Health Benefits of Bael
Bael, also known by the name Wood Apple is a sacred tree that has its origins in India. It is often found in temple gardens and the Hindus use the leaves of this tree to worship Lord Shiva. The tree has special mentions in ancient Hindu texts and it holds high value in Indian traditional medicine systems. Almost all parts of the bael tree, including its stem, bark, root, leaves and fruit offers therapeutic benefits. The other names of bael include Bengal quince, Indian quince, stone apple, golden apple, holy fruit, sirphal, maredoo / mapin / matuum (Thialand), phneou / pnoi (Cambodia), bau nau (Vietnam), bilak/ maja pahit (Malaysia), modjo(Java), oranger du Malabar (France) and Marmelos (Portugal). Bael tree can grow up to a height of about 40 feet. The fruit is rather hard and has to be cracked open with hammer. The pulp inside bears numerous seeds that are sticky with fibrous hairs. The leaves find use as salad greens.
Nutritional value of Bael
Bael fruit is a good source of protein and carbohydrates. It contains vitamins like vitamin C, riboflavin, thiamin and carotene. Bael fruit also provides you with some of the essential minerals such as phosphorus, iron and calcium. Drying the fruit increases the concentration of minerals and vitamins in it. The oil extracted from the seeds contain fatty acids like palmitic acid, linoleic acid and linolenic acid. The root, stem and leaves have been found to contain tannins, alkaloids, sterols, coumarin and aromatic components.
Health Benefits of Bael
The numerous medicinal properties of bael have been listed in the ancient Indian medicinal text “Charaka Samhita.” In India, almost all parts of this tree such as its root, leaf, trunk, fruit and seed, are used for curing a number of diseases. Let’s try to understand in detail, why it is valued so much:
Health Benefits of Bael for treating digestive disorders
Bael fruit shows laxative effect and so can be used for cleaning your intestine and for treating constipation. It improves digestion, helps in getting rid of intestinal worms and is also a great remedy for digestive disorders. According to a study, bael extract is very useful for treating Irritabie bowel syndrome (IBS). Feronia gum, a gum-like substance found in the trunk and branches of bael trees is commonly used for curing diarrhea and dysentery. The leaves can be used as a remedy for peptic ulcer and piles since they are high in tannin that has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Health Benefits of Bael for Anti-microbial properties
Studies have found that the essential oil obtained from bael leaves have both antifungal and antiviral properties. It resists the growth of fungal spores by inhibiting their germination. Because of these effects, bael in used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of various infectious diseases like diarrhea, typhoid etc.
Health Benefits of Bael reduces blood pressure
The various phytonutrients in bael leaves are beneficial in reducing high blood pressure. A combination of bael leaf juice and honey is considered to be a good remedy for high blood pressure.
Health Benefits of Bael for Anti-inflammatory effects
Raw bael fruit is a strong anti-inflammatory agent and can be used to reduce inflammation and to cure inflammatory diseases. It can provide relief from inflammation caused by arthritis and gout. Massaging inflamed areas with a mixture of bael fruit pulp and hot mustard oil is considered to relieve swollen joints and arthritis.
Health Benefits of Bael for treating respiratory disorders
The anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties of Bael, makes it useful in the treatment of various respiratory disorders. Drinking the juice of bael leaves or bael leaf tea is considered a great remedy for respiratory disorders like cold, cough and asthma. A special oil is made by heating bael leaves, cumin and black pepper in sesame oil. Massaging your scalp with this oil can help increase your body’s resistance to cold and cough. A decoction of bael leaves taken along with honey is a good remedy for asthma.
Health Benefits of Bael is good for your heart
In Ayurvedic medicine, Bael is considered to be one of those plants having high medicinal value. The fruit is extremely good for your heart. Eating the fruit or drinking its juice helps reduce the risk of heart attack. Bael fruit is rich in dietary fibers which helps in eliminating cholesterol and preventing its absorption in the intestine. Bael juice also helps in reducing blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, thus offering your heart protection from heart attacks and other heart diseases.
Health Benefits of Bael for diabetics
According to Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha medicines, bael is an excellent herbal remedy for treating diabetes. Studies have confirmed that the water extract of bael fruit exhibits hypoglycemic effect. The hypothesis is that bael lower blood glucose levels by increasing glucose utilization through the direct stimulation of insulin.
Health Benefits of Bael to heals wounds
The extract of Bael root has been found to heal skin wounds and results were comparable to the standard drug nitrofurazone used to treat wounds. Bael fruit juice and bael leaves tea are considered effective in treating wounds. In India, raw bael pulp is dried and powdered and this powder along with turmeric and honey is used as a home remedy for treating fractures.
Bael is a very popular in India because of its amazing health benefits and medicinal values. When the fruit becomes ripe, the pulp can be scooped out and eaten fresh. The pulp can be blended together with milk and sugar to form a rich, creamy and delicious drink. Bael fruit is also used to make jams, juice and jellies. If you can’t get fresh bael fruit, look for dried ones Asian, Thai or Indian stores.