Friday, September 5, 2008
Benefits and Curative Properties of Bael Fruit
The bael tree is one of the most useful medicinal plants of India. Its medicinal properties have been described in the ancient medical treatise in Sanskrit, Charaka Samhita. All the parts of this tree including stem, bark, root, leaves and fruit at all stages of maturity has medicinal virtues and has been used as traditional medicine for a long time.
The fruit is of considerably medicinal value when it just begins to ripen. The ripe fruit is aromatic, astringent which helps construction of skin, coolant and laxative. The unripe or half-ripe fruit is astringent, digestive stomachic which improves appetite and antiscorbutic, i.e. which helps to fight scurvy caused due to vitamin C deficiency.
Ripe bael fruit is regarded as best of all laxatives. It cleans and tones up the intestines. Its regular use for two or three months helps evacuate even the old accumulated faecal matter from the bowels. For best results, it should be taken in the form of sherbat, which is prepared from the pulp of the ripe fruit. After breaking the shell, the seeds are first removed, and contents are then taken out with a spoon and passed through a sieve. Milk and little sugar may be added to make it more palatable. The pulp of the ripe fruit can also be taken from the spoon without the addition of milk or sugar. About 60 grams of the fruit will suffice for an adult.
Diarrhea and Dysentery
The unripe or half ripe fruit is perhaps, the most effective food remedy for chronic diarrhea and dysentery where there is no fever. Best results are obtained by the use of dried bael or its powder. The bael fruit, when it is still green, is sliced and dried in the sun. The dried bael slices are reduced into powder and preserved in air-tight bottles. The unripe bael can also be baked and taken with jaggery or brown sugar.
The fruit appears to have little effect in acute dysentery when there is definite sensation to defecate but instead of significant amount of faeces, blood and mucus alone are passed. The powdered drug is specially recommended in this condition. Its beneficial effect its, however, most evident when the condition has become sub-acute or chronic. After the use of the fruit in these conditions, the blood gradually disappears and the stool assume a more feculent and solid form. The mucus also disappears after continued use for some time. It is also a valuable remedy for chronic dysenteric conditions characterized by alternate diarrhea and constipation.
An infusion of bael leaves is regarded as an effective food remedy for peptic ulcer. The leaves are soaked overnight in water. This water is strained and taken as a drink in the morning. The pain and discomfort are relieved when this treatment is continued for a few weeks. Bael leaves are rich in tannins which reduce inflammation and help healing of ulcers. The bael fruit taken in the form of beverage has also great viscous content. This substance forms a coating on the stomach mucosa and thus helps in the healing of ulcers.
A medicated oil prepared from bael leaves gives relief from recurrent colds and respiratory affections. The juice extracted from bael leaves is mixed with equal quantity of sesame oil and heated thoroughly. A few seeds of black pepper and half a teaspoonful of black cumin are added to the hot oil. It is then removed from the fire and stored for use when necessary. A teaspoonful of this oil should be massaged into the scalp before a head bath. Its regular use builds up resistance against colds and coughs.
A common practice in south India is to give the juice of bael leaves to bring relief from wheezing and respiratory spasm. The leaf juice, mixed in warm water with a little pepper, is give as a drink.
Posted by The Green Sanctuary at Friday, September 05, 2008