Each and every tree is a gift of nature to the mankind with innumerable health benefits. Some trees have both medicinal and mythological importance. Bael tree is one such tree. It is one of the sacred trees for the Hindus with great spiritual significance. The whole tree including its bark, roots, leaves and fruits has medicinal use since time ancient times for various diseases.
In summers we often see redi-wallas (road sidevenders) selling bael sharbat in earthen pot. It has a great taste and also gives cooling effect to the body from the scorching heat. It protects from sunstroke as well. It contains nutrients like minerals, protein, fats, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus and iron.
► Bael fruit juice destroys worms in the intestines and removes the digestive disorders. The trunk and branches of bael tree have a kind of gum which is used to cure diarrhea and decentry. Bael leaves contain tannin which reduces inflammation.
► Bael cure for body odour goes like this. Extract juice from the leaves and apply this juice to body before taking bath. You can even take two spoons of this juice internally to get better results.
► Regular consumption of bael fruit is believed to cure kidney ailments.
► Bael fruit is a good source of beta carotene, Vitamin C, thiamine and riboflavin. Beta carotene helps in curing liver ailments and Vitamin c prevents scurvy.
► One spoon of fresh extract (juice) of bael leaves mixed with equal amount of honey is given as a mild laxative in fever and also provides relief from asthma.
► A hot poultice of the leaves is applied to the chest in case of acute bronchitis and also to inflamed parts of the body.
► The ripe fruit is aromatic, astringent, cooling and laxative. The unripe or half-ripe fruit is astringent, stomachic (a drug that strengthens the stomach and promotes its action), anti-scorbutic (a drug which prevents or cures scurvy) and digestive.
► The fruit is said to act as a tonic for heart and brain and also helps reduce the irritation in the alimentary canal. It is a useful addition to the after-treatment of bacillary dysentery as it helps remove constipation which hinders the healing of ulcerated surfaces of intestine.
► The ripe fruit is prescribed in intestinal disorders and certain conditions of indigestion, characterised by alternate constipation and diarrhea. A sharbat of the ripe fruit is given for chronic constipation and indigestion.
► The root and bark are used in the form of decoction as a remedy for intermittent fevers and palpitation of the heart. The root is one of the ingredients of’ Dashamula’ a common Ayurvadic formulation, useful in loss of appetite. The root bark is also used as a fish poison.
► The juice extracted from the bael leaves if taken early morning on empty stomach reduces blood sugar levels. After regular consumption for a month the blood sugar levels can be normal.
► In case of diarrhea, the unripe fruit pulp is dried, powdered and stored. One spoon of this powder taken with water or curd three times a day controls diarrhea very effectively.
► Two or three table spoons of bael juice added to equal amount of honey, given to small children helps provide them immediate releif from stomach pain.
► The fruit pulp is eaten plain with jaggery to get rid of tiredness, fatigue and to gain new energy.
► The raita (pulp mixed with curd) cures progesterone hormone deficiency and related problems in women.
► To control excessive thirst in summer take honey added to fruit pulp. This cures mouth ulcers and in addition removes excessive gas from the stomach.
► The pulp is applied to bites and stings of the venomous insects. Leaves bark and roots are also used against snake bite.
The leaves of bael tree should not be consumed by pregnant women as it can cause abortion.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna