Bael is a tree native to the Indian sub-continent. It is regarded as the “Tree of Lord Shiva” by the Hindus. Bael tree is found in abundance in India, Nepal, and Myanmar. The leaves of the tree are arranged beautifully in a pair of three.
It has been used for ages for its medicinal properties by our ancestors and is mentioned in the Ayurvedic texts for the same. Because of its properties, it is known as Golden Apple. The fruit of bael is also often used in cooking and also eaten raw. The fruit is delicious and loved by all.
Spiritual Representation - The arrangement of three leaves is said to represent the trinity power in the Hindu Mythology Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. Some also believe that this arrangement of three represents the three eyes that Lord Vishnu has. The first bael tree is said to have grown from the sweat of Goddess Parvati, and she is said to reside as her different forms (avatars) in different parts of the tree. The tree is an omen of positivity and good luck.
How did the word Bael originate?
The Bael is derived from the Sanskrit word, “Bilva." In the Vedic literature, it is one of the Dashamoola, which means a group of ten roots. Considered sacred by Hindus, Bael is the only member of the monotypic genus Aegle. With the scientific name “Aegle marmelos," Bael is also known as Bengal quince, golden apple Japanese bitter orange stone apple, or wood apple.
Historical uses of Bael
Growing in the wildwood lands in India and Burma's central and southern parts, and in the deciduous forests of former French Indochina. The use of bael is mentioned in the Ayurvedic texts dating back to 800 B.C. The tree is now found all over India. It has been grown in the temple gardens from ages, for it has been considered sacred.
The Egyptians used to plant the bael trees in their gardens. The seeds have been used in medicines. It has been used to cure almost all stomach-related diseases like diarrhea, constipation, etc.
As the tree was considered sacred, the fruits were used by our ancestors as offering to the Gods while praying. One of the earliest pieces of evidence of bael as a religious offering appears in Shri Shuktam of Rig Veda.
What are the parts of bael that are used?
Bael tree is a wonder in all sense. Almost all of the parts of the tree are used for the benefit of health. The parts known to use by people are:
- Bilva Patra Leaves (The three-leaf arrangement leaves of the bael tree)
- Bilva Ripe Fruit (Ripe Bael)
- Bilva Unripe Fruit (Unripe Bael)
Bael bark has not been used for medicinal purposes. The tree is said to have been born out of the sweat of Goddess Parvati and is considered to be holy. This auspicious tree is said to bear good luck to people. People say that the tree's bark should not be burnt or used to personal well-being, as this act might lead to bad luck. Hence, there has not been an account of the wood and bark being used for medicine.
Benefits of using Bael in Ayurvedic treatment
There have been many studies conducted that have shown the benefits of Bael to health. Bael has been used for skin problems and curing digestion and constipation. It has also been used to cure hair damage and many more.
Here is a list of the bael fruits' treatments and how to use the bael to initiate the treatment.
Effects of Bael on Dosha
Bael helps in reducing and even removing the bodily Dosha.
● Shothhara – Bael is used for shothhara. It means that the herb fruit helps in relieving inflammation easily as it acts as a coolant.
● Arshoghara – it means that Bael is good for haemorrhoids.
● Shiovirechan – Bael fruit cures headaches and sinus.
● Asthapanopaga – It is used in the treatment of basti
Treating diseases/health problems using Bael
● Bael for Cough and Cold
The bael fruit has been proven even by science to be used while coughing. It clears the respiratory tract and clears the cough.
Bael is used for Kasaghna, according to the Ayurvedic books. Kasaghna means relief from cough and cold. Bael has been used since ancient times to relieve the congestion due to cough and give comfort to cold.
● Bael for Diarrhea
Bael has anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties. There is the presence of tannins in Bael that help in fighting the infection that causes diarrhea. It is also said to treat cholera.
Ayurveda has proven that consuming ripe Bael in the form of juice or just pulp got cured of cholera and diarrhea.
● Bael for Constipation
The ripe fruit of bael is proven to clean the intestine. It is rich in tannin and thus helps in managing constipation.
Bael is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It is rich in fiber used all over Ayurveda literature to cure stomach infections and cure constipation.
It is also used to cure the following other diseases:
- Ear ache
- Skin infection and other skin problems
- Blood purification
- Heart problems
- Hair fall and damage treatment
The fruit is borne on the tree of BaelisKatu (pungent), Tikta (bitter), and Kashaya (astringent). It has UshnaVirya (hot potency) and KatuVipaka (i.e., pungent metabolic property). It aggravates the Pitta doshas (digestion) and removes Vata (air) and Kapha (earth and water) doshas.
Forms of Bael in Ayurveda with Recommended Dosage
Bael is available as a powder, tablet, Candies, etc. it can be taken as a juice, murabba, and many more ways.
The dosage of the same is strictly prescribed by both doctors and Ayurvedic texts and experts.
- Bael Churna–It is to be taken not more than ¼-½ teaspoon twice a day.
- Bael Capsule –Doctors recommend 1-2 capsules twice a day.
- Bael Tablet - 1-2 capsules twice a day.
- Bael Candy - 4-5 candies or as per your requirement.
- Bael Juice - ½-1 cup twice a day or as per your taste.
Types of Ayurvedic Care with Bael
1. Bael Churna
Bael is available in the powder form in the market. It is really simple to use powder.
Mix quarter or half (but not more of bael churna along with a glass of water.
Take this serving twice a day after your meals, preferably lunch and dinner.
2. Bael Sharbat
Bael sharbat is popularly made as a coolant in the Indian household. It is one of the purest forms of taking bael and has several healing properties.
Mix half to one tablespoon of bael sharbat with water.
Take the drink after your meals twice a day.
Bael sharbat is said to relieve diarrhea.
3. Bael Squash
The squash prepared from the bael pulp is highly nutritious and gives a quick cooling effect to the stomach. It is very easy to prepare and delicious to enjoy.
Mix three to four tablespoon of bael pulp with cold water and stir it well.
Strain and add some water and ice cubes as per your liking.
Enjoy the delicious drink you have prepared.
4. Bael Tea
The people have drunk bael tea for a long time. It is said to have the property to thin blood and prevent heart attack and other cardiac-related problems. It can be prepared within five minutes and is delicious.
Warm-up water and add one to two teaspoons of roasted bael pulp to it.
Stir till you see the rich color being visible.
Enjoy with cookies or treats of your liking.
5. Bael Capsule
Bale capsules are available for the on the go consumption of all the nutrients that bael has to offer.
Swallow a capsule with warm water after meals. It is preferred to be taken not more than twice a day.
6. Bael Tablets
Consumption of bael tablets is as easy as the bael capsules.
Swallow a tablet with warm water after meals. You can take the tablet twice a day.
7. Bael Murabba
Murabba has been made and eaten in India from ancient times. It is like a sweet pickle made out of bael pieces.
You can have two to three pieces of the murabba during breakfast. It improves the digestive system.
8. Bael candies
Bael candies are a sweet treat made up of bael. These are easily available at the pharmacies and are liked by all. You can have these candies as per your liking.
Side effects of Bael
Anything taken in more than a sufficient amount is never good for your health. Eating bael even in the natural form in a large amount can cause your stomach to be upset. It can mean too much of visiting the washroom or even not being able to.
There is not enough information to support what side effects bael can have on sensitive skin. It is advisable to stop using bael on the skin as a mask if you see any damage to your skin and visit a dermatologist if needed.
Bael is used to control the blood sugar level. A person with a normal sugar if consumes a lot of bael can suffer from reduced blood sugar levels. It is also not advisable to take bael in any form if you are a diabetes patient.
It is advisable to consult your doctor and take his or her opinion before consuming bael in any of the above forms with the condition you face.
Precautionary guide while using Bael?
There are a few things to take into account if you are in the following conditions:
- Bael with pregnant ladies
There is not enough information to know what effect bael has on a lady who is pregnant. It is advisable not to try this at your home. It may harm your child.
- Bael while Breastfeeding
There is not enough information to know what effect bael has on a lady who is breastfeeding either. It is again advised not to try this at your home. It may harm your child.
- Bael with diabetes
Bael reduces blood sugar levels drastically. It must not be taken by a person who has diabetes as it can harm their health.
- Bael after Surgery
For the same reason that bael reduces blood sugar level, the consumption of the same should not collide with your surgery dates. You must stop eating bael or bael products at least two weeks before the surgery is done.
FAQ about Bael
What does bael taste like?
- Bael has a sweet and refreshing taste. It is said to taste something like a mixture of mango and banana.
Is the wood of bael edible?
- Bael wood is not edible, and there has been no record of the use of wood as a medicine. However, it is believed by the Hindus that the bael tree is so pure and sacred that anyone who attempts to cut and use the bark of the tree in any way is not a good sign.
Can bael cause stomach upset?
- Even though there are many benefits of bael to stomach and stomach related issues, it must not be consumed excessively. This can cause stomach upset and even diarrhea.
What is the effect of bael on Asthma?
- Because of its Kapha balancing properties, bael is a good cure for respiratory infections and diseases. It can even ease the condition of Asthma in a person.
Does bael cure ulcer?
- The ulcer is caused due to increased heat in the stomach. Bael is a coolant and cools down the stomach in no time. When the stomach cools, the ulcers will also reduce, and the already existing ulcers will start curing.
Is bael good for the liver?
- Bael has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective properties. Bael, for all these reasons, is good for the liver. It also cures the damages done to the liver that is caused due to alcohol consumption.
What is the effect of bael as a male contraceptive?
- Bael is said to be a good male contraceptive. Bael reduces testosterone levels and thus binds sperm formation. However, once the consumption is taken off, the fertility is restored.
What is the effect of bael on cholesterol?
- Bael has the antihyperlipidemic property that helps in controlling the cholesterol. The anti-oxidants present in bael lowers the blood sugar level and regulates good cholesterol in your body by removing and reducing the bad ones.
Does bael cause rashes?
- Generally, bael does not cause rashes. However, if you have hypersensitive skin, you might end up having rashes. If so, please immediately visit a doctor for the same.
Does applying bael paste heal wounds?
- Bael paste promotes the growth of new cells and, in turn, also helps in clearing wounds and marks.
Does bael have any benefit to hair?
- Bael leaf is usually used in hair oils as an essence. You can also use it as a hair tonic. Mix bael leaf with cumin seed and massage the mask on the scalp. It helps in reducing hair problems like dandruff, itchy scalp, split ends. It also gives your hair a natural shine.
To sum up
Bael has always been an import herb in Ayurveda and Ayurvedic medicines. As already seen in this article, bael has been used as one of the major sources of fiber, and it also cures a lot of health-related problems.
Ayurvedic herbs are very strong in nature, and you must use it with care and to the point according to the prescriptions. If not done so, it can cause some side effects and allergies.
It is also important that you immediately visit a doctor if you have any of the side effects.
Clearly, with the article, bael is rightly named "The Wonder Fruit."
( Disclaimer : The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or ayurvedic doctor. )