Bael Root, Fruit, Leaves, Stem Uses, Research, Remedies, Side Effects

Bael tree is known as Bilva in Sanskrit. It is an ancient Ayurvedic tree with spiritual and medicinal importance. It is extensively described in Indian literature, since Vedic period. It is one among the Dashamoola herbs (Group of ten roots).

bael fruit

Botanical name is Aegle marmelos,
belongs to Rutaceae family.

Common names, Sanskrit synonyms

Hindi and English name – Bel, Bael.
Synonyms: Maaloora, Shandilya, Shailusha, Shriphala, Gandhagarbha, Sadaaphala, Mahakapittha, Kantaki, Granthila.

dry bael fruit slice

Classical categorization

Charaka –
ShothaharaGroup of herbs with anti inflammatory property
Arshoghna – Group of herbs useful in hemorrhoids
Asthapanopaga – Group of herbs useful in Basti treatment.
Charaka has mentioned it as a plant source for oil. (Reference) – Sthavara Sneha Yoni

Sushruta –
Varunadi, Ambashtadi, Brihat panchamoola, Dashamoola

Spiritual significance, Distribution

Spiritual significance: Bilva is called Shiva Druma. Its leaves are offered to Lord Shiva. As per Divine Park, offering of bilva leaf, with its three leaflets symbolizes – offering of “I, mine and ‘because of me’ ” types of ego centric attitude at the feet of the Lord. (Reference: Divine Park )

Distribution: It is distributed throughout India.

Bilva Phala – Bael fruit Benefits – Sushruta Samhita

Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 27

Unripe bael fruit

Kapha anila hara – balances Vata and kapha.
Teekshna (piercing)
Snigdha (unctuous, oiliness)
Sangrahi – Absorbent
Deepana – improves digestion
Katu, Tikta, Kashaya – has pungent, bitter and astringent taste
Ushna – hot
Young unripe bael fruits
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Ushna – hot
Teekshna -Piercing
Pittavardhana – increases Pitta.
Deepana – improves digestion strength
Kapha Vatajit – Balances Kapha and Vata.

Ripe Bael fruit

Durjara – difficult for digestion,
Doshala – aggravates all the Doshas
Pooti Maruta – producer of foul smelling flatus.
Madhura anurasa – It has sweet after taste
Guru (heavy to digest)
Vidahi – causes slight burning sensation
Vishtambhakara – causes constipation. Useful in diarrhoea and dysentery
Doshakrut – may cause imbalance of Tridosha, especially Vata.

Bael root

Tridoshaghna – balances Tridosha
Chardighna – relieves vomiting
Madhura – sweet
Laghu – light to digest

Qualities according to Kayyadeva Nighantu

Unripe fruit of Bael

Tuvara – Astringent
Grahi – absorbent
Ruksha – Dry
Agni Pittakrut – improves digestion and Pitta.
Vatashleshmahara – balances Vata and Kapha

Bael leaves

Bilva leaf is
Sangrahi – Absorbent
Vatajit – Balances Vata. Bael leaves are used in dyspepsia, gastritis indigestion, cold and sinusitis.

Bilva Root

Doshaghna – balances Tridosha
Vamighna – relieves vomiting
Shulaghna – relieves abdominal colic pain

Bael Pith

Aegle marmelos  (Bael) Pith is
Kaphavataghna – balances Kapha and Vata
Amaghna – relieves state of indigestion at the level of digestive tract and tissues
Shulaghna – relieves abdominal colic pain
Grahini – Absorbent

Bilwa Stem

Kasaghna – relieves cough, cold
Amavataghna – useful in rheumatoid arthritis
Hrudya – good for heart
Agnivardhana – improves digestion power – Carminative
Katu – pungent
Kashaya – astringent
Ushna – hot
Tikta – Bitter
Deepana, Pachana – Digestive, improves digestive enzymes
Snigdha (unctuous, oiliness)
Teekshna (piercing)

Bilva Flower

Atisarahara – Relieves dysentery and diarrhoea
Trushahara – relieves thirst
Vamihara – anti emetic – relieves vomiting.
Oil derived from bael fruit pulp is hot in nature, and relieves Vata.
Bael fruit kept in sour gruel improves digestion power, acts as carminative.

Bael fruit oil benefits

To relieve chest congestion and cold, the Bael fruit oil is applied over chest and forehead, over sinus region.
It also relieves pain and inflammation.
It improves skin complexion.

According to Bhojana Kutuhalam 14th chapter, The unripe bilva stimulates the digestive fire, is heavy for digestion, unctuous and acts as absorbent. The ripe bilva fruit has madhura rasa as its secondary taste. it cures all the vitiation of three doshas, Bilva fruit dipped in kanjika helps in stimulating digestive fire, it acts as a cardio tonic, improves taste perception and helps in treating amavata.

How to preserve and use?

Bael leaves are used to prepare curries and Sambhar. If you are using the fresh leaves, taking it in that manner is helpful.

Bel Leaves, Bel Patra, Bilva Leaves Uses

Acharya Charaka explains Bilva leaves in the chapter of Annapana – food and drinks. It means that bilva leaves were used in cooking, 1000s of years before. It also indicates that bilva leaves, used in the form of powder or herbal tea are well tolerated by the body even in higher doses. 

बिल्वपत्रं तु वातनुत्|

bilvapatraṃ tu vātanut| Charaka Samhita, Sutrasthana 27/107 

Bilva leaves Balance down Vata Dosha. 

In the treatment of jaundice,
ginger, black pepper and long pepper fruit powders – 1 teaspoon mix is administered along
with
15 ml of Bel leaf juice,
15 ml of juice of Aragwadha (Cassia fistula), 
15 ml Amla juice  
15 ml of sugarcane juice and 
15 ml of Vidari juice (Pueraria tuberosa).
This is administered once or twice a day, on an empty stomach or before food. (Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana 16-58,59)

Bel leaves are added with water and boiled. Its steam is used for mild fomentation of eyes to relieve conjunctivitis with excess discharge (Kaphaja Abhishyanda) – Sushruta Samhita Uttara Tantra, 11/5 

तत्पत्रं कफपित्ताभशूलघ्नं ग्राहि रोचनम् ||१५१||
tatpatraṃ kaphapittābhaśūlaghnaṃ grāhi rocanam ||151||- Sodhala Nighantu Guduchyadi Varga, 151
Bilva leaves are useful to relieve pain due to acid peptic disorder and weak digestion strength. Leaves are useful to relieve abdominal colic pain and inflammation associated with Kapha and Pitta aggravation. 

पत्रं सङ्ग्राहि वातजित् ||१९||
patraṃ saṅgrāhi vātajit ||19|| 
Kaiyadeva Nighantu Oshadhi Varga 19 
Its leaves are sangrahi – absorb excess water and useful in Irritable bowel syndrome. It helps to improve the size and shape of feces. 

In case of muscle pain due to injury, its leaves are made a paste and applied externally. 

How to use bel leaves? 
In the treatment of headache, its leaves are mixed with lukewarm water, ground and paste is applied over the forehead. 
In conjunctivitis, its paste is applied gently over closed eyelids. 
Orally, its fresh juice extract is advised in a dose of 10 ml, once or twice a day, before food, for colic pain and IBS 
Or its leaf decoction is prepared by boiling 20 grams of leaves in 2 cups of water, boiled and reduced to one cup, filtered and consumed lukewarm. 

Ayurvedic medicines

Bilva is the first ingredient of Dashamoola group of roots. This group represents potent anti inflammatory activity, that Bilva possesses.

Bilva is very useful in diarrhea and dysentery. Hence it is one of the essential ingredients in many Ayurvedic anti-diarrheal medicines such as Kutajavaleha and Brihat Gangadhara Churna

Bilva Tail – An oil prepared with bael root is used in ear diseases.

Vilwadi Gulika – a very useful Ayurveda medicine, with Aegle marmelos as the main ingredient, is used in insect bites, fever etc.

Bael leaves juice extract is used as an ingredient in making Astapatra taila, which is used in treatment of headache.

There are many research reports suggesting potent hypoglycemic activity of Bilva. Hence it is used in Ayurveda treatment of diabetes.

Dry bel fruits vs fresh fruits

In case of grapes, bael fruit and Haritaki (Harad fruit), – dried fruits are better than the fresh fruits.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

54 thoughts on “Bael Root, Fruit, Leaves, Stem Uses, Research, Remedies, Side Effects”

  1. Your website is awesome..I request you to write an article about Ayurvedic treatment of hyper sweating and body odor when you have time.

    Reply
  2. Hi, bael powder does help in colitis. You can purchase it from local Ayurveda store. If it is of uniform colour, without any microbial growth, has its typical odour, it is good.

    Reply
  3. For chronic ulcerative colitis which form of bael is recommended? ripe or unripe? if unripe increases pitta how can ulcerative colitis patient take it since they are all high pitta patients? Can you please explain. Many thanks Dr!

    Reply
  4. its dr wayal,chikhali,dist buldana,state maharashtra….Hi sir your article is very very usefull..and in future i will always look for ur article. thanks

    Reply
  5. Hi, ripe bael fruit is hard to digest and may increase Vata Dosha. Hence, it is best to stop consuming ripe bael fruit.

    Reply
  6. Hi Doctor,
    very informative and helpful. please keep writing more about helpful home remedies for the benifit of the common man.
    Good luck !
    Dr Rajan Datar.

    Reply
  7. Thankyou for sharing all your knowledge. I history of constipation and have used a fibre blend with cascara segrada for many years and now find that i am addicted. Bael has been helping me wean myself off my fibre. I do 3 days of bael leaf 300mg ( bowel care by organic india..approx 3 or 4 tablets per day) then back to the fibre. I have been searching the internet to see if bael is addictive like all the irritants such as senna and cascara but cannot find much on long term use. Bael has been a life saver for constipation and my swollen belly is also much much better.
    Any information is greatly appreciated
    Louisa

    Reply
  8. Respected Sir,
    I always read ur articles in leisure time ( many a times i go through them repeatedly). I love all the articles esp the references mentioned by u as cross checking it helps me to clear my queries.
    Thanks alot doc for all the awesome articles

    Reply
    • Dear Dr Mini,
      Greetings!
      Went through your website. Impressive work! 🙂
      Will try to refer patients, whenever I get opportunity.
      Best regards
      Dr Hebbar

      Reply
  9. Hi, the effect of bael or any fruit may differ from person to person.
    For example, cucumber may worsen cold in few, and it does not in some other.

    Reply
  10. Hello doctor. Thank you for sharing your valuable knowledge. What is the benefit of bael fruit oil? Can consuming bael fruit oil help control diabetes? Are there any benefits of applying this oil on skin? I have purchased your ayurveda book but nothing mentioned about the oil. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you!

    Reply
    • To relieve chest congestion and cold, the Bael fruit oil is applied over chest and forehead sinus region. 
      It also relieves pain and inflammation. 
      It improves skin complexion. 
      I have not seen this used for oral consumption.

      Reply
  11. Hello,

    I’m in my first trimester and craving bilva juice with sugar. Is it safe for me to consume? Some websites say it will help with morning sickness and make me healthy , is that true?

    Reply
  12. Sir, i have ulcers in intestine but no loose motion. Also have swelling in stomach lining. Which brand bael tablet should i use?

    Reply
  13. Namaste Doctor, you have mentioned that ripe fruit increases all three doshas. But the ripe fruits are used to prepare panaka and considered as pittahara. Is it wrong?, Thank you.

    Reply

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