Bael

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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Drugs Containing Carbohydrates and Derived Products

Bael consists of the unripe or half-ripe fruits or their slices or irregular pieces of Aegle marmelos Corr., belonging to family Rutaceae.


BAEL

 

 

Synonyms

 

Bael fruits, Bel, Indian Bael, Bengal Quince, Belan.

 

Biological Source

 

Bael consists of the unripe or half-ripe fruits or their slices or irregular pieces of Aegle marmelos Corr., belonging to family Rutaceae.

 

Geographical Source

 

Sub-Himalayan tract and throughout India, especially Central and Southern India, Burma, occurring as wild and also cultivated.

 

Collection

 

Tree is deciduous about 12 m in height. It is a sacred tree and the leaves known as Bilipatra are used for worshipping Lord Shiva. The tree has strong, straight spines, compound trifoliate leaves and berry fruit. Fruits are collected during April–May. After collection, epicarp removed and usually cut into transverse slices or irregular pieces.

 

Morphology

 


 


                                              Aegle marmelos



                                                               T.S. of Bael fruit


Chemical Constituents

 

The chief constituent of the drug is marmelosin A, B and C (0.5%), which is a furocoumarin. Other coumarins are marmesin, psoralin and umbelliferone. The drug also contains carbohydrates (11–17%), protein, volatile oil and tannins. The pulp also contains good amount of vitamins C and A. Two alkaloids O-methylhalfordinol and iso-pentylhalfordinol have been isolated from fruits. Other alkaloids reported in the drug are angelenine, marmeline and dictamine.

 




Uses

 

Drug is very popular in Ayurveda and is used in diarrhoea and dysentery. Action is attributed to mucilage. Leaves contain alkaloids and are considered useful in diabetes. The oil obtained from seeds possesses antibacterial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties. The root of bael is one of the constituents of well-known Ayurvedic preparation Dasmula.

 

In large doses it may lead to abortion, therefore, it can be used as abortifacient agent and hence it should not be used in pregnant women.

 

Substitutes

 

Mangosteen fruits: Garcinia mangostana Linn (Guttiferae) is a substitute for this fruit, and it can be identified by the darker rind and the wedge shaped radiate stigmas.

 

Wood apple: Limonia acidissima Coor (Rutaceae) is a five lobed fruit with rough exterior part.

 

Pomegranate rind: Punica granatum Linn (Punicaceae) contain triangular impressions on the seeds and has astrin-gent taste.

 

Marketed Products

 

It is one of the ingredients of the preparations known as Lukol for leucorrhoea; Chyawanprash (Himalaya Drug Company); Isabbeal and Bilwadi churna (Baidyanath Company); Madhushantak (Jamuna Pharma) and Sage bilwa churn (Sage Herbals).

 

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