Aegle marmelos, the sacred fruit
Health benefits of Bael fruit
Aegle marmelos, a tree native to India also known as Bengal quince or stone apple, is a large tree, sacred by Hindus, known to produce one of the most commonly used fruits in Ayurvedic treatments as well as other traditional systems of medicine, the bael fruit. The bael fruit, that can be eaten either fresh or dried, has a smooth shell and tastes to marmelade, smelling of roses . Image left: Aegle marmelos by latihamba under Creative Commons License (CC BY 2.0).
Bael pulp can be made into different refreshing drinks, after being sweetened. Some are known by their local name as for example sharbat (Hindi) or Bela pana (Oriya: ବେଲ ପଣା) or bel pana in Bengali: বেল পানা) . The use of its leaves range from the most sacred, being part of offerings to Lord Shiva, to the most mundane, being also eaten as salad greens . Ethanolic extracts of Bael have also been used to treat animal chronic fatigue syndrome, reducing anxiety and increasing locomotor activity in some clinical study cases .
Common name: Bengal quince, Stone apple, Bael, Bael fruit tree, Baeltree, Belfruit-tree, Bengal quince, Elephant apple, Golden apple (India), Indian bael fruit, Indian quince (India), Japanese bitter orange, Maredoo (India), Quince-apple of India, Wood apple (India) .
In other studies, the methanol extract of Aegle marmelos showed certain immunomodulatory potential by stimulating cellular and humoral immune mechanisms .
Aegle marmelos is also among those plants rich in active principles used for their potential to fight ailments and illneses. One of the studies performed on the properties of this plant showed that Eagle marmelos had a potential to reduce chemical-induced skin papillomas, reducing the tumor incidence, tumor yield, tumor burden, and cumulative number of papillomas, when compared with the control group . Image left: Bael fruit / Beli fruit by Hafiz Issadeen under Creative Commons License (CC BY 2.0).
RIPE BAEL FRUIT FOR CONSTIPATION and DIARRHOEA
Ripe bael fruit has been tradionally used also as a well-known laxative, treating constipation, however, the unripe fruit is also a common remedy for diarrhoea and dysentery, inhibiting intestinal motility and having also documented gastroprotective effects, in spite the studies performed to prove this property were done only in rats .
Other studies suggest that its antidiarrhoeal properties may be exerted by the antimicrobial activities ripe bael fruit exerts on the infectious forms of diarrhoea .
Aegle marmelos has also demonstrated certain effectiveness as antibacterial agent against strains of Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus (Gram Positive), Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, Escherichia coli, Salmonella paratyphi A and Salmonella paratyphi B (Gram Negative), showing quite significant results against all tested bacterial strains .
AEGLE MARMELOS ESSENTIAL OIL AS A NATURAL FOOD PRESERVATIVE
The essential oil of Aegle marmelos has also reported anti-fungal properties against some storage fungi, being a potential antimicrobial that could possibly enhance the shelf life of stored food by controlling and preventing fungal growth , a more natural and environmental way to preserve food stocks over its nonbiodegradable synthetic preservatives.
 Wikipedia article on Bael.
 Evaluation of protective effect of Aegle marmelos Corr. in an animal model of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Lalremruta V, Prasanna GS.
Department of Pharmacology, KLE University's College of Pharmacy, Rajajinagar, Bangalore, India.
 Immunomodulatory Potential of Methanol Extract of Aegle marmelos in Animals.
Govinda HV, Asdaq SM.
Department of Pharmacology, Krupanidhi College of Pharmacy, Varthur Hobli, Chikkabellandur Village, Carmalaram Post, Bangalore-560 035, India.
 Amelioration of Chemical-Induced Skin Carcinogenesis by Aegle marmelos, an Indian Medicinal Plant, Fruit Extract.
Agrawal A, Jahan S, Soyal D, Goyal E, Goyal PK.
University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.
 Investigation on the gastroprotective and antidiarrhoeal properties of Aegle marmelos unripe fruit extract.
Pharmacology & Toxicology section, Research Centre, Hindustan Antibiotics Limited, Pimpri, Pune 411 018, India.
 Studies on the antidiarrhoeal activity of Aegle marmelos unripe fruit: validating its traditional usage.
Brijesh S, Daswani P, Tetali P, Antia N, Birdi T.
The Foundation for Medical Research, 84A, R. G. Thadani Marg, Worli, Mumbai 400018, Maharashtra, India.
 Plant names: Porcher Michel H. et al. 1995 - 2020, Sorting Aegle Names. Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (M.M.P.N.D) - A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia.
< http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/Sorting/Aegle.html > (2008).
 Antibacterial activity of Aegle marmelos against leaf, bark and fruit extracts.
Poonkothai M, Saravanan M.
Department of Zoology and Life Sciences, Avinashilingam University for Women, Coimbatore - 641 043, Tamil Nadu, India.
 Essential oil of Aegle marmelos as a safe plant-based antimicrobial against postharvest microbial infestations and aflatoxin contamination of food commodities.
Singh P, Kumar A, Dubey NK, Gupta R.
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