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‘Bael tree’ belongs to India and is a plant sacred to the Hindus. Bael (Aegle Marmelos) has been in use in India since 5000 years. Bael fruit is a must in many religious ceremonies and rituals in the Hindu community and its importance is also mentioned in the Vedas and the Mahabharata.  In fact, the leaves and the fruit of the bael plant are considered an apt offering for Hindu god, Shiva. The other names for the bael fruit are Bengal quince, golden apple, Indian quince, holy fruit, bel, bela, maredo, stone apple, shriphal etc. There is no particular or standard variety for the bael fruit but few localized names of this fruit are KaghziFaizabadi localDhara road etc.

Bael plant has many medicinal properties and contains a lot of bioactive compounds that help in fighting various diseases. It has tremendous health benefits as it helps to ward off viral diseases, improves immunity in the body, cures diabetes and increases the production of milk in nursing mothers. Ayurveda uses almost all parts of the bael tree including its fruits, leaves, roots, bark, and seeds as medicines for treating various ailments. 

The major producers of bael in the world are India, Burma, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. In India, bael is cultivated in the lower Himalayan region of Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, and Maharashtra. It is found in a few areas in the lower south of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Bael plant fruits between the months of February and May. At the time of harvest, it is yellowish green in colour and is slightly unripe. After harvesting, the fruit is kept for 8 days to let it completely ripe. Bael is brittle, so, special care needs to be taken in harvesting and handling of the fruit.

Did you know?

Bael tree is a sacred tree for the Jains as their 23rd Tirthankara attained salvation under this tree. 

Some basic facts about Bael fruit:

  • Botanical name: Aegle Marmelos
  • Family: Rutaceae
  • Common name:   Bael Fruit, bael, beel, sriphal
  • Sanskrit name: Shriphal
  • Parts used: Fruit, leaves, roots, bark and seeds.
  • Native region and geographical distribution: Bael are grown on hills and plains of central and southern India and Burma, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is found in mixed deciduous and dry dipterocarp forests of former French Indochina.
  • Interesting facts: Bael is a sacred tree in Bhutan where immature girls undergo a ritual called "Bael Kama". They get "married to bael fruit" to ensure fertility in the upcoming years.
  1. Bael fruit nutrition facts
  2. Bael fruit benefits
  3. Bael fruit side effects

Bael fruit is enriched with a lot of nutrients like calcium, vitamins, phosphorous, fibre, protein, tannins, iron and organic compounds. It is rich in Vitamin B1 and B2. Here is a table depicting the nutrition facts of bael:

Nutrients Value per 100 g
Energy 137 k.cal
Carbohydrate 31.8 g
Protein 1.8 g
Fats 0.3 g
Water 55 g
Fibre 2.9 g
Vitamins Value per 100 g
Vitamin A 55 mg
Vitamin C 60 mg
Vitamin B1 0.13 mg
Vitamin B2 1.19 mg
Vitamin B3 1.1 mg

Bael fruit for diarrhoea cure

Bael has been used as a remedy for diarrhoea since ancient times. It was commonly used by Indian locals for the management of diarrheal symptoms but this use was not scientific. A 2009 study catered to close the gap between the medicinal use of bael by local communities and research evidence.

Laboratory research on the aqueous extract of bael fruit provided sufficient evidence in the favour of its use. Unripe fruits were chosen for this study and 6 microorganisms were tested for their potential to cause digestive infection in the presence of bael fruit juice. The results demonstrated that bael fruit helps in the prevention of diarrhoea by inhibiting bacterial adherence and invasion into the cells and by preventing the colonisation and binding of microorganisms.

The results of this study confirm that decoction of unripe bael fruit significantly prevented infectious forms of diarrhoea despite having limited antimicrobial activity. This validates the use of bael fruit juice for the treatment of diarrhoea.

Bael fruit for inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease refers to the group of disorders which affect different parts of the intestine and cause inflammation and infection. It is characterised by persistent diarrhoea, weight loss, bloody stools and is quite discomforting to the patient.

Scientists have found that bael juice can be helpful in this condition. With the help of their study, they concluded that unripe fruit extract of bael had anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and stabilising effects. This, they said, is protective against inflammatory bowel disease. Further, they demonstrated that this effect was dose-dependent. However, this study was performed on animal models, so, human dosage cannot be determined.

Similar results have been put forward by another group of researchers who postulated that not just the unripe fruit extract, but different parts of the plant like the fruit, leaves and seeds are effective against digestive disorders and inflammation.

Bael for peptic ulcers management

Peptic ulcers refer to the sores that develop inside the lining of the stomach and the upper part of the intestine. Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting are common in this condition. In severe cases, bael fruit infusion can help.

Studies show that an infusion of bael leaves is an effective remedy for peptic ulcers. For this purpose, bael leaves are soaked overnight and then strained the next morning. Regular consumption of this herbal drink in the morning is likely to provide relief from peptic ulcer symptoms within a few weeks. This effect can be attributed to the presence of tannins, which help in reducing inflammation and aid the process of healing.

Bael fruit for cholesterol control

High cholesterol is a risk factor for a number of cardiovascular disorders like atherosclerosis and heart attack. This is because it gets deposited in the vessels and obstructs the flow.

Researchers have found that bael fruit may be helpful in the management of high cholesterol. Bael leaf powder is a rich source of crude fibre. Aqueous extracts contain flavonoids, alkaloids and phenolics, which may be responsible for its lipid-lowering effect. They concluded that bael fruit juice may have a protective role. So, it may be beneficial to include this in your diet.

Bael fruit for blood purification

One of the traditional uses of bael plant is that it helps in the purification of blood. For this reason, this fruit finds wide application in Ayurveda. Not only this, scientists have also recommended the use of bael fruit juice to aid in the process of purification.

How it helps in purification is by removing toxic substances from the body via the kidney and the liver. Researchers have suggested that bael leaf extract helps in the elimination of blood urea, which is a potential waste product. Other than this, it aids the cleansing of the digestive tract and the intestines.

Bael fruit for malaria

Malaria is a serious disease caused by the bite of female Anopheles mosquito, which acts as a vector for Plasmodium sp. It is characterised by fever, chills, sweating and difficulty in breathing may also be experienced.

Scientists have confirmed that bael fruit has immense antimicrobial potential. Alcoholic extracts of the leaves and seeds have shown that bael fruit has inhibitory potential against Plasmodium sp. as per lab studies. So, it can be given as an addition to the drug therapy for malaria.

Bael fruit prevents infections and allergies

Infections and allergies are majorly caused due to microbial activity. Bael fruit extract is an effective remedy for the prevention of diseases since it is effective against a wide range of microorganisms including bacteria, virus, fungi and protozoa.

It is protective against Histoplasma capsulatum, Aspergillus niger, Klebsiella pneumoniae, thus preventing lung infections. Other than this, aqueous extract of bael fruit or bael fruit juice is effective against Staphylococcus aureus, which is the causative agent of a variety of mild and severe infections, ranging from boils and pimples to cellulitis, meningitis and pneumonia. So, bael fruit juice may be effective against these infections. Further, bael fruit helps in improving the immune response since it is rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Bael fruit for asthma

Asthma refers to airway inflammation characterised by symptoms of wheezing, breathlessness and cough. This condition is episodic and manageable though not completely treatable. Ayurvedic use of bael leaf extracts has been made for the management of asthma symptoms. Alcoholic extract of the plant has antihistamine activity, which may help in preventing asthma symptoms aggravated by allergic triggers. This helped in relieving histamine-induced contractions of the lungs.

An extract of 8 to 16 grams of fresh leaves along with honey has been ascertained to be effective against asthma. This is attributable to the presence of alkaloid and aegeline present in bael fruit leaves. So, bael fruit is likely to aid in mild relief from asthma symptoms.

Bael fruit for cancer prevention

Cancer refers to the uninhibited growth of abnormal body cells. It is a chronic condition and individuals affected with cancer experience a reduction in the quality of life and a diminished immunity. However, some fruits rich in antioxidants and certain phytochemicals are known to be protective of cancer. They help to reduce organ damage by acting against oxidative stress caused by free radicals.

Bael fruit has significant anticancer potential. Several preclinical studies have shown that the leaf extract of bael fruit has inhibitory potential against leukaemia and breast cancer. These effects can be ascertained to the presence of phytochemicals like citrol, eugenol and lupeol.

Bael fruit has also been evidenced to have antineoplastic (preventing cancerous growth) effects against epithelial cancer cells due to the presence of the compound marmelin. This implies that bael fruit is effective against certain types of skin cancer and organ tumours. Further exploration of this activity revealed that bael fruit is effective against the growth of melanoma, pancreatic adenocarcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, epidermoid carcinoma and prostate cancer in humans.

  • Constipation: Bael fruit is consumed as a therapy for diarrhoea. An over-enthusiastic treatment can lead to constipation and other digestive issues. So, it is best to consult your doctor regarding the dosage of this fruit for the management of diarrhoea symptoms.
  • Hypoglycaemia: Having the potential to lower blood sugar levels, overconsumption of bael fruit make the blood sugar levels to fall very low. Headache, confusion and lack of consciousness may be experienced. You must immediately stop the consumption in such cases and visit a doctor since hypoglycaemia is a medical emergency.
  • Allergic response: Although no specific research has reported unsparing allergy to bael fruit, it is loaded with several phytochemicals and components which may elicit an allergic response in some. This may be manifested in the form of nausea, vomiting, abdominal upset or may have more severe symptoms like shortness of breath or skin rash. So, before consuming the fruit in any form, an allergy must be ruled out.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Due to lack of studies on pregnant and nursing mothers, the consumption of bael fruit must be avoided in them to prevent any side effects. 
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Charak Cytozen Forte SyrupCharak Cytozen Forte Syrup84.6
Himalaya Diarex TabletsHimalaya Diarex Tablet66.5
Himalaya Bael Bowel Wellness TabletHIMALAYA BAEL TABLET 60S122.4
Baidyanath Arshkuthar RasBaidyanath Arshakuthar Ras95.0
Baidyanath Bilvadi ChurnaBAIDYANATH BILWADI CHURNA 60GM171.0
Baidyanath Bahu Mutrantak RasBaidyanath Bahumootrantak Ras269.1
Baidyanath Amoebica TabletBaidyanath Amoebica Tablet123.5
Dhootapapeshwar Pittashekhar RasaDhootapapeshwar Pittashekhar Rasa460.75
Dhootapapeshwar Chyavanprash (Ashtavarga)Dhootapapeshwar Chyavanprash (Ashtavarg)229.9
Dhootapapeshwar Pushyanuga ChoornaDhootapapeshwar Pushyanuga Choorna228.6
Patanjali Bel CandyPatanjali Bel Candy126.0
Patanjali Bel SharbatPatanjali Bel Sharbat76.5
Divya DashmularishtaDivya Dashmularishta94.5
Divya Madhunashini VatiDivya Madhunashini189.0
Dabur AmritarishtaDabur Amritarishta Syrup127.8
Dabur ChyawanprakashDABUR CHYAWANPRAKASH SF 500GM162.0
Himalaya Diarex SyrupHimalaya Diarex Syrup57.0
Planet Ayurveda Bael Patra ChurnaPlanet Ayurveda Bael Patra Churna405.0
Planet Ayurveda Belgiri PowderPlanet Ayurveda Belgiri Powder405.0
Planet Ayurveda Motion Stop TabletsPlanet Ayurveda Motion Stop Tablet414.0
Patanjali Divya Bilwadi ChurnaPatanjali Divya Bilwadi Churna40.5
Patanjali Divya Udramrit VatiPatanjali Divya Udramrit Vati27.0
Patanjali Divya Mahamash TailaPatanjali Divya Mahamash Taila279.0
Patanjali Divya Shirahshooladi Vajra RasPatanjali Divya Shirahshooladi Vajra Ras49.5
Patanjali Divya Sahacharadi TailaPatanjali Divya Sahacharadi Taila 100 ml162.0
Patanjali Divya Pushyanug ChurnaPatanjali Divya Pushyanug Churna 100gm54.0
Patanjali Divya Dasmool KwathPatanjali Divya Dasmool Kwath 100gm17.1
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References

  1. S Brijesh et al. Studies on the antidiarrhoeal activity of Aegle marmelos unripe fruit: Validating its traditional usage . BMC Complement Altern Med. 2009; 9: 47. PMID: 19930633
  2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; What is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?
  3. Jayanti P. Behera et al. Effect of aqueous extract of Aegle marmelos unripe fruit on inflammatory bowel disease . Indian J Pharmacol. 2012 Sep-Oct; 44(5): 614–618. PMID: 23112424
  4. K.P.Sampath kumar, M.Umadevi, Debjit Bhowmik, Durgesh mohan Singh, A.S.Dutta. Recent Trends in Medicinal Uses and Health Benefits of Indian Traditional Herbs Aegle Marmelos. THE PHARMA INNOVATION;Vol. 1 No. 4 2012
  5. Sawale KR, Deshpande HW, Kulkarni DB. Bael (Aegle marmelos) a super fruit of an hour: A review. International Journal of Chemical Studies 2018; 6(3): 1720-1723
  6. Shahedur Rahman, Rashida Parvin. Therapeutic potential of Aegle marmelos (L.)-An overview . Asian Pac J Trop Dis. 2014 Feb; 4(1): 71–77. PMCID: PMC4027346
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