Bael tree is known in various names like Bael, Bell, Bengal Quince, Golden Apple, Japanese Bitter Orange, Stone Apple, Wood Apple etc. This tree is generally found in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia but can be found also in Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Malaysia.
The scientific name of Bael is Aegle marmelos. It belongs to the Rutaceae family. The Bael fruit has anthelmintic and anti-fungal properties. Anthelmintic property is an activity by which internal parasites can be expelled from the body. Bael leaves have nutritional and medicinal properties. It has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, antidiabetic and hepatoprotective properties also. Bael leaves are used as a medicinal herb because of all these properties.
Bael fruit and Bael leaf are being used in Ayurveda since ancient times. Almost every part of the Bael tree has medicinal properties that are used to overcome many common health problems and serious illness too. The potential medicinal tree Bael has many uses in traditional medicine.
Extract of the Bael tree is very beneficial for the people who have respiratory problems. According to Ayurveda, a type of oil is extracted from the Bael tree. This oil is helpful in effectively curing respiratory problems other than asthma and cold. This oil is prepared by using the extract of the Bael tree barks or leaves.
Chemical Components in Bael leaf
Some alkaloids are found in Bael leaves like Ethyl Cinnamamide, Halfordinol etc. Among terpenoids, α-Phellanderene, p-cymene, Limonene are found in Bael leaf extract. Several aromatic compounds generally named as coumarins are found in Bael leaf extract like Marmelosin, Marmesin, Methyl Ether, Xanthotoxol, Scopoletin, Imperatorin, Marmim, Alloimperatorin, Scoparone, Umbelliferone, Psoranel, Marmelide etc.
Several phenylpropanoids are found in Bael extract like Hydroxycoumarins, Phenylpropenes, Lignans etc. Bael leaves have tannins like Skimmianine or 4,7,8-Trimethoxyfuro-quinoline. Polysaccharides like Galactose, Arabinose, Uronic Acid, L-rhamanose are found in the extract. Among the flavonoids, Rutin, Flavone, Flavan-3-ols, Flavone Glycosides are also found.
Antibacterial activity of Bael extract
Some scientific studies support that extract of Bael tree has significant action against deadly bacteria. Scientists researched with three types of solutions – Methanol, Chloroform and Aqueous combining with the extracts of Bael leaves, barks and fruits. They used ‘Disc Diffusion Method’ against several bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Bacillus subtilis, Proteus mirabilis, Escherichia coli, Salmonella paratyphi A, Salmonella paratyphi B etc.
Their research revealed that Bael extract with methanolic solution has noteworthy antibacterial function against bacteria. It clearly denotes that the claim for several uses of Aegle marmelos to treat various infectious diseases by the traditional system of medicine is correct.
Anti-fungal and anti-viral properties
Bael leaf has antifungal and antiviral properties. Due to the presence of these properties, you can use the juice of Bael leaves in wounds and other injuries. It can prevent the spread of infection in wounds. Studies have also shown that Bael leaf extract is capable of preventing and destroying the growth of infectious bacteria.
Cardiovascular benefit from Bael leaves
Regularly consuming Bael leaves promote your cardiovascular health. Apart from this, you can also use Bael fruit to keep your heart healthy. Consuming ghee along with the juice of Bael fruit regularly can relieve heart diseases. It is a traditional method that has been used since ancient times to treat problems such as heart attacks.
Benefits of Bael leaf in reducing cholesterol
Bael leaves can reduce cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is the leading cause of heart diseases and other health problems. Consumption of Bael leaf extract on a daily basis reduces the high amount of blood cholesterol. If you also want to reduce the bad cholesterol in your body then you can use leaf extract also.
A diabetic patient should consume Bael leaves. Extract of Bael leaves is helpful in controlling blood sugar levels in the body. Bael leaves have laxative properties. It is also helpful in producing enough insulin to control the level of blood glucose in the body. If you are a diabetic person, regularly consume 2 to 3 Bael leaves. It will control the level of blood glucose in your body.
Benefits for Diarrhea
Fruits and leaves of Bael tree are used to treat digestive problems and especially diarrhoea, dysentery, etc. This is because the Bael extract contains a good amount of tannin. Tannin is helpful in relieving symptoms of diarrhoea, dysentery etc. and strengthening the digestive system. To avoid this type of problem, you can use raw fruit or powder of leaves.
Bael extract reduces Inflammation
Anti-inflammatory properties of Bael extract is revealed in various studies. During any kind of swelling in any part of the body, make a paste of Bael leaves and apply it to the affected area. In this way, you can get benefit to overcome inflammatory problems.
Relief from scurvy
Potential medicinal tree Bael has many uses in traditional medicine. is considered the best source of vitamins. Scurvy is also a disease caused by the deficiency of vitamin C in our body. You can overcome the deficiency of vitamin C in your body by regularly consuming Bael fruit and leaves. Symptoms of scurvy will vanish in this process.
Growth of hair
Apart from getting health benefits, you can also use leaves for your hair. Bael leaves contain a good amount of nutrients and minerals which help in hair growth. You can add leave powder or paste to the hair pack you use. Apart from this, grind the leaves thoroughly and then dissolve it in a little water and wash your hair with this water. Use it 1 time in a week and you will see proper changes in your hair within a few months.
Women, during pregnancy or breastfeeding, should not consume Bael leaves.
Bael leaf has anti-fertility properties. Due to which consumption of it in excess can affect both women and men.
There may also be a problem of loss of appetite due to consuming excessive amount of Bael leaves.
Bael leaf is beneficial for diabetics. But, diabetic patients should consume very small amount of leaves.
You should consult a doctor on regular intake of Bael leaves if you are taking medicines for a specific health problem.
Reference: 1. Antibacterial activity of Aegle marmelos against leaf, bark and fruit extracts 2. A review on Aegle marmelos: A potential medicinal tree