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) .