratory infections like allergies, asthma, bronchitis
How to use Bael?
Bael is one of those medicinal herbs whose every part possesses healing powers. Primarily, its fruit is used in various ways like a summer drink, jelly, pickles, jam, marmalade, etc. Let’s see how you can use Bael in natural home remedies –
- You can stop dysentery or diarrhea by taking 5-8 grams of half-ripened fruit pulp powder. To make this powder, cut Bael fruit in small slices, sun-dry it or roast and make its fine powder
- To check the blood coming with stools, mix powder of unripen Bael fruit with jaggery, honey, and ghee. Take this combination twice a day
- The decoction of Bael bark and dry ginger powder is very potent in stopping chronic vomiting
- If you are suffering from piles, then you should sit in a tub containing warm decoction of Bael leaves or unripe fruit pulp
- If your child has a low appetite, then you can improve with Bael. For this, mix the pulp of unripe Bael fruit, cardamom powder, sugar, and parched paddy. This mixture will improve your child’s appetite and facilitate digestion
- Sherbet of ripening Bael fruit is a good laxative and natural cure of dyspepsia. For this, dilute the ripened fruit pulp with water, and remove the seeds. Add sugar, milk, or tamarind syrup or lemon juice whichever you like. Blend it well and enjoy it in the morning and evening
- Fresh juice of leaves added with black pepper powder works great in body swelling, fever, and jaundice
- You can apply a hot poultice of Bael leaves to your eyes if you have conjunctivitis
What is the recommended dose?
You should take 5-8 grams of unripe Bael pulp powder if using to cure dysentery. If you are using it as a tonic, then 1-2 gram powder is recommended. The dose of leaf juice and decoction root and bark is 10-20 ml per day.
If you are buying any Bael fruit product, like extract available in the market, then make sure that it is made of fresh unripe fruit. You can take 2-4 grams of fruit extract and 15-30 ml of fruit syrup in a day.
Bael fruit is not known for any side effects when taken righteously. But if you have a weak digestion then avoid consuming ripe Bael fruit juice in large doses as it may cause stomach upset and constipation.
Unripe Bael fruit is hot and penetrating. Therefore, if you are of pitta prakriti then prefer ripe Bael fruit.
Bael is a natural medicine in all aspects. Bael fruits and leaves are commonly used in North-Indian households as medicine. Bael fruit powder and juice, root, and leaf decoction are the most common ways to avail of its medicinal benefits.
Various parts of Bael are incredibly beneficial in digestion related problems, which are prevalent in today’s scenario. Using Bael extract, syrup, or juice is an excellent way to ensure a healthy metabolism.