Aegle Marmelos (CORREA)
Belae Fructus. Bel. Indian Bael.
Fruit 2 1/2 to 3 1/4 inches in diameter, globular or ovoid in shape, colour
greyish brown, outside surface hard and nearly smooth. Rind about 1/8 inch
thick and adherent to a light red pulp, in which are ten to fifteen cells,
each containing several woolly seeds. It has a faint aromatic odour and
The chief constituents appear to be mucilage and pectin contained in the
pulp of the unripe fruit; the ripe fruit differs in yielding a tannin reaction
and possessing a distinct aroma.
Medicinal Action and Uses
Fresh half-ripe Bael fruit is mildly astringent and is used in India for
dysentery and diarrhoea; the pulp may be eaten or the decoction administered.
The dried fruit does not contain the constituents requisite for the preparation
of the decoction. It is said to cure without creating any tendency to constipation.
Mangosteen Fruit (Garania Mangostana) is sometimes substituted for it, also
another species of the order Rutacece, Wood Apple or Elephant Apple (Feronia
Elephantum), but neither are as effective as the fruit of the Bael Tree.