Description of Plant
It is a spinous deciduous and aromatic tree with long, strong and axillary spines. This tree grows up to 18mt in height and thickness of tree is about 3-4ft. leaves are 3-5 foliate, leaflets are ovate and have typical aroma. Flowers are greenish white in color and sweet scented. Fruits are large, woody, greyish yellow, 8-15 celled and have sweet gummy orange colored pulp. Seeds are compressed, oblong and numerous found in aromatic pulp.
Bael is also known as Bilva in Sanskrit language. In Ayurveda, it is more commonly known by the same name. This herb has great medicinal, spiritual and religious significance. Its fruits and leaves are considered sacred and used as offerings to the Hindu Gods like Lord Shiva. This is why it is also known as "Shiva druma" or the tree of Shiva in ancient scriptures.
Bilva is also known for its great properties of keeping blood sugar levels under control for which it is being explored far and wide. It is also great for digestion and helps to keep the intestines healthy.
Different parts of this herb are used for different purposes. Its fruit is relished as a whole as well as for its chilled juice which is very good to beat the heat in hot and scorching summers like those of northern India.
The leaves are also a significant contributor to the many beneficial properties that Bilva herb exhibits. The old yellow fruits of this tree turns green after one year. It contains tannic acid, volatile oil and mucilaginous liquid.
Special note about Aegle marmelos
- Unripe fruits - Balance Kapha and Vata doshas.
- Ripe fruits - Difficult to digest and aggravate all three doshas.
- Roots - Improve digestion prevent vomiting and balance all three doshas.
- Leaves - Relieve pain, dyspepsia, gastritis and abdominal colic pain. It also balances all three doshas.
- Stem - Good for the heart, effective in rheumatoid arthritis and improves secretion of digestive enzymes.
- Flowers - Relieve diarrhea, dysentery, thirst and vomiting.
- English name - Apple wood, Bengal quince.
- Hindi name - Bael, bel patra, Vili, Sriphal
- Sanskrit name - Bilva, Sriphal, Pootivat, Shaelpatra, Lakshmiputra, Shiveshta
- Gujarati name - Bael, Beelee
- Marathi name - Bael
- Punjabi name - Bael
- Telugu name - Bilvayu, Moredu
- Arabic name - Safarjale
- Urdu name - Bael
- Tamil name - Bilubam
- Kingdom - Plantae
- Order - Spanidales
- Family - Rutaceae
It is a very common herbaceous plant native to Bangladesh, Sri-Lanka and India. It grows in most parts of the Indian sub-continent, Myanmar and South – East Asia. Forests on hills and Rajasthan is suitable climate for this tree. It is also distributed in other countries such as Pakistan, Nepal, Philippines, Fiji, Cambodia and Thailand.
|Hindi / Sanskrit||English|
|Rasa||Katu, Tikta, kashay||Taste||Pungent, Bitter, Astringent|
|Guna||Grahi, Snigdha, Tikshna||Physical Property||Absorbent, Unctuous, Sharp|
|Vipaka||Katu||Metabolic Property (After Digestion)||Pungent|
Effects on Doshas
It balances tridosha.
|Charak Samhita||Sushrut Samhita|
||Varunadi, Ambashtadi, Brihat panchmoola, Dashmoola|
Ancient verse about Aegle Marmelos
Bilav, shandliya, shailush, maloor and shriphal are various synonyms of this bael. It is bitter and astringent in taste, absorbent, rough, stimulates digestive fire, aggravates pitta dosh and pacifies vata kapha dosha. It has light guna, improves digestion and has hot potency.
Practical uses of Aegle marmelos
As already discussed above, different parts of the Bael plant are used for different health conditions. Special emphasis has been given to the ripened fruits which are not considered as healthy and if consumed, may lead to unnecessary bloating and indigestion.
Researches are on to explore more on the hypoglycemic action of this plant and leaves have anti-diabetic properties. It is help to control diabetic polyuria. It helps pancreas to produce more amount of insulin, which helps to control diabetes.
In Ayurveda, there is a very popular group of herbs known by the term "Dashamoola". These ten herbs are considered as the best anti – inflammatory and pain relieving herbs of all times. Bilva is one of the ten herbs mentioned in this group. Therefore, it can be widely used in a variety of pain producing conditions in the body.
Problems of the female reproductive system like Leucorrhea, menstrual irregularities, vaginal hemorrhages etc. are also relieved with the use of Bilva along with other herbs.
It also balances pitta related disorders in the body, effective in managing ulcers and infections.
The ripe fruit has laxative properties and it also helps to treat constipation. Unripe fruit is also very effective in treating dysentery, diarrhea and other gastro intestinal disorders.
It has also power to fight against skin diseases and used to cure various skin disorders.
It helps to control functioning of heart, cardiac muscles and cardio vascular system of body.
Products from Aegle marmelos
- Ripe fruits
- Unripe fruits
Dosage is very variable as it depends which part of the plant is used and in what form.