Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.
Latin Name : Aegle marmelos
Indian Names: Bael, Shreephal, Kaveeth, Bilva, Bilvapatra etc.
Common English Names: Stone apple, Bengal quince, Wood apple, though this also stands for the fruit of the tree, Limonia acidissima.
Bael, Stone Apple Tree Or Aegle marmelos
Bael, Stone Apple Or Aegle marmelos
The Bael tree, Aegle marmelos is native to India and grows throughout Southeast Asia from Nepal to Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Philippines, Fiji, etc.
The bael tree is considered sacred by the Hindus in India and is usually grown in the vicinity of temples. It grows on hills and the plains of dry forests.
The bael tree is a medium-sized tree, growing to a height of 50 to 60 feet. It is a slender, aromatic and gum bearing tree. The branches have spines and the leaves are trifoliate. The leaves act as food for the larvae of 2 Indian butterfly species.
Aegle marmelos can tolerate a fair amount of pH range from 5 to 10, also some waterlogging and grows in a wide range of temperatures from -7 degrees C to 48 degrees C.
The Bael Fruit
The tree needs a pronounced dry season to produce fruit. A single tree may yield up to 800 fruits though 150-200 fruits is an average.
The bael fruit has a smooth and thick, hard woody shell. The fruit takes about 11 months to ripen on the tree and is the size of a large grapefruit, some even larger can be found.
The shell is so hard it needs to be cracked open with a hammer. The fruit pulp is yellow and fibrous, tastes like marmalade and smells of roses. within the mucilaginous pulp are numerous hairy seeds.
Uses Of Bael Or Stone Apple
The bael fruit can be eaten fresh as well as dried. The juice of the fresh fruit can be strained, sweetened and consumed. The pulp can also be made into a sherbet by adding sugar and lime juice. A single large fruit can yield 5 to 6 litres of sherbet.
Drying of the fruit is done by first slicing the fruit and then exposing these slices to the sun.
The leaves and young shoots are eaten as salad greens. In Ayurveda, the leaves and fruits are used for medicinal purposes.
The fruit pulp also has a detergent action and has been used for washing clothes in earlier times. The fruit has been employed to eliminate the scum in vinegar making.
The gum that envelopes the seeds is used as a household glue and also used as an adhesive by jewellers. It is also mixed with lime for waterproofing wells and when mixed with cement it is used to waterproof walls. The gum can also be applied as a protective covering on paintings.
From the seeds, a bitter pale yellow oil is extracted and used as a purgative.
The wood of the stone apple tree is used to make tool and knife handles, pestles, combs and carvings. The wood is not durable.
Charaka Samhita, one of the earliest Ayurvedic medical treatise written in Sanskrit mentions the medicinal properties of bael.
Bel Ka Sharbat - Bael Squash Recipe
Bael Tree In Hindu Religion
The bael tree is considered sacred by the Hindus as it is believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva. The fruit also is used in religious rituals.
In the Newari culture of Nepal, the bael tree forms a part of the fertility ritual for girls cal bel beha, in which girls are married to the bael fruit and as long as the fruit is kept safe and doesn't crack the girl is not considered a widow even if her husband is dead.
Nutrition In Bael Fruit
100 grams of Bael fruit contains
Medicinal Uses Of Bael
- Bael oil has been found to be effective against 21 species of bacteria.
- The leaves are used in treating dyspepsia and sinusitis.
- A confection made of the fruit is used to treat tuberculosis and loss of appetite.
- It also treats constipation and other gastrointestinal problems.
- The unripe fruit is useful in relieving infestations of intestinal worms and rotavirus. It also inhibits the adherence of bacteria to the gut wall and thus prevents damage and infection.
- The bitter and pungent leaf juice mixed with honey allays fever and catarrh. Add black pepper to it to alleviate jaundice.
- A decoction of the flowers is given as an antiemetic.
- The root decoction relieves palpitations of the heart, indigestion, bowel inflammations and vomiting.
Medicinal Properties Of Bael
Bael has an antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-ulcer, anti-diabetic, anti-diarrheal, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, analgesic, antimalarial, anticancer, hepatoprotective, antimicrobial, cytoprotective, insecticidal, anti-arthritic activity.
The ancient Indian medical texts written in Sanskrit mention the uses of all parts of bael or the stone apple tree, like the stem, roots, bark, leaves and fruit.
The plant and its various parts have been used at all stages of maturity for medicinal purposes, however, its peak medicinal effect is just before the fruit begins to ripen.
The fruit is cooling, acts as a laxative, stops secretions and bleeding.
The extracts of leaves have been found to lower blood glucose levels by over 50% as per studies. It, therefore, is helpful in controlling diabetes.
The leaf extracts also lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The leaves, fruits and roots have antimicrobial properties due to the biochemicals cumin aldehyde and eugenol.
To Make Bel Squash
- Take ripe bael fruits. Remove pulp.
- To 1 kilogram of pulp add 6 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 litre of water.
- Boil this mixture and keep stirring as you boil.
- Cool and strain it through a coarse strainer. Keep the bael juice aside.
- Now, take 1 kilogram of sugar for 1 kilogram of bael fruit pulp and boil in 500 ml of water for 15 minutes. cool this sugar solution.
- To this cool sugar, add solution 1/4 tsp potassium metabisulphite and mix well.
- Add the strained bael juice to the above sugar solution mixture.
- Mix well, fill in bottles and seal.
- Your bael squash is ready.
Some Home Remedies With Bael
- Ear Problems
Dip a stiff piece of dry bael root in neem oil and light it. The oil that now drips from the burning end is an effective cure for infection, inflammation and discharge from the ear.
- Respiratory Problems
Equal quantities of the juice of bael leaves and gingelly or sesame oil and are mixed and heated. A few whole black peppercorns and 1/2 tsp of black cumin are added to the oil then removed from heat, allowed to cool down completely and then stored in an airtight bottle.
Massage a tsp of this oil into the scalp. Keep for 30 minutes and then take a head bath. Use regularly to build resistance to colds and coughs.
Eat ripe bael fruit for a couple of months to relieve even chronic constipation. Make bael sherbet by removing the pulp, mixing it with water, the staining it and adding sugar and milk before drinking it. This also cures constipation.
- Diarrhoea & Dysentery
Dry unripe bael fruit by slicing and drying in the sun. Powder it and preserve it in an airtight bottle. Use to control diarrhoea and dysentery. It can be eaten mixed with jaggery or brown sugar.
- Peptic Ulcer
Soak bael leaves overnight in water. Strain out the water in the morning and drink. The water contains tannins that reduce inflammation and heals ulcers.
Grind 5 grams of bael leaves. Mix in 1 tsp honey. Take 2 times a day.
Remove pulp from the bael fruit. Dry and powder it. Add 1 tsp of this to a glass of boiled cow milk. Add sugar to taste. Take twice a day for some time.
Extract pulp of raw bael fruit. Dry and grind it to a powder. Mix 2 tsp of this powder with 50 grams of pure ghee and 1/4 tsp of haldi. Take this with a glass of warm water. 2 times daily.
- Healing wounds
Take equal quantities of root, leaves, rind and fruit pulp of bael. Grind all of these and extract the juice.
Add 2 tsp of honey and drink.
- Swollen Joints
Take the pulp of a few bael fruits. Mix with hot mustard oil and massage on the affected area 2 times daily for relief.
- High Blood Pressure
Consume bael leaves daily morning or take the juice of bael leaves mixed with honey daily.
Remove juice of 100 soft bael leaves. Mix in 10 powdered black peppercorns. Take this every morning and evening. Also, consume 5 glasses of sugarcane juice daily after meals.
- Nausea & Vomiting Of Pregnancy
Take 1 tsp of raw fruit pulp 2 times a day. Mix mishri or candy sugar to this for improving the taste.
Grind 200 bael leaves. Boil in 1 cup of water.till the water becomes thick. Eat this paste with honey 2 to 3 times a day.
Some Points to Note
- Do not consume bael fruit for days at a stretch. It may cause flatulence. Also, do not eat in excess as it may promote heaviness and bloating.
- Bel sherbet has to be thick so that it includes as much of the pulp as it can for best results.
- Bakhru, Foods That Heal, pp 32, Orient Paperbacks, New Delhi, India.
- McIntyre, Herbal Treatment of Children: Western And Ayurvedic Perspectives, pp 90, Elsevier Limited, UK.
- The Indian Ayurvedic Pharmacopaeia, Part 1, Vol 1, pp 35,
- Maity, Hansda, Bandyopadhyay, Mishra, 2009, Biological activities of crude extracts and chemical constituents of Bael, Aegle marmelos (L.) Corr, Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol 47, pp 849-861.
- Sabu M. C, Kuttan R, 2004, Antidiabetic Activity Of Aegle Marmelos And Its Relationship With Its Antioxidant Properties, Indian J Physiol Pharmacol, 48 (1): 81–88.
Some Of My Other Healthy Foods Hubs
- Oatmeal Health Benefits
Oats are a nutrient dense food low in calories. Also, a bowl of oatmeal provides more than half of the daily value of omega-3 fatty acids as double the daily value for manganese. To learn about more oatmeal health benefits, read on...
- Health Benefits Of Cumin Or Jeera
Cumin or Jeera as it is called in India, is a spice which is commonly used in cooking. It is also useful in a variety of health problems. To know more read on....
- Kalonji, Black Seed Or Nigella sativa Seed And Its Health Benefits
Kalonji, Black seeds or Nigella sativa seeds are called miracle seeds, though they are a spice used in Indian and other Asian cuisines. They have rightly been called a miracle herb as you read on ...
- Charoli Or Chironji - The Indian Medicinal Plant - Its Health Benefits, Nutrients, Uses And Recipes
Charoli or chironji is an Indian medicinal plant whose seeds are used in sweet desserts and cuisine. They are also used in Ayurveda. Read to learn about its health benefits, nutrients, uses and more...
- Ritha, Aritha Or Soap Nuts - The 100% Natural Detergent And Cleaner - Its Benefits And Uses And Man
Soapnuts, Ritha, Aritha are the fruits of a number of trees of the Genus Sapindus. Find out the benefits, uses, and surprisingly, the many health benefits of this 100% natural detergent & cleaner.....
Natural Waterproofing: Bael and Jaggery
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly
akansha mehrotra on July 23, 2014:
rajan jolly sir,
1.you are amazing.
the write ups are so easy and fluid as if i am reading a story yet i retain all the fact and figures .
you are a wonderful teacher and you enlightened me so much.
so much new information.
i might print out all your articles and read .so good.
it is a good day for me.i learnt so much
Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 14, 2013:
Aurelio, I'm glad you have seen this fruit and I hope you get to taste this one day. Thanks for visiting.
Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on June 14, 2013:
I confirm that this exists in SE Asia because I saw it growing up in the Philippines and encounter it frequently in my travels to Malaysia and other parts of the region. Strangely, I've never actually tasted it. Your description of it tasting like marmalade makes me want to give it a try. Voting this Up and Interesting.
Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 14, 2013:
You are right, GTF. Nature's bounties are infinite.
Claudia Porter on June 13, 2013:
Rajan - I am beginning to think there are an infinite number of fruits in this world because of your hubs. There certainly are many that I have never heard of and here is another one. Thanks.
Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 11, 2013:
@moonlake-glad you like info on this fruit. Thanks for the visit and sharing.
@Mary-thanks for the kind words and I'm glad you like this info as well.
@Rebecca-nature's bounties are endless it seems. Thanks for stopping by.
@Peggy-nice to know you like the info on these unfamiliar fruits. Appreciate your visit and the sharing.
@vandynegl-thanks for the visit.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 11, 2013:
Oh...so this is called stone apple! Had seen this somewhere.. thought that it can't be eaten. Wonderful hub with lots of info. You sure are good at finding these facts. Voted up
vandynegl from Ohio Valley on June 11, 2013:
Wow! I learned something new about a fruit that I didn't know existed! Thank you for sharing this! :)
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 11, 2013:
This is another fruit of which I am totally unfamiliar. Thanks for elaborating about how it grows, how the various parts of the tree are used and what the fruit tastes like as well as the health benefits. Up votes, sharing and pinning.
Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on June 11, 2013:
How interesting these tasty looking(and really health) fruits are. I am amazed at how many fruits there are that I have never heard of. Voted up and interesting .Thank, Rajan.
Mary Craig from New York on June 11, 2013:
Again Rajan, you are a teacher par excellence. You show us things we did not know and explain everything! You really write great, informative hubs.
Voted up, useful, and interesting.
moonlake from America on June 11, 2013:
I have never heard of this fruit. It sounds good. We live in such a cold place there are not many trees here we get fruit on. Apples is about it. Voted up and shared.
Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 10, 2013:
Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on June 09, 2013:
Thanks for another fascinating and informative hub. Never knew about this fruit. Passing this on.
Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 08, 2013:
@ Kathryn-thanks and gad you like the info.
@Bill-thank you for appreciating the effort, my friend.
@Graham-you humble me with such lofty comments. Thank you.
@Jo-I really have no idea if this fruit is available in the UK or not. I certainly appreciate your visit and sharing of this hub.
@Ruchira-thanks for reading.
@Bill-thanks for your comments and sharing of the hub.
@WND-glad you like the info. Thanks.
@teaches-It is a very useful fruit.
@HO-thanks for your visit and encouraging comments. Have a great weekend.
@Carol-nature is amazing! Appreciate all the sharing.
@Indian Chef-the bael sherbet is awesome.Thanks for sharing.
@Nithya-thanks for visiting.
@Arun-good to know that you use bael fruit regularly. Thanks for stopping by.
ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE from KOLKATA on June 08, 2013:
Thanks for the well researched hub. We have been using Bael fruit much to our health benefits for a long period.
Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 08, 2013:
Bael tree is very special to Lord Shiva as you have stated. Thank you for sharing this useful and informative hub.
Indian Chef from New Delhi India on June 08, 2013:
Rajan when i visited a relative of mine in Bhiwani in Haryana, there were many bael trees there and for the first time I had it and frankly I did not like fruit at all but when they brought me the sharbat of bael, i was hooked to that. very informative Hub. Voting up, sharing and awesome.
carol stanley from Arizona on June 08, 2013:
Another interesting fruit.. I amazed at how much you can extract from one fruit...Pretty amazing and so interesting to learn new fruits in nature. Voting up, sharing and pinning.
Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on June 08, 2013:
This, my friend, was a fruit I've never seen or heard about. If it grows in either Hawai'i or Washington, I am not aware of it. I have a plant that sometimes bears Japanese quince, and while the fruit look like the bael fruit, it is only the size of a small apricot. This fruit is effective against over 20 species of bacteria...that is impressive. Thank you for enlightening us to these wondrous plants from nature's garden. Aloha, and have a great weekend, my friend!
Dianna Mendez on June 07, 2013:
Such an interesting fruit with a vast amount of benefits for the human body.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 07, 2013:
A new kind of fruit, well discovered and you just know how to accomplish such informative hubs, useful and interesting
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 07, 2013:
Thanks for the introduction to another very useful fruit. Never know if I'll ever be in a place where the fruit is. Thanks to you, I'll have the information. Voted Up and Useful!
Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 07, 2013:
Thanks Vertualit for reading and commenting.
Abdus Salam from Bangladesh on June 06, 2013:
I like Bael fruit, Very helpful and informative hub. Thanks for sharing...
wetnosedogs from Alabama on June 06, 2013:
That is some interesting fruit. The first picture, it kind of looks like a pear, but then as I read on, it is hard. Then it doesn't resemble a pear at all.
Great hub on the great bael.
Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on June 06, 2013:
Hi rajan. Another great look at a fruit that I have never heard of. You continue to amaze me with these fascinating fruits from there in India. The medicinal properties of this fruit is unbelievable. We need to find a way to import some of these fruits to the U.S. Great job. Voted up, shared, etc....
Ruchira from United States on June 06, 2013:
Honestly, I had never heard of this fruit. And it sure was enlightening to read that it is associated strongly with hindu religion.
Double awesome, interesting!
Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on June 06, 2013:
Rajan, another brilliant and very informative hub... this is new to me, looks interesting....bookmarking and sharing.
Is the bael fruit available in the UK? I'd love to try a new health flavour.
Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on June 06, 2013:
Hi rajan. Another expert hub from you today. Always a pleasure to read information given by someone who really know his stuff.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 06, 2013:
Rajan, I feel I'm a somewhat intelligent man, but every time I read a hub by you I learn something I never knew, and today is no exception. Never heard of this at all. Thank you once again for filling in gaps in my knowledge. Well done!
Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on June 06, 2013:
What a useful plant. I find it fascinating when the different parts of a plant are used for so many things. As usual, this is a very informative article. Thanks for sharing it with us, Rajan.