Bilva/Indian bael/बेल फल-Medicinal Benefits
Botanical Name-Aegle marmelos
Family-Rutaceae (Jambir Kul)
Habit- A medium sized armed deciduous tree, 25-30 ft. in height,
- Stomachic, Digestive
- Health promotor
Parts Used-Root, bark, fruit, leaf
Description-Bilva (Aegle marmelos) is a fruit-bearing tree indigenous to dry forests on hills and plains of central and southern India, southern Nepal. Sri Lanka. Myanmar, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. It; is cultivated throughout India, as well as in Sri Lanka, northern Malay Peninsula, Java and in the Philippines. It is also popularly known as Bilva, Bilwa, Bel. Kuvalam, Koovalam, Madtoum, or Beli fruit, Bengal quince, stone apple, and wood apple. The tree, which is the only species in the genus Aegle, grows up to 18 meters tall and bears thorns and fragrant flowers. It has a woody-skinned, smooth fruit 5-15 cm in diameter. The skin of some forms of the fruit is so hard it must be cracked open with a hammer. It has numerous seeds, which are densely covered with fibrous hairs and are embedded in a thick, gluey, 92 13 Medicinal Plants and Herbs of India aromatic pulp.
The fruit is eaten fresh or dried. If fresh, the juice is strained and sweetened to make a drink similar to lemonade, and is also used in making sharbat, a refreshing drink where the pulp is mixed with lime juice. If the fruit is to be dried, it is usually sliced first and left to dry by the heat of the sun. The hard leathery slices are then placed in a pan with several liters of water which is then boiled and simmered. As for other parts of the plant, the leaves and small shoots are eaten as salad greens.
The fruit is also used in religious rituals and as a ayurvedic remedy for such ailments as diarrhea, dysentery, intestinal parasites, dryness of the eyes, and the common cold. It is a very powerful antidote for chronic constipation.
In Hinduism, Every day Lakshmi had a thousand flowers plucked by her handmaidens and she offered them to the idol of Shiva in the evening. One day, counting the flowers as she offered them, she found that there were two less than a thousand. It was too late to pluck any more for evening had come and the lotuses had closed their petals for the night.
Lakshmi thought it inauspicious to offer less than a thousand. Suddenly she remembered that Vishnu had once described her breasts as blooming lotuses. She decided to offer them as the two missing flowers.
Lakshmi cut off one breast and placed it with the flowers on the altar. Before she could cut off the other, Shiva, who was extremely moved by her devotion, appeared before her and asked her to stop. He then turned her cut breast into round, sacred Bilva fruit (Aegle marmelos) and sent it to Earth with his blessings, to flourish near his temples.
In the traditional culture of Nepal, the Bilva tree is part of an important fertility ritual for girls known as the Bel baha.
Powder -3-5 gms.
Syrup base -20-40 ml.
Expressed juice -10-20 ml.
- Fruit pulp of bilva & madhuk mixed with sugar & honey & taken with rice water to checks diarrhea with blood and Diarrhea caused by pitta.
- In Chronic dysentery—Decoction of bilva, soup and gudhvach is useful.
- Intake of bilva with jaggery checks Diarrhea with blood, remove pain due to ama, constipation & alleviates disorders of bowels.
- In Hemorrhoids—The patient should be well massaged and then dipped into the warm decoction of bilva.
- In Jaundice—Juice of bilva leaves mixed with marich is useful.
- Bilva taila used in deafness.