Aegle Marmelos (Bilva or Bel)

Bael Aegle marmelos at Narendrapur near Kolkat...
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Botanical Name : Aegle marmelos
Family Name: Rutaceae
Subfamily: Aurantioideae
vernacular Name:
: Sans: Bilva; Hind: Bel;; Eng- Bael tree.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Tribe: Clauseneae
Genus: Aegle

Habitat:The Bilva tree grows in almost all parts of India, southern Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.

Description:Tall and austere, with a stern aspect, gnarled trunk and sharp thorns, the Bilva is undoubtedly Lord Shiva’s tree.The fruit shell is heard, when ripen the shell becomes heard like wood so, it’s other name is also wood apple. The tree is 15 to 20 feet tall and bears lot of fruits. The tree is more or less evergreen  in all the seasons.In most of Hindu festive the leaves are used  and considered  sacred.

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As per Ayurveda, it is madhura, palatable, kashaya; pacifies deranged pitta; guru; be deranged kapha, fever, diarrhoea, appetizing and gastric stimulant. used for the restoration of normal functions of deranged tridosha: laghu, efficacious in rheumatism.

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Fruit (unripe) is snigdha, guru, astrgastric stimulant. Ripe fruit is madhura, palatable, guru, katu-tikta ushna, astringent and used in the treatment of deranged tridosha.

Parts Used: Fruits, seeds, leaves, bark and root.

Therapeutic Uses:

Fruits: (ripe) alterative, cooling, laxative and nutritive; useful in habitual constipation, chronic dysentery and dyspepsia; tonic; (unripe) antidiarrhoeal, astringent, demulcent, digestive and stomachic;

Seeds: laxative;

Flowers: antidiarrhoeal and antiemetic; leaves: expectorant, febrifuge; fresh ones used in dropsy; efficacious in bronchial asthma;

Bark (stem and root): beneficial in intermittent fever, melancholia and palpitation of heart; root: one of the ingredients of Dashamula, a common Ayurvedic formulation, particularly useful in loss of appetite and puerperal diseases

The root is sweet; cures fevers due to “tridosha “, pain in the abdomen, palpitations of the heart, urinary troubles, hypochondriasis, melancholia; removes” vata “, “pitta “, and” kapha”.

The leaves are astringent, digestive; laxative and febrifuge when fresh; remove vata ” and” kapha “; useful in ophthalmia, deafness, and inflammations.-

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The flowers allay thirst and vomiting; useful in dysentery.

The unripe fruit is oily, bitter, acrid, sour; tasty, but difficult to digest ;appetiser, binding; cures dysentery; removes pain.-

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The oil is hot and cures” vata “.

The ripe fruit is acrid, bitter, sweet; appetiser, binding, tonic, febrifuge; causes biliousness. and “tridosha”; removes” vata ” and” kapha”; good for the heart .

The ripe fruit is hot and dry; tonic, restorative, astringent, laxa.tive; good for the heart and the brain; bad for the liver and the chest

The ‘unripe fruit is cut up and sun-dried, and in this form is sold in the markets  in dried whole or broken slices.It is regarded as astringent, digestive and stomachic, and is prescribed in diarrhoea and dysentery, often proving effectual in chronic cases, after all other medicines have failed. It seems especially usefull in chronic diarrhoea; ‘a simple change of the hours of meals and an. alteration in the ordinary diet, combined “,with bael fruit, will almost universally succeed.

The small unripe fruit is given with funnel seeds and ginger, in decoction, for piles.

The ripe fruit is sweet, aromatic and cooling; and, made into a morning sherbet, cooled with ice, is pleasantly laxative and a good simple cure for dyspepsia.

The dried ripe pulp is astringent and used in dysentery.

The root bark is sometimes made into a decoction and used in the cure of intermittent fever. It .constitutes an ingredient. in the dasamol of ten roots. used in hypochondriasis, melancholia, and palpitation of the heart.”

The leaves are made into poultice, used in the treatment of ophthalmia, and the fresh juice diluted is praised in catarrhs and feverishness.

The fresh juice of the leaves is given, with the addition of b1ack pepper, in anasarca, with costiveness and jaundice. In external inflammations, the juice of the leaves is given internally to remove the supposed derangement of humours.

The expressed juice of the leaves is used in ophthalmia and other eye affections. decoction of the leaves is valued in asthmatic complaints. A hot poultice to the head is used in delirium of fevers.
A water, distilled from the flowers, is said to be aledipharmic.
A decoction of the root of Aegle Marmelos is given with sugar and fried rice for checking diarrhrea and gastric irritability in infants.

Medicinal uses:
It is astringent, cooling, carminative, laxative, restorative, febrifuge and stomachic and is used in colitis, dysentery, diarrhoea, flatulence, difficulty in micturition, fever, vomiting and colic. The tender fruit is bitter, astringent, antilaxative, digestive and promotes digestion and strength, overcomes vata, colics and diarrhea.

Home remedies:
*Juice of mature fruit of Bilva, is so effective in the bowel disturbances like recurrent constipation.
*Pulp of unripe fruit of Bilva is so effective in the diarrhea, dysentery, and sprue.
*Powder of dry pulp of this unripe fruit is also effective in loose motions.
*In chronic dysenteric conditions, accompanied by loose stools alternating with occasional constipation, the ripe fruit is *widely used in different formulations

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Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

Ayurveda lecture & counseling for Astha & Suranga Group from Israel


http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#bhallataka
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bael

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