INTRODUCTION:

The slow -growing tree is erect, with a few upward -reaching branches bending outward near the summit where they are subdivided into slender branchlets drooping at the tips. The bark is ridged, fissured and scaly and there are sharp spines: 3/4to 2 in (2-5cm) long on some of the zigzag twigs. The deciduous, alternate leaves, 3 to 5 inch (7.5 -12.5cm ) long, dark -green, leathery, often minutely toothed ,blunt or notched at the apex, are dotted with oil glands and slightly lemon -scented when crushed. Dull -red or greenish flower to 1/2in (1.25 cm) wide are borne in small, loose terminal or lateral panicles. They are usually bisexual. The fruits are round to oval, 2 to 5 inch (5-12.5cm) wide, with a hard woody ,grayish-white, scurfy rind about 1/4inch (6mm)thick .The pulp is brown, mealy, odorous, resinous, astringent, acid or sweetish, with numerous small, white seeds scattered through it.

Health benefits of Bael fruit (Wood Apple)

The bael tree is probably the most valuable therapeutic plants in 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 dysfunction.  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 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.

  • 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 make 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 sever dysentery.

  •  Cure peptic ulcer

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 3 days in order to cure ulcers.

  • Respiratory health:

Leaves of wood apple treat respiratory problems. For lowering cough and cold, heat the sesame oil with teaspoon of black cumin, black pepper 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 black pepper seeds and drink warm milk to lower occurrence of asthma. It should be done for atleast one month.

  • 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.

  • Acts as antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory properties

Bael juice contains anti -inflammatory properties that is used to reduce histamine induced contractions. This also gives positive results to relax and smooth inflamed organs.

  • Blood purifier

Mix 50 gm pulp juice with some warm water and sufficient honey. This drink will help you to purify your blood.

  • Haemorrhoids

Tannin in the bael fruit juice is useful to cure diarrhea, cholera, haemorrhoids and vitiligo. This is also helpful in the anemia, ear and eyes disorder treatment. In Ayurveda, the juice is mixed with turmeric and ghee and spread on fractured bones to treat fracture.

  1. Cancer

Consume this juice regularly to prevent or cure breast cancer.

Religious value:

Bael is used in the ritual rites of Hindus. Bael is considered as one of the sacred trees of Hindus. Earliest evidence of religious importance of bael appears in Sri Shuktam of Rig Veda which revers this plant as the residence of Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth and prosperity. Bael trees are considered an incarnation of Goddess Sati. Bael trees can be usually seen near the Hindu temples and their home gardens. It is believed that Hindu deity Lord Shiva is fond of bael trees, it’s leaves and fruits and still play a main role in his worship.

In the traditional practice of the Hindu and Buddhist religions by people of the Newari culture of Nepal, the bael tree is a part of fertility ritual for girls. Known as ‘Bel Bibaaha’. Girls are “married “to the bael fruit; as long as the fruit is kept safe and never cracks, the girl can’t widowed, even if her human husband dies. This is a ritual that guarantees the high status of widows in the Newar community compared to other women in Nepal.

Ihi, Ehee or Bel marriage:

Bel bibaha is a ceremony in the Newar community in Nepal in which pre-adolescent girls are “married “to the bael fruit (wood apple), which is a symbol of the God Vishnu, ensuring that the girl becomes and remains fertile. It is believed that if the girl’s husband dies later in her life, she is not considered a widow because she is married to Vishnu already who is believed to be still alive.

This ritual has been in practice since hundreds of years. It is very scared ritual and a real Kanyaadaan as a virgin girl is handed over to the god. Actually in ihi, girl is married to a golden statue of Lord Vishnu known as Suvarna Kumar and bel fruit is given as its witness. As bel fruit (wood apple) has a peculiar quality of not getting rotten and remaining fresh forever, it is sometimes considered as Divya Purusha (divine male) or incarnation of the god.

The ceremony lasts for two days .All the rituals of a Hindu marriage are performed in this ceremony. So, these rituals need to be performed again while getting married with a man.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here