Herb-Bel

Bel
(Aegle marmelos)

Part Used: Leaves, fruits

Habitat:
The bael tree has its origin from Eastern Ghats and Central India. It is indigenous to Indian subcontinent and mainly found in tropical & subtropical regions. The tree is also found as a wild tree, in lower ranges of Himalayas, upto an elevation of 500 meters. Bael is found growing along foothills of Himalayas, Uttaranchal, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and the Deccan Plateu and along the East Coast.
Chakraborty Manodeep et al, IJRAP 3(2), Mar – Apr 2012.

Introduction:
Bael tree is one of the most sacred trees in India. It is used while worshiping Lord Shiva. The fruit of A. marmelos possess high nutritional value. The fruit is used to make juice, jam,
sirup, jelly, toffee and other products. The pulp is reported to contain water, sugars, protein, fiber, fat, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, Iron, minerals and vitamins (Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin C and Riboflavin). It is used since long time in Ayurveda & modern science because of its medicinal values.

Mechanism of Action:
Researchers have suggested the mechanism behind its hypoglycemic action could be related to the increase of insulin release, decrease of glucose levels in the blood and increase in glycogenesis i.e. the conversion of glucose into glycogen.
Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 47, Nov. 2009, pp. 849-861.


Medicinal Uses: Bel is used in the treatment of diarrhea & dysentery. It lowers the blood glucose maintains the cholesterol levels and has antimicrobial action. Ripe fruit is useful in constipation because of its laxative effect.

Pharmacological Actions:

Diarrhea & dysentery – The unripe or half ripe fruit is a valuable remedy for the treatment of diarrhea & dysentery.

Antimicrobial Effect – Bel has antimicrobial effects.

Hypoglycemic Effect – Bel leaves & fruits help to lower the blood glucose levels which is beneficial for diabetes.

Respiratory Infections – Leaves are helpful in respiratory infections and to relieve cold & cough.

Constipation - It aids in digestion and helps in the elimination of waste from the body.
Natural Product Radiance Vol. 6(2), 2007, pp. 171-178.

Antioxidant Effect - Free radicals scavenging activity of bael fruits & leaves help to protect
the cells of the body from free radical mediate oxidative stress.
Asian J. Plant Sci. Res., 2011, 1(2):8-17

Clinical Studies:
NA.

Conclusion:
Aegle marmelos or bael is an important herb in human life because of its medicinal as well as ethnobotanical values. It is used in Ayurveda for the treatment of many diseases. Modern science has also done several researches to prove its medicinal benefits in various disease conditions including diabetes.