Health benefits of Bael fruit (Wood Apple)

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Wood Apple Quick Facts
Name: Wood Apple
Scientific Name: Limonia acidissima
Origin It is native to the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka. It was introduced, naturalized and cultivated throughout southeast Asia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, Kampuchea and Indonesia.
Colors Green to yellow
Shapes Globose, 7 to 10 cm diameter
Flesh colors Sticky brown
Taste Sour and sweet
Health benefits Cure for constipation, Aid diarrhea and dysentery, Cure peptic ulcers, Respiratory health, Controls cholesterol, diabetes and uric acid
Botanically known as Limonia acidissima, Wood Apple is inherent to India but also found in Thailand, Sri Lanka and other regions of Southern part of Asia. Tree grows from 6 to 15 meters high and edible fruits measures 7 to 10 cm in diameter. The shells of the fruit are tough. It contains brownish pulp and small white seeds inside the fruit. Other names for Wood Apple are Curd Fruit, Indian Wood-Apple, Monkey Fruit and Elephant Apple. But popularly it is known as Bael fruit.

Wood Apple is considered to be sacred since it has been cultivated in India for more than 4000 years. The whole parts of the plant are useful and are a vital part in Ayurvedic medicine. Fruit is globose and spherical in shape. The shell is gray to green in color which later on turns into pale yellow. As the shell is very hard, it is cracked with hammer or machete. The pulp inside the fruit is very aromatic and fibrous. It contains resinous hairy seeds which are covered with mucilage. The pulp tastes like marmalade but tangy and slightly astringent having aroma of rose.

The bael fruit have been grown in India for more than 4,000 years and is extremely appreciated for its identified therapeutic features. The taste of the fruit, regrettably, leaves something to be preferred, just like numerous plants along with recovery qualities, yet all the parts of the tree are utilized in a number of purposes, which includes fragrances, soap, and also home furniture manufacturing. The bael fruit is an integral part of Ayurvedic practice and is also utilized to deal with numerous digestive system problems. Bael fruit is spherical and also approximately the dimensions of a baseball. The fruit begins gray-green and also turns a pale yellow whenever it develops. When split open, the fruit will disclose pale orange pulp separated by thicker, dark orange walls. The fruit can also be studded along with resinous hairy seeds, encased within an cover of mucilage. The aroma of the fruit could be off putting for some.

Plant

Wood Apple tree is deciduous, thorny and small to medium sized which grows from 6 to 15 meters high having shallowly furrowed and grey bark. Spines are short, axillary and straight. The young branchlets as well as foliage are covered with short hairs which turns glabrous with age. Leaves are alternate and imparipinnate having narrowly winged rachis. Leaflets are subsessile and arranged oppositely with obovate and 25 to 35 mm long by 10 to 20 mm wide lamina. Flowers have small, flat, deltoid, caduceus and dentate calyx. Petals are oblong to ovate to lanceolate which imbricate in bud having short and finely pilose disk. Fruits are large berry in globose shape measuring 7 to 10 cm in diameter having hard and woody shell. Fruits have sticky brown and edible pulp with compressed, oblong and white seeds.

Bark

The tree has grayish or pale brown bark which is smooth, flaking or finely fissured. The bark contains slimy sap which oozes out from cut parts. Gum is a gummy and clear sap that exudes from wounded branches. The gum becomes solid gradually which tastes sweet at first and then irritates to the throat.

Leaves

The plant has alternate and trifoliate leaves. Each leaflet is ovate with pointed or tapering tip and rounded base. Leaflets measures 5 to 14 x 2 to 6 cm. Young leaves are pinkish or pale green and is finely hairy. Mature leaves are smooth and dark green. Each leaf contains 4 to 12 pairs of side veins joined at margin.

Flower

Flowers are bisexual, sweetly scented and is pale green or yellowish in color. Flowers measures 1.5 to 2 cm which is short drooping in unbranched clusters. It has flat calyx with 4 to 5 small teeth. Petals are 6 to 8 mm which overlaps in bud. Stamens have short filaments and pale brown or short style anthers. A bright green ovary have inconspicuous disc.

Fruit

Fruit is gobose or slightly pear shaped with diameter of 7 to 10 cm. It has thick and hard rind which does not split on ripening. Shell is woody, smooth, gray, green which turns yellow on ripening. Pulp is orange, aromatic with flattened to oblong seeds measuring 1 cm long which bears woolly hairs. The fruit requires 11 months to ripen on tree. As the shell is so hard, it should be cracked with machete or hammer.

Health benefits of Bael fruit (Wood Apple)

The bael tree is probably the most valuable therapeutic plants of India. Its therapeutic qualities happen to be explained within the historic healthcare treatise in Sanskrit, Charaka Samhita. All of the parts of this particular tree which includes stem, bark, root, leaves as well as fruit at every stage of maturation has therapeutic benefits and it has been utilized as traditional medicinal practices for a long period. Wood Apple is a cure for combating the health problems such as peptic ulcer, constipation, respiratory problems, indigestion, dysentery, diarrhea, diabetes, piles and sexual dysfunctions. It enhance immunity to counteract infections such as viral, bacterial and fungal.

  1. Cure for constipation

Ripe bael fruit acts as a laxative which helps to cleanse and tone the intestines. For best results, it could be consumed regularly for 2 to 3 months in form of sherbet which is made from pulp. Mix the pulp with a bit of sugar and milk. It could also be consumed without adding any sugar or milk. For an adult person, 60 grams of pulp is enough.

  1. Aid diarrhea and dysentery

Unripe Bael is an effective treatment for chronic diarrhea and dysentery. Slice up an unripe fruit and dry it under sun then made it into powder. Drink the mixture of 1 teaspoon of powder, warm water and brown sugar two times a day. Intake of Bael powder will lower mucus and blood in dysentery. For best results, it should be taken for at least one week. But it is not useful for severe dysentery.

  1. Cure peptic ulcers

Leaves of Wood Apple have adequate amount of tannin that assist to cure ulcers. Drench the leaves in water overnight and take this water like beverage each week. Sherbet prepared from ripe Bael fruit contains substance that covers inner mucosa of stomach that helps to cure ulcers. One should eat ripe pulp or drink sherbet atleast three days in order to cure ulcers.

  1. Respiratory health

Leaves of Wood Apple treat respiratory problems. For lowering cough and cold, heat sesame oil with teaspoon of black cumin, blackpepper seeds and juice of Bael leaves. When the oil is lukewarm, massage it to head and scalp before bath. Consume leaves of Bael with 3 to 4 blackpepper seeds and drink warm milk to lower occurrence of asthma. It should be done for atleast one month.

  1. Controls cholesterol, diabetes and uric acid

Leaves of Wood Apple possess methanol properties which help to lower cholesterol level, blood urea and blood sugar. Studies shows that activity of methanol properties found in leaves is identical to contemporary drugs. To obtain the effect consume tea made from dried leaves daily. It helps to lower lipid profiles and triglycerides.

  1. Acts as antioxidant

Bael fruit have high content of phenolic compounds which is known as antioxidants. All parts of tree contains antioxidants which plays a vital role to heal damaged cells that are caused by free radicals and preents degenerative diseases such as heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s and cancers. Antioxidants delay anti-aging process so that the skin keeps youthful for longer time period. Research shows that best activities of antioxidants are found in leaves. So to get antioxidants, drink tea prepared from Bael leaves.

  1. Treat scurvy

Scurvy is caused due to deficiency of Vitamin C which is a life threatening condition. Wood Apple has high content of Vitamin C which prevents scurvy from developing. High content of Vitamin C promotes potency and strengthen immune system by preventing viral and microbial infections.

  1. Prevent liver problems

Wood Apple is a great source of beta carotene so it is a cure for liver ailments. It consists of riboflavin an thiamine which are known to boost liver health. The fruit acts as an ingredient in cardiac tonics.

  1. Malaria prevention

Studies shows that the application of pulp mixture and repellents on skin of pregnant women might be beneficial for preventing from malaria. Repellents are non-irritating and neutral and have warm sensation on application of this mix. Still studies are being conducted to ascertain mechanisms behind the mixture benefits on malaria.

  1. Cure for haemorrhoids

Juice extracted from Bael fruit has tannin in it which helps to cure cholera, vitiligo, diarrhea and haemorrhoids. It is useful for treating anemia, eye and ear disorders. The mixture of juice with ghee and turmeric is used in Ayurveda for treating fractured bones.

11. Snake Bites

The root and leaves of bael are utilized within the treatments for snake bites from olden days and discovered extremely effective.

 

12. Eye infection

The foliage is very effective treatments for a number of eye inflammations just like conjunctivitis.

13. Fever

The roots as well as the bark of the tree are utilized as decoction to deal with many forms of fevers. The roots are utilized in Ayurveda to stop fevers brought on by the problems of vata, kapha and also pitta.

 

 

Origin and cultivation

The bael tree is in fact indigenous of India. The narration of the tree goes back to Vedic period- 2000 BC – 800 BC. The fruit have been pointed out in Yajur Veda. The tree has got huge legendary significance and it’s also present in large quantity all around temples. Bael fruit is in fact held holy by the Hindus and in accordance with several Hindu customs; the foliage is typically utilized as holy offering to Lord Shiva, who’s likely to live beneath bael tree. The fruit is produced all over India in addition to Bangladesh, , Thailand, Pakistan Sri Lanka and Burma .

Traditional uses

  • Juice extracted from ripe fruit possesses a great source of antioxidants.
  • Bark and spines are used in Indo-China for treating liver disorders, excessive menstruation, stings, bites and nausea.
  • Fruit is used as a cure for dysentery, liver ailments, diarrhea, indigestion and chronic cough.
  • In children, the mixture of powdered gum with honey is used to overcome diarrhea and dysentery.
  • Gum, fruits, leaves and bark is useful for treating cardiac debility, gingivitis, hiccough, bronchitis, cough, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea and snake bites.
  • Unripe fruit is useful for treating dysentery, diarrhea, sore throat, hiccough and gum diseases.
  • Use the powdered rind and pulp as a poultice on stings and bites of venomous insects.
  • The mixture of leaf juice and honey is a cure for fever.
  • Mix sap of young leaves with sugar candy and milk and use it as an aid for intestinal disorders and biliousness of children.
  • Use the gum on acne which helps to cure it.
  • Boil a cupful of water combined with half or one teaspoon of dried out bael leaves. Ultimately, cool and strain the liquid. Consume this solution 3 times per day to lessen high blood pressure.
  • Consuming a mix of ripe bael fruit pulp, sugar and also honey on a regular basis after dinner is advantageous in the beginning of tuberculosis. Adhere to this process for around 40 days.
  • Having a teaspoon of dried and also powdered bael leaves for 3 days can be useful for growing urge for food.
  • Anti-parasitic advantages of bael could be extracted by using about five grams of dried and also powdered pulp of the fruit. Follow this particular therapy 2 times per day to remove intestinal tract worms.
  • Smash an unripe bael fruit together with one teaspoon each of dried ginger and also fennel. Dip this mix in four cups of water and also consume this particular home medication 3 to 4 times per day to cure hemorrhoids.
  • One more bael treatment for hemorrhoids includes the consumption of a mixture of dried and also powdered bael leaves, dried ginger, carom seeds, and also black pepper combined in a glass of buttermilk. If you don’t have got buttermilk, make use of lukewarm water.
  • Ingesting a cupful of ripe bael fruit combined with jiggery once every day for 2-3 months cures bowel problems and also indigestion. Additionally, it cures mouth ulcers. You can eat nearly 70g of the pulp per day.
  • Using a teaspoon of dried and also powdered ripe bael fruit pulp combined in a glass of buttermilk or even warm water two times in one day is effective in reducing spasms brought on by irritable bowel syndrome.
  • When confronted with severe or even persistent diarrhea, dry the slices of the unripe bel fruit in sun as well as grind them. Have a teaspoon of the powder together with tepid to warm water. Follow this particular therapy 2 times in one day.
  • Bael health benefits for decreasing extreme menstruation could be derived by using a teaspoon of smashed bael leaves together with warm water accompanied by the consumption of some cold water.
  • Include a pinch of black pepper in the teaspoon of smashed bel leaves and also consume this mix. Lastly, consume a cupful of buttermilk. Follow this particular natural therapy 3 times every day to assist heal jaundice.
  • Heat the rind of bael fruit within coconut oil and also use the oil in your scalp regularly to deal with dandruff naturally. Just in case coconut oil isn’t available then utilize sesame seed oil.
  • Bael benefits in curing stomach and also mouth ulcers, as well. Just for this, you have to consume a combination of a cupful of bael fruit pulp plus a teaspoon of sugar each morning before eating anything for 3 days.
  • An additional recommendation to lessen peptic ulcers includes soaking a handful of bael leaves within a cup of water over night and also consuming this solution at the beginning of the morning for some weeks.
  • To ease issues similar to nausea, vomiting and also headache throughout summers, roast a number of bael leaves in the mud pot, put in a cup of water within it and allow the mixture boil. Next, strain the solution. You may also sweeten it along with sugar. Consume 1 / 2 of this liquid each morning and also the other half at night. Carry on this process for 21 days.

Precautions    

  • Excessive intake of Wood Apple causes flatulence in abdomen so the people with gastric problems should be careful while using it.
  • Try a small amount in order to check how the body reacts.
  • It should not be consumed regularly.
  • Consuming this fruit without a break causes lack of normal flexibility, atony of intestines and major flatulence.
  • Excessive consumption causes heavy sensation in stomach.
  • Avoid by the pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • Thyroid patients and people who are allergic should avoid it.

How to Eat         

  • Scoop out the pulp and consume it raw.
  • Pulp could be blended with palm sugar syrup and coconut milk.
  • The pulp is beaten with pal suagra in Indonesia and consumed at breakfast.
  • Pulp could be processed into beverages, sherbed or frozen as ice cream.
  • Make the pulp into preserves, chutney, marmalade, jelly, jams and also processed into toffee or treacle.
  • In Sri Lanka, fruit pulp is processed into cream.
  • In Thailand, tender shoots, young leaves and ripe fruits are consumed fresh.
  • Indians consume the pulp of ripe fruit with jaggery or sugar.
  • Make chutney from ripe pulp.
  • Leaves are used in salads.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=506392#null

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limonia_acidissima

https://drhealthbenefits.com/food-bevarages/fruits/health-benefits-of-wood-apple

 

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