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Bael

Botanical: Aegle Marmelos (CORREA)
Family: N.O. Rutaceae

---Synonyms---Belae Fructus. Bel. Indian Bael.
---Part Used---Unripe fruit.
---Habitat---India.


---Description---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 mucilagenous taste.

---Constituents---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.

---Dosages and Preparations---Decoction Belae, B.P.C., 1 in 2 1/2: dose, 1/2 to 2 OZ. Fluid extract, 1/2 to 2 drachms.

---Other Species---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.

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Bear in mind "A Modern Herbal" was written with the conventional wisdom of the early 1900's. This should be taken into account as some of the information may now be considered inaccurate, or not in accordance with modern medicine.

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