Health Implications of Bael
All parts of the Bael, especially the fruit and the leaves, have immense healing properties.
Diarrhea and dysentery
Dried fruit pulp and its powder are, generally, used for treating diarrhea.
Leaf extract of the plant is known for its anti-diabetic activity. It has been found that bael extract could significantly reduce blood urea and cholesterol level in diabetic animals.
Leaf juice is directly employed in Unani system of medicine for antidiabetic activity. It has been researched that approximately 5g of leaf decoction administered orally once daily has potential antidiabetic effects. The methanolic leaf extract of Aegle marmelos have hypoglycemic and antioxidant properties.
Bael leaf extract has proven cardioprotective benefits.
Studies have shown the fruit extract to posses antiproliferative activity. The mechanism being inhibition of the proliferation of human tumor cell lines. The aqueous extract of the fruit is a good source of water soluble antioxidants, phenolic compounds and antimutagens.
The Psoralen present in the pulp of bael fruit increases tolerance of sunlight which aids in the maintenance of normal skin color. Therefore it is used in the treatment of leucoderma.
The leaf decoction is said to reduce phlegm in cold and alleviate asthma.
The leaves are an effective treatment for various eye inflammations such as conjunctivitis.
The roots and the bark of the tree are used as decoction to treat various forms of fevers. The roots are used in Ayurveda to cure fevers caused by the disorders of vata, kapha and pitta.
The ripened fruit acts as laxative. It promotes peristaltic movements and helps relieve constipation.
Bael fruit and leaf extract has been used for the treatment of peptic ulcer. The pulp forms a mucilaginous layer on the gastric mucosa and thus prevents interaction of acid with mucosal layer.
Bael has a very high phenolic (flavonoid) content which is responsible for the radical scavenging activity in the plant. The free radicals cause oxidative stress that in turn cause disorders ranging from Alzheimers to COPD to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even cancer. The antioxidant activity of methanolic extract of leaves, root and stem bark of Bael was tested in one experiment. The results, published in the African Journal of Plant Science showed that leaf extract have better antioxidant activity than stem bark and root extract.
A study evaluated the anti-inflammatory activity of leaves extract of Aegle marmelos using rat as experimental animal and aspirin as standard drug. Results showed that the leaf extract of the plant had sufficient anti-inflammatory activity.
A study evaluated the hepatoprotective effect of bael leaves in alcohol induced liver injury in albino rats. Results showed that the leaves of Bael have an excellent liver-protective effect.
The root has astringent activity and is used as a home remedy for curing ear problems. The astringent extract of the roots of Aegle marmelos combined with the antiseptic properties of neem helps in getting rid of ear infection, chronic inflammation and pus discharge. The juice of leaves processed in oil is also used as ear drops to treat ear infection.
The leaves of Aegle marmelos have an impact in treating epilepsy.
Antibacterial and Antifungal
The oil extracts from the seeds of bael fruit posses antibacterial and antifungal properties.
The ground leaves of bael can be used to reduce kidney problems.
Arthritis and Gout
Raw bael fruit is helpful in the treatment of arithritis and gout. Its pulp mixed with hot mustard oil when applied on swollen joints render relief from pain.
Coolant and Relaxant
The ripe fruit keeps the body and mind cool.
The most popular way of consuming bael is in the form of a homemade drink using the pulp. The extracted pulp is churned with water and made into a fresh soothing beverage. Bael is an alkaline food and thereby helps to clear the digestive tract, detoxify the body and alleviate acidity. Sugar, lime and rock salt could be added from top to enhance taste.
Due to the multiple medicinal benefits that this fruit offers marketed formulation of Aegle marmelos produced by different ayurvedic / herbal product manufacturing companies are available in the form of tablets (UlcoBliss Tablet), capsules (Aegle Marmelos Capsules Leucare capsules, Capsule Bilv Giri), syrups (R-Qunol Syrup, Entrostat Syrup), Chawanprash and the like.
- Rishabha et al. Int. J. Drug Dev. & Res., Jan-March 2012, 4 (1): 142-151 Covered in Scopus & Embase, Elsevier
- Parichha *S (2004). Bael (Aegle Marmelos) Nature's Most Natural Medicinal Fruit Orissa Review.