What are the therapeutic properties of Bilwa?

Bilwa tree (Aegle marmelos) also commonly known as bilwa or Bael.

Bilwa tree is a mid-sized slender, aromatic, gum bearing tree up to 8 meters tall and austere looking, gnarled trunk and with sharp thorns. The tree is regarded as one of the sacred trees of Indian Heritage. Bilwa tree grows in almost all parts of India. The fruit and leaves are highly beneficial and have lots of nutritional elements in it.

Bilwa fruit, also known with some other different names such as “Wood Apple, Stone Apple, Golden Apple” as it is a large fruit looks pale yellow suns when ripe. Bilwa is a native tree of India which has great spiritual and medicinal importance.

Bael (Bilwa) Fruit

Significance of Bel Patra (Bilwa Leaf) in Hindu Pujas and Rituals

The Bilwa tree is considered to be very sacred by Hindus and its leaves are mainly used in worshipping Lord Shiva. The offering of bel pattra has a much deeper significance in Hindu pooja rituals, as per Puranas and Vedas.

Food Usage

The bilwa fruits can be eaten either fresh or after being dried and produced into candy, toffee, pulp powder. If fresh, the juice is strained and sweetened to make a drink similar to lemonade. It can be made into sharbat or Bela pana, a beverage and it has been known for its medicinal values since 2000 BC.

Bela Pana has fresh milk, water, fruit pulp, sugar, crushed black pepper, and ice. Bilwa pana, a drink made of the pulp with water, sugar and citron juice is mixed, left to stand a few hours, strained. If the fruit is to be dried, it is usually sliced and sun-dried. The hard leathery slices are then immersed in water. The leaves and small shoots are eaten as salad greens.


Kingdom: Plantae

Family: Rutaceae

Sub Family: Aurantioideae

Tribe: Aurantieae

Genus: Aegle

Species: A. marmelos

Binomial Name: Aegle marmelos

Therapeutic Properties of Bilwa

  • Anti-diabetic
  • Anti-parasitic
  • Anti-pyretic
  • Anti-microbial
  • Laxative
  • Anti-bilious

Anatomy and Benefits

Bilwa is the only member of the monotypic genus Aegle. It is a deciduous shrub or small to medium-sized tree, up to 13m tall with slender drooping branches and rather as habby crown.


The leaf is trifoliate, alternate, each leaflet 5-14 * 2-6 cm long, ovate with a pointed tip and rounded base, with shallow rounded teeth. Young leaves are pale green or pinkish, finely hairy while mature leaves are dark green and completely smooth. 4-12 pairs of side veins which are joined at the margin of each leaf.

Benefits of Leaves

Consumption of Bilwa leaves alleviates diseases caused by excess Vata and Kapha (phlegm) in the body. They are also very useful in diabetes. To do this, a few leaves should be chewed daily and fresh juice can be taken. They are diaphoretic in nature which reduces the temperature and lowers fevers by producing more sweat and is also an aphrodisiac. A decoction of the leaves is a wonderful remedy for ailments that often occur during seasonal changes, such as fever, flu, and fatigue.


The bilwa fruit typically has a diameter of 5 to 13 cm. It is slightly pear-shaped with a thick, hard rind and does not split upon ripening. The woody shell is smooth and green, gray in color until it is fully ripe when it turns yellow. Inside are 8 to 15 or 20 sections filled with aromatic orange pulp with seeds each about 1  cm long, bearing woolly hair and each enclosed in a sac of adhesive, transparent mucilage that solidifies on drying.

It takes about 11 months to ripen fully on the tree and can reach the size of a large grapefruit and some are even larger. The shell is so hard that it cannot be easily cracked. The fibrous yellow pulp is very aromatic. It has been described as tasting of marmalade (made of the juice and peel of citrus fruits) and smelling of roses which indicate that the flavor is “sweet, aromatic and pleasant, although tangy and slightly astringent in some varieties. Numerous hairy seeds are encapsulated in a slimy mucilage.

Benefits of Fruit

Its flesh is sweet and astringent; it contains tannin, which acts as an astringent to the bowels. It tastes nice, pleasant, aromatic and provides an excellent dietary supplement. The dried fruit pulp of Bilwa fruit when powdered and mixed with arrowroot is called Dietary Bel. It is both food and healing medicine.

Unripe Bilwa Fruit: It Balances Vata & Kapha as well as improves digestion.

Ripe Bilwa Fruit: It is heavy to digest and causes constipation therefore useful in diarrhea and dysentery.

Benefits of Bilwa Root

A preparation made from bilwa root (after removing the outer skin) with ginger and toasted rice cures vomiting. For the treatment of “piles” or hemorrhoids, dysentery and diarrhea, preparation is made from root mixed with a tuberous root. The oil extracted from the root Bilwa, boiled with the juice of the Bilwa leaves and applied to the head is excellent for nasal catarrh and diseases of the ear.


The flowers are 1.5 to 2 cm, pale green or yellowish in color, sweetly scented, in short, drooping unbranched clusters at the end of leaf axils. They usually appear with young leaves. The calyx is flat with 4 to 5 small teeth. The four or five petals of around 6-8 mm overlap in the bud.

Benefits of Flower

Its pulp is hot in nature and relieves Vata. It also relieves diarrhea and vomiting.

Ayurvedic Concept of Bilwa Tree

The Ayurveda values, the Bilwa is highly used for the therapeutic &medicinal properties contained in its roots, fruits, and leaves. According to Ayurveda, it is a healing tree that cures all diseases caused by Vata (wind) and gives strength to the body.

Ayurveda has classified the Bilwa under  the Dashamoola herbs and has given much importance due to its excellent therapeutic properties:

  • Bilwa leaves have anti-diabetic properties thus used to regulate body sugar levels.
  • Bilwa fruit is used in treating diarrhea or dysentery due to its stool binding properties whereas the ripened fruit is used to treat constipation.
  • Its fruit pulp used along with jaggery can treat blood disorders and also excessive bleeding.
  • The extract of bilwa (bael) fruit has antimicrobial properties that help in treating various infections in the body
  • The juice of bilwa leaves is used in relieving jaundice.
  • Skin diseases, burns, ear infections, and eye infections are treated using the syrup or oil made from Bilwa. Leaf extract is useful in treating deafness, conjunctivitis, and leucorrhea.
  • Bilwa leaves contain anti-oxidants that help in fighting gastric ulcers.
  • This herb has the capacity to pacify Vata dosha, Kapha dosha and improves the digestive fire.
  • The leaf extract is believed to have anti-spermatogenic properties and is used in fertility control traditionally.
  • The extract of bilwa leaf can be used to control the cholesterol level in the blood which makes the bilwa leaves highly therapeutic too.
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Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD - Ayurveda) is a Globally Renowned Ayurveda Physician with Expertise of more than 25 Years. He is the CEO & Founder of http://www.PlanetAyurveda.com, a leading Ayurveda Brand, Manufacturing, and Export Company with a Chain of Clinics and Branches in the US, Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, India, and other parts of the World. He is also an Ayurveda Author who has written Books on Ayurveda, translated into Many European Languages. One of his Books is "Ayurveda – God’s Manual for Healing". He is on a Mission to Spread Ayurveda All Over the Planet through all the Possible Mediums. With his Vast Experience in Herbs and their Applied Uses, he is successfully treating Numerous Patients suffering from Various Ailments with the help of the Purest Herbal Supplements, Diet, and Lifestyle, according to the Principles of Ayurveda. For More Details, visit. Read More

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