Bael: The miracle fruit | Daily News

Bael: The miracle fruit

The Bael fruit or Beli fruit as it is called in Sri Lanka is ideal for the adventurous. It is a fruit/drink that is a restorer of vigor, because it is excellent for those who are into outdoor activities. However this is not a fruit only for the sporty. The Bael tree is a valuable addition to our home garden because almost every part of it has medicinal value. Green Thumbs speaks to Institute of Indigenous Medicine, Department of Dravyaguna Vignana, Senior Lecturer, Dr. S. D. Hapuarachchi on the Bael fruit that can literally ‘Juice Up’ your life.

Bael fruit (Aegle marmelos) can also be prepared as a tea. The shell can be removed and it can be boiled in water and consumed. It gives a very good cooling effect to the body. In fact almost every part of the Bael fruit – leaves, pulp, shell and roots has medicinal uses. In that way it is quite a special fruit. Hapuarachchi pointed out that the fragrance of the Bael Fruit is very pleasant. She stated that this fruit is used in Ayurveda medicine. When the country may be experiencing a heat wave, it is the ideal refreshing juice.

“It can be eaten as a paste, drunk as a decoction and taken as a juice. Preparing the paste is quite easy. All you need to do is to boil the mature fruit (with the shell on) and then break the shell and take the pulp out. After that you only need to add sugar or honey and it can be consumed as a paste. It is quite delicious and nutritious. In order to prepare the juice, there is no need to boil the fruit. The shell can be broken and the pulp can be taken out. Then the pulp and a quantity of sugar and a small portion of salt can be mixed in water and drunk. The seeds must be taken out before hand,” said Hapuarachchi.

Hapuarachchi pointed out that the Bael roots also have medicinal value. Here the ingredients you need are the Bael (Beli) roots, the herb called Bavila and dried ginger rhizome. You need 20grams of each and then they all need to be mashed together. After that you need to prepare a quantity of water roughly eight cups of it. You then mix the Bael, Bavila (the entire herb) and the Ginger rhizome with the water, boil the decoction and then consume one cupful of decoction Following the procedure every week will guarantee your health.

“Even the Bael/beli flowers are important. The flowers need to be dried and mixed with water, a little sugar is added, it is then boiled and the juice can be consumed. This is quite popular amongst our village people. It is used to reduce the internal body heat. Also the Bael leaves are excellent when bathing. The leaves need to be mixed with the water and then you need to bathe in the solution. It is excellent for the skin and the healing of wounds and skin rashes. It also helps with bad body odor. It also can be used for gargling,” said Hapuarachchi.

Hapuarachchi pointed out that the Bael juice/ flower drink is excellent for those engaged in outdoors activities. If you are into cycling, hiking and mountain climbing, Bael is the thing for you because it revitalizes the body. It is known as Sada Phala because throughout the year the tree bears ripened and un-ripened fruit. This is because it takes about 11 months to ripen on the tree. However, she had a word of caution and that is that unadvisable to consume either the fruit or the juice in large quantities.

“Both the ripened and un-ripened Bael fruit has its benefits. When it is in its un-ripened stage and it is consumed, then it has an anti-diarrheal effect, and in its ripened form it prevents constipation,” added Hapuarachchi.

Apparently according to reliable sources on the net, even the Bael Tree is one of the sacred trees of Hindus. The fruit is used in religious rituals. It is used in the worship of Shiva. When offering to the gods, the beli fruit is included. In Shri Shuktam of Rig Veda Bael trees are considered an incarnation of goddess Parvati. Apparently the plant is revered as the residence of goddess Lakshmi.

Bael trees can be usually seen near the Hindu temples and their home gardens. The fruit is native to Indian Subcontinent and South East Asia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.


 

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