Medicinal and nutritive values of the ‘Bael’

The Bael tree is native to northern India, but widely found throughout Indian Peninsula, Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka, and is also known as “Bilwa” in Ayurveda. It is a moderately sized, slender, aromatic tree and grows naturally in Indian forests.

From the nutritional point of view, the fruit of the tree is a rich source of pectin, protein and contains substantial amounts of magnesium, iron, calcium and phosphorous. The pulp of the fruit, when diluted with water and when required amount of sugar and tamarind is added, forms a delicious cool drink, popular in northern parts of India.

Ayurveda recommends all parts of the Bael tree i.e., the root, leaves, stem, bark and fruit, as having medicinal value. The fruit of the tree, whether ripe or unripe, is used in curing dysentery and diarrhea. It is also said to aid digestion and improve appetite. Ripe bael fruit could be used as an excellent laxative.

A decoction made out of the root and bark of bael tree is used in treating fever. The bael root could also prove a useful home remedy for getting rid of ear problems. An infusion made of bael leaves is effective in treatment of peptic ulcer. Fresh bael leaves also help in treating diabetes.

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