Bael has a long history of use in traditional medicine and is considered to be one of the most important medicinal plants in Ayurveda. It is used to treat a wide range of ailments including indigestion, constipation, piles, respiratory disorders, skin diseases, fever, and urinary disorders. The fruit is used to make jam, chutney, pickles, and beverages, and its leaves are used for religious ceremonies. It is also a popular ornamental tree, and is sometimes planted near temples and other religious structures. Bael Fruit is different from Wood apple (Health Benefits of Wood apple).
Bael Tree History
It is considered sacred in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. It is mentioned in the Vedas and Upanishads, and is believed to have been used in Ayurveda since ancient times. The tree is also known as the Elephant Wood Apple Tree, or Bel Tree. It is a sacred tree for Hindus, believed to have been planted by Lord Shiva. In Hindu mythology, the tree is closely associated with the god Vishnu, who is believed to have rested under its branches. It is also believed to have sheltered Lord Rama during his exile. In Jainism, the Bael tree is associated with the 24th Tirthankara, Mahavira. It is considered auspicious and is often planted near temples and homes. In Buddhism, the Bael tree is associated with the four noble truths and the eightfold path. It is also believed to have been used by the Buddha himself while meditating. The Bael tree is also an important part of Indian culture and is featured in many folk tales, poems and songs.
Mythology and Traditional Beliefs
The Bael tree is an important tree in Hindu mythology and is associated with several gods and goddesses. In Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu is said to have been born under a Bael tree. The Bael tree is also associated with Lord Shiva, who is commonly depicted sitting beneath a Bael tree in his yogic form. Sacred to Lord Shiva, whose worship cannot be accomplished without its leaves. According to another popular legend, Lord Shiva is said to have sought refuge in a Bael tree, when the gods were chasing him. The Bael tree is also an important tree in the Mahabharata, where Arjuna is said to have used its leaves to make a protective shield against the arrows of Lord Indra. The Bael tree is also associated with the goddess Saraswati, who is said to have found shelter under it. In addition, the Bael tree is said to be the abode of the celestial nymphs known as Apsaras. These heavenly nymphs are said to bathe and worship under the Bael tree.
Spiritual Beliefs and Significance
The bael tree is considered to be a sacred tree in Hinduism and is worshiped as a representative of Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva lives on the tree and devotees can invoke the blessings of Lord Shiva by offering prayers and offerings to the bael tree. It is also believed that this tree has the power to ward off evil and bring good luck, prosperity, and health. The tree is also associated with the Goddess Lakshmi and worshipping her under the bael tree is said to bring good fortune. In some parts of India, the bael tree is also used as a symbol of fertility and is used for marriage ceremonies. People often hang symbols of fertility on the branches of the tree to bring fertility and good luck to the couple. In addition the bael tree fruits are highly nutritious and can sustain life in times of drought or famine. Its wood is also used to make furniture and other household items, adding to its overall significance.
Vastu Shastra and The Tree
Beliefs about planting bael trees around a home vary by culture. In some cultures, it is believed that planting a bael tree around a home will bring good luck and prosperity, while in others it is believed to ward off negative energy and evil spirits. It is also believed that planting a bael tree will bring happiness, health, and peace to the inhabitants of the home. Here are few benefits to mention but note that there is no scientific evidence to support it.
- It brings peace, prosperity and wealth in the house.
- The tree is believed to be very auspicious for the home.
- It is believed to protect the house from negative energy and evil spirits.
- It is believed to bring good luck and fortune to the house.
- It is also believed to bring mental and emotional strength and stability in the house.
- It is believed to bring success in business and profession.
- It is believed to bring good health to all the members of the house.
- The presence of the tree is believed to help in the holistic development of the family.
Bael Nutrition Facts and Calories Chart
It is an excellent source of numerous vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that can benefit your health. It is a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and thiamin and also contains minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Bael also has several plant compounds, such as phenolic compounds, terpenoids, and alkaloids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Nutritional value per 100 g bael fruit:
- Biotin: 0.00 µg
- Calcium: 12.3 mg
- Carbohydrates (Carbs): 59.0 g
- Chloride: 16.9 mg
- Cholesterol: 0.00 mg
- Choline: 0.3 mg
- Chromium: 0.0 µg
- Copper: 0.2 mg
- Dietary Fiber: 7.5 g
- Energy (Calories): 52 kcal
- Fat: 0.9 g
- Iodine: 0.0 µg
- Iron: 1.0 mg
- Magnesium: 36.0 mg
- Manganese: 0.4 mg
- Molybdenum: 0.0 µg
- Pantothenic Acid: 0.3 mg
- Phosphorus: 39.0 mg
- Potassium: 538 mg
- Protein: 2.1 g
- Saturated fat: 0.1 g
- Selenium: 0.0 µg
- Sodium: 15.8 mg
- Sugars: 43.7 g
- Vitamin A: 0.0 µg
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 0.2 mg
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 0.1 mg
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 0.8 mg
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 0.3 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg
- Vitamin B9 (Folate / Folic Acid): 60.0 µg
- Vitamin B12: 0.0 µg
- Vitamin C: 5.8 mg
- Vitamin D: 0.0 µg
- Vitamin E: 0.4 mg
- Vitamin K: 0.0 µg
- Water: 9.4 g
- Zinc: 0.3 mg
Bilva Patra – Bael Leaves Health Benefits
In Ayurvedic medicine, bael leaves are believed to have many health benefits. They are used to treat digestive issues, boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and improve skin health. Bael leaves are also used in religious ceremonies and rituals, as they are believed to bring good luck and prosperity. Additionally, they are used to make traditional dishes, like bael ka sharbat, which is a refreshing drink made with bael leaves, sugar, and spices.
- To Treat Diabetes: The leaves, bark, and fruit of the tree have been used for their anti-diabetic properties. The leaves of the Bael tree contain flavonoids, polyphenols, and tannins, which are known to have anti-diabetic properties. In animal studies, Bael leaves have been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce inflammation. The leaves have also been shown to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as reduce oxidative stress. Bael leaves can be consumed as a tea, powder, extract, or capsule.
- The leaves have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which help to fight off infections and keep the body healthy. Bilva patras beneficial for the skin and are known to be effective in treating skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis.
- Bael leaves are also known to be a good source of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium.
- Bael leaves are also known to be a natural laxative, making them useful for digestive health. It is a natural remedy for digestive problems in ayurveda. They are known to aid digestion, reduce intestinal gas, relieve constipation and effective in treating various types of stomach and intestinal infections.
- Bael leaves are known to be a natural diuretic, which helps to flush out toxins from the body, reduce water retention and beneficial for people suffering from urinary tract infections.
- Leaves can help to reduce fever, improving the body’s ability to fight off infection related respiratory disorders such as asthma, bronchitis, and colds.
- Bael leaves can help to reduce cholesterol levels in the body, improve heart health and prevent the formation of plaque in the arteries.
Home Remedies with The Fruit
- Treating Constipation: This fruit is a fantastic remedy for the digestive system. Bael fruit is known to treat constipation due to its laxative properties. It can be consumed as a juice or a pulp mixed with honey, and is believed to be beneficial in treating constipation. The dried immature part is used for diarrhea while the mature, fresh fruit is more laxative. The unripe fruit of this herb has the effect of contracting tissue and reducing the flow of liquids or fluids from the glands.
- Treating Diarrhea: Bael fruit is known to have anti-diarrheal properties, which makes it a great home remedy for diarrhea. The juice of the fruit, mixed with a little bit of honey, can be consumed to help cure the condition.
- Skin Health: Bael fruit is believed to be beneficial for skin health due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It can be consumed as a juice or applied as a paste on the skin to help reduce inflammation and irritation.
- Hair Health: Bael fruit is also known to be beneficial for hair health. It is believed to help reduce hair loss and dandruff. The juice of the fruit can be applied on the scalp and left overnight.
- Treating Cough: Bael fruit is known to have anti-tussive properties, which makes it beneficial in treating coughs and colds. The pulp of the fruit can be mixed with honey and consumed to help alleviate the symptoms.
- For Diabetes: The juice of leaves with black pepper is very useful in diabetes. Bael is available at many places in liquid extract form in the stores. The active principle in aqueous leaf extract shows activity similar to insulin.
Bael Fruit Juice
Bael fruit juice is a popular drink in India and is known for its numerous health benefits. According to Ayurveda, bael fruit juice helps to treat digestive problems, strengthens the liver and spleen, helps in weight loss, prevents infections, and helps in detoxifying the body. It is also known to improve immunity, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy skin, hair, and nails. Bael fruit juice is also rich in vitamin C, which helps to boost the body’s immunity and reduce the risk of infections. Furthermore, bael fruit juice helps to reduce acidity, prevents constipation, and helps to treat digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers. The juice is also known to help in reducing stress, improving mental clarity, and promoting better sleep.
How to Make Bael Fruit Juice? Step By Step Recipe
- 2 Bael fruits
- 2 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 2 tablespoons of lime juice
- 1 teaspoon of cardamom powder
- Wash the fruits thoroughly and cut them into cubes.
- Add the fruit cubes, water, honey, lime juice and cardamom powder into a blender.
- Blend the ingredients until the mixture is smooth.
- Strain the mixture using a strainer.
- Pour the juice into glasses and serve chilled.
Bael juice can be preserved by adding a preservative such as sodium benzoate or citric acid. The juice can also be boiled and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. If you want to keep the juice for longer, you can freeze it for up to a few months. Be sure to label and date the container before freezing.
How To Use The Juice?
Bael juice is usually consumed early in the morning, on an empty stomach, for best results. It is also recommended to drink bael juice twice a day, once early in the morning and once before bedtime. It is recommended to drink 1 – 2 cup (20 – 40 ml) of bael juice per day.
- Start by blending one part bael juice with five parts water.
- Pour the mixture into a glass and add a pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
- Drink the juice immediately as it is most beneficial when consumed fresh.
- Toast some cumin seeds and add them to the juice for an extra flavor.
- To reap the digestive benefits of the juice and avoid any problems, drink it on an empty stomach.
- If you’re looking to improve your skin, mix one teaspoon of bael juice with one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of lemon juice. Apply the mixture to your face and allow it to sit for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
Bael In India
Bael, also known as Aegle marmelos, is a species of tree native to India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and several other South Asian countries. It is a member of the monotypic family Rutaceae, and is one of the most important sacred trees in Hinduism and Ayurveda. It is a slow-growing tree that can reach heights of up to 20 meters, with a trunk diameter of up to 50 cm. Its thick bark is greyish-brown in color, and its leaves are alternate, compound, and pinnate with up to 10 leaflets. The fruit of the bael tree is a big, hard-shelled, globose drupe, yellowish-green in color, with a sweet scent and a sweet-sour taste. In India, it is commonly known as Bilva, Bengal Quince, Stone Apple, or Golden Apple.
- Scientific Binomial: Aegle marmelos
- Common English: Beli Fruit / Bengal Quince / Stone Apple / Elephant Wood apple
- Ayurvedic: Bilva / Shriphala / Shaandilya / Shailuusha / Shalya / Sadaaphala / Mahaakapitha / Maaluura / Rudranirmaalya / Rudrajataa / Shivajataakhya
- Unani: Bael
- Sanskrit: Adhararuha / Sivadrumah / Tripatra / Asholam / Atimangaliya / Bilva / Duraruha / Gandhapatra / Gandhaphala / Goharitaki / Granthila / Hridayagandha / Kantakadhya / Kapitana / Karkatavha / Lakshmiphala / Mahakapitthakhya / Mahaphala / Malura / Mangalya / Nilamallika
- Hindi: Bel / Bela / Sirphal / Kuralam / Siriphal / Baelputri / Beli / Belgiri / Bila / Bili
- Urdu: Bel / Bilk ham / Beigiri
- Bengali: Bel / Bela / Vilva
- Marathi: Maredu
- Telugu: Sandiliyamu / Maredu / Bilva / Bilva Pandu / Bilvamu / Maluramu / Maredoo / Sailushamu / Shriphalamu
- Tamil: Vilvam / Koovilam / Aluvigam / Iyalbudi / Kuvilam / Mavilangai / Villuvam / Vilva Marum
- Gujarati: Bili / Bilipatra / Bil
- Kannada: Bilvapatre / Kumbala / Malura / Bilpatra
- Malayalam: Vilvam / Kuvalam / Maaredy / Mavilavu
- Oriya: Belo
- Punjabi / Sindhi
- Konkani: Bello
- Manipuri: Heirikhagok
Popular Traditional Healthy Recipes
- Sharbat: This refreshing drink is made with bael fruit, sugar, black pepper, and mint. Bael Sharbat is a traditional Indian beverage made from the bael tree. It is a refreshing, sweet-tart drink that is popular during the summer months. The beverage is made by crushing the tree fruit, boiling it with sugar and spices, and then cooling it down. It is usually served chilled, with a sprinkle of rose water and a hint of cardamom. Bael Sharbat is known for its cooling effect on the body and is believed to be beneficial for digestion. It is a popular drink during festivals and on special occasions.
- Bael Murabba / Jam: This sweet preserve is made with the fruit, sugar, and spices. A bael murabba is a type of Indian fruit preserve made with bael fruit. The fruit is cooked with sugar, spices, and water to produce a thick syrup. The syrup is then poured over the fruit and allowed to cool and set. The resulting preserve can be stored for several months and served as a condiment or dessert. Bael murabba is popular in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
- Fruit Smoothie: Blend together 1/2 cup of bael fruit and 1 cup of plain yogurt. Add a small pinch of nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon of honey and a pinch of cardamom. Blend until smooth and enjoy!
- Fruit Salad: Chop 2 cups of bael fruit and mix with 1/2 cup of chopped mango and 1/2 cup of diced pineapple. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of chopped almonds and drizzle with a dressing of 2 tablespoons of honey, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.
- Bael Ki Sabzi: This spicy vegetable dish is made with bael fruit, onions, ginger-garlic paste, spices, and tomato puree.
- Curry: This curry is a traditional Indian dish usually prepared by simmering the bael fruit (elephant wood apple) in a mixture of spices, herbs and coconut milk. The curry can be served with rice, chapatis or puris. It is often eaten as a dessert, but it can also be served as a main course. Bael curry is a popular dish in many Indian states, particularly in the South.
- Bael Fruit Chutney: This tangy condiment is made with bael fruit, green chilies, and spices. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add 1 finely chopped onion, 1 teaspoon of grated ginger, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Cook until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of chopped bael fruit, 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes, and 1/4 cup of raisins. Stir to combine and cook for 10 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, 1/4 cup of chopped mint, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with rice or naan.
Q. How to eat or consume bael leaves?
Bael leaves can be consumed in a variety of ways. Fresh leaves can be boiled, steamed, or added to salads. The leaves can also be ground into a paste and added to curries, soups, and other dishes. Bael leaves can also be dried and powdered, then used as a seasoning or flavoring in various dishes.
- Make a tea using leaves: Boil three or four leaves in a cup of water for about 10 minutes. Strain the tea and drink it two or three times a day.
- Eat fruit: Fruit is a good source of pectin, which helps reduce cholesterol levels. Eat one to two pieces of bael fruit daily.
- Take a leaf supplement: Bael leaf supplements are available in many health food stores. Take one capsule daily as directed.
- Add leaves to your dishes: Use bael leaves as a seasoning in soups, curries, and other dishes.
- Use leaf powder: Bael leaf powder can be used in smoothies or as a seasoning in dishes.
Q. How Bilva works as an digestive aid or with stomach problems?
- Decoction of Bilva and mango seed, mixed with honey and sugar, checks vomiting and diarrhoea.
- For colitis steamed tender fruits of Bilva with honey, followed by intake of buttermilk added with Chitraka (Plumbago zeylanica) powder, were advised. Paste of the tender fruit of Bilva, mixed with dry ginger powder and jaggery, was also said to alleviate severe colitis. The patient was kept on butter milk diet during the course of treatment.
- Bael fruit is the best laxative of all. It cleans and tones up the intestines. Its regular use for two or three months throws out even the old accumulated faecal matter. Though generally used to check diarrhoea, bael contains both laxative and constipative properties. It hardens the stools when they are loose and serves as a laxative when the bowels are constipated. It should be preferably used in its original form and before dinner. About 60 grams of the fruit will suffice for an adult.
- To treat dysentery, pulp of the fruit mixed with jaggery should be given thrice daily. To deal with a chronic case of dysentery, unripe bael fruit is roasted over the fire and the pulp is mixed with water.
- Traditionally tender fruits of Bilva with butter milk is given for diarrhoea. In case of diarrhea with blood, tender fruits mixed with liquid jaggery, honey and oil is effective folk remedy.
- Where as ripe fruits useful internally as an appetizer and laxative, leaves for producing heat in the body and for toning up the digestive system.
- An Ayurvedic herbal combination consisting of bael and brahmi is very useful to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Bilva is a good choice where there may be ulceration and inflammation of the mucous membranes in the intestines; ulcers, colitis, Crohn’s disease. The fresh fruit is more of a laxative used in summer to cool the system. It is very heavy to digest and should only be taken in small amounts.
- Unripe fruits internally good for treating migraine, internal abscesses and for reducing obesity.