Bael (Aegle marmelos) is a fruit-bearing tree indigenous to dry
forests on hills and plains of central and southern India, Myanmar,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. It is
cultivated throughout India, as well as in Sri Lanka, northern
Malaya, Java and in the Philippines. It is also popularly known as
Bilva,Bilwa,Bel, or Beli fruit, Bengal quince, Stone apple, or Wood
apple. The tree, which is the only species in the genus Aegle, grows
up to 18 meters tall and bears thorns and fragrant flowers. It has a
woody-skinned, smooth fruit 5-15 cm in diameter. The skin of some
forms of the fruit is so hard it must be cracked open with a hammer.
It has numerous seeds, which are densely covered with fibrous hairs
and are embedded in a thick, gluey, aromatic pulp.
The fruit is eaten fresh or dried. The juice is strained and
sweetened to make a drink similar to lemonade, and is also used in
making Sharbat, a refreshing drink where the pulp is mixed with
tamarind. The young leaves and small shoots are eaten as salad
Medical use: The fruit is also used in religious rituals and as a
homeopathic remedy for such ailments as diarrhea, dysentery,
intestinal parasites, dryness of the eyes, Root employed as
anti-emetic. Leaves as contraceptive; to cure wounds.Fruit used as
diuretic, astringent, stomachic, laxative and anti-dysentery;
against boils and counters ezcema. In Indonesia it cures
In Hinduism, the Lord Shiva is said to live under the Bael tree. In
India, the tree is often found in temple gardens.