Medicinal values of wood apple aka bael/bel fruit


Wood apple or bael has excellent medicinal properties against diarrhoea, dysentery, high blood pressure, loss of appetite, stomach ulcers, and even jaundice and the early stages of TB. Find out how Ayurveda recommends using bael in home remedies.

Wood apple, bael or bel as it is commonly called in Hindi, Marathi and Bengali, stores medicinal values in its fruit, leaves and even the root. The raw fruit is sour, and as it ripens, it takes on a sweet taste. The flesh is sticky and interspersed with small edible seeds. It can be eaten both in the raw and ripe form. It is a seasonal fruit, and also serves as a cooling, refreshing drink in the summer months.



The fruit offers benefits against many illnesses and conditions, including problems with various diseases of the digestive tract like constipation, diarrhoea, stomach ulcers and even piles. It is a rich source of vitamin C and is exceptionally beneficial for the respiratory system. It improves the immune system and wards off viral and bacterial infections. The fruit can also kill intestinal worms. It is known to benefit diabetic patients and helps in the prevention of cancer. The fruity pulp is also known to improve lactation in nursing mothers, it improves vision and protects against inflammatory diseases.

Here is a look at the benefits it offers against the following illnesses and conditions –

Constipation


The ripe wood apple fruit is a natural laxative. If you are suffering from constipation, or associated dyspepsia and mouth ulcer, you can mix the pulp of the ripe fruit with jaggery and consume it once a day. Be very careful to chew the pulp thoroughly since the fruit is heavy and can cause a sense of heaviness and flatulence.

Diarrhoea


While the ripe bel fruit pulp acts as a laxative, the unripe fruit is effective against chronic diarrhoea. In Ayurveda practices, the unripe fruit is made into a medicinal potion called 'leha'. This is useful to treat acute, chronic diarrhoea. It is also effective in alternating diarrhoea and constipation. As a home remedy, slice the tender, unripe fruit and dry it in the sun. Powder the dried fruit, and take 1 teaspoon twice a day along with a little warm water.

High Blood Pressure


Wood apple leaves are have been used in Ayurveda for centuries. They are very effective in controlling high blood pressure if you take them on a regular basis. Take a few wood apple leaves, boil them in water, and steep for a few minutes before cooling and drinking it.

Another alternative is to dry the bel leaves, finely powder them and store in a jar to use on a regular basis. You can dissolve ½ to 1 teaspoon of this powder in a teacup of water and boil. Cool, filter and drink three times a day.

Loss of Appetite


The bael leaves can help to bring your appetite back to normal in a few days. Clean some bel leaves and make a paste. Take ½ a teaspoon of this paste every morning for three days, and you should get your appetite back. The leaves have also been used as a natural treatment for nausea.

Since wood apple is rich in fibres and acts as a laxative, it is good for the gastrointestinal system. It is also antiparasitic, which means that it can kill worms in the intestines. It aids digestion and cures loss of appetite that is caused by inflammation in your digestive system.

Stomach Ulcer and Mouth Ulcer


The ripe fruit has excellent healing properties for stomach ulcers. The fruit contains valuable tannins that can coat the stomach mucosa with a protective mucilage. This acts as a barrier against excess stomach acid that could otherwise cause inflammation and pain. For a stomach ulcer home remedy, soak 2 or 3 leaves in a teacup of water overnight and drink the water, early the next morning.

Alternatively, (also useful for mouth ulcer) you can mix a teacup of the ripe pulp with a teaspoon of sugar (or jaggery) and eat early in the morning on an empty stomach. This remedy is prescribed for three days.

Blood purifier


Wood apple makes an excellent blood purifier, removing disease-causing toxins from the blood. It cuts down the pressure on the kidneys and the liver since they are the primary defence against toxins in the blood. Daily consumption of just 50ml of fruit juice, mixed with ¼ cup water can do the trick.

Prevents scurvy and boosts the immunity levels


Bael is rich in vitamin C, a deficiency of which can cause the immunity levels to drop and also cause skin ailments such as scurvy. Eating the fruit provides the body with a good dose of the vitamin.

Controls blood sugar levels


The bael tree releases a gum (Feronia) through its trunk and branches, which when eaten, counterbalances diabetes, by controlling the sugar present in the bloodstream. The gum technically ensures that the insulin works in sync with the glucose in the blood. This prevents the sudden spike of blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.

Clears the respiratory tract


The leaves of the tree are potent and cure chronic disorders of the respiratory tract. Chewing on a bael leaf can cure a sore throat, prevent coughs and colds and remove phlegm and cure health conditions such as laryngitis.

Keeps kidneys healthy


Eating the fruit regularly resolves kidney-related conditions. The fruit is an excellent antioxidant and when eaten regularly, helps in flushing out disease causing toxins from the body. When present in the body, these toxins can prevent the kidney from functioning to its full capacity.

Maintains liver health


Bael is rich in beta-carotene that keeps the liver working well. Additionally, the fruit also has healthy amounts of B vitamins, riboflavin (B2) and thiamine (B1) known to improve liver health.

Boosts energy levels


A medium size bael fruit has roughly 150 calories. It is a nutrient-rich fruit that boosts the metabolic rate and improves the functioning of the organs. This helps boost energy levels.



Wood apples also have medicinal benefits against jaundice, fever due to peptic ulcers and various other stomach disorders, dysentery, malarial fever, redness in the eyes, early stages of TB, asthma, and general weakness in the body.


Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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