Bael Tree (Aegle marmelos)

Origin & Types

The varieties of Bael Tree are Darogaji, Ojha, Mitzapuri, Rampuri, Khamaria, and Azamati. It has existed in the South East Asian countries for centuries.

Bael Tree-Fact Sheet

Scientific Name Aegle marmelos
 Other Names
  1. Golden Apple
  2. Bael
Plant Family Rutaceae
Country of Origin India
Plant Height 13 m tall
Length of Leaves 5 to14 by 2 to 6 cm
Years Nurtured before Harvesting 2 years
Years of Mature Four to five years
Parts of the Plant Used The Whole plant
Color Yellow fruit
Best Time to Grow February to March and July to August

History

It is found in tropical and sub-tropical countries like Burma, Java, Malay, Egypt, Philippines, and Bangladesh. In India, it is grown in East coast, Deccan Plateau, Uttaranchal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and the Himalayas.

Bael Tree (Aegle marmelos)

Description

  1. It is a deciduous plant measuring 13 m tall and has slender drooping branches and a shabby crown. The grayish bark is finely fissured and flaking with long straight spines measuring 1.2 to 2.5 cm. The gum comes out from wounded branches and hangs like long strands and gradually becomes solid. Initially, the gum tastes sweet, but later there is an irritation in the throat.
  2. The trifoliate leaves measure 5 to 14 by 2 to 6 cm having pointed tip and round base. The young leaves are pale green and pinkish with fine hairs while the mature leaves are dark green and smooth. The pale green or yellow flowers are 1.5 to 2 cm with unbranched clusters at the end of leaf axils and twigs.
  3. Four to five petals measure 6 to 8 mm that overlaps the bud. The pale brown stamens have short filaments and anthers while the bright green ovary has an inconspicuous disc. The fruit has a diameter of 5 to 12 cm and is pear-shaped with a thick hard rind. It becomes yellow when fully ripe. 8 to 15 sections are having aromatic orange pulp inside the fruit and the seeds are oblong measuring 1 cm long with wooly hairs.

Medicinal Uses & Health Benefits

Cures diarrhea, hemorrhoids, Vitiligo & cholera

The presence of tannin in the fruit helps to heal the above diseases. The dry powder and the extract of unripe fruit cure ear and eye disorders.

Reduces gastric ulcer

The phenolic compounds have antioxidant properties helpful in eliminating gastroduodenal ulcers.

Cures scurvy

Scurvy occurs due to deficiency of vitamin C and affects the blood vessels. The fruit is rich in vitamins.

Controls cholesterol & solves respiratory problems

As the leaf is therapeutic, it controls the cholesterol level in the blood and the oil extract protect from respiratory disorders like cold or asthma.

Eliminates constipation

Add a small amount of black pepper and salt to the fruit pulp and consume it daily for removing toxins from the intestines.

Health benefits of Fruits

  1. Consuming fruit juice provides comfort from dyspepsia,  intestinal and viral parasites.
  2. It helps to increase the appetite and cures urinary disorders.
  3. The pungent and bitter taste of the fruit lowers the blood sugar level and cures intestinal disorders.
  4. It is used as a tonic for heart and brain problems and is beneficial for curing elementary canal symptoms and dysentery.
  5. Fruit pulp has a detergent property which is used to wash clothes.
  6. The pulp contains marmelosin which combats cardiac infections.

Health benefits of Leaves

  1. Prepare a juice from leaves and add a little honey to taste. Consume the drink to get rid of cold and fever.
  2. The leaves are beneficial to cure diabetes and the infusion helps in healing the peptic ulcer.
  3. The leaves are an excellent remedy for curing deafness, leucorrhea, jaundice, conjunctivitis and pediatric disorder.
  4. Chew raw leaves to get relief from gastritis and bowel movement.
  5. Oil made from leaf extract is helpful for curing insect infestation.

Other benefits of Bael

  1. Prepare a flower tonic to cure epilepsy and dysentery.
  2. The presence of polysaccharides, various alkaloids and essential oils help in curing various diseases.
  3. The anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties are beneficial for the treatment of cancer.
  4. Fish use the bark tree as a poison.
  5. Presence of vitamin B and C, beta-carotene and bio-active compounds in bael tree combat various infections.

Possible Side Effects

  1. Excess consumption leads to abdominal disorders
  2. Lactating and pregnant women should avoid this fruit
  3. After a surgery avoid consuming it
  4. High blood pressure people must avoid

Cultivation & Propagation

Bael Tree (Aegle marmelos)1

  1. Prepare the pit pots with a depth of 60 by 60 by 60 cm a month before plantation. Plant the tree at a distance of 6 to 8 meters during July and August. Follow it by removing the pebbles from the field. Mix 3 to 4 bask roti dung manure, 20 to 25 kg sand and 1 kg of lime in the pits. Light irrigation is essential after plantation.
  2. Propagation is done through grafting of the seeds. Germination is about 80 to 90 percent and when there is a rash on the buds, remove the root system from the top of the bud. It is advisable to start preparing the field 4 to 5 years before. For intermediate crop, plant the ones that consume less water or else it will affect the Bael plants.
  3. For having a useful framework of each plant, remove the tip of the main stem at the height of 1 m. Apply 10 kg farmyard manure, 50g nitrogen, 25g phosphorus and 50 g potassium to one-year plants. Before flowering mix half dose of nitrogen, a full dose of phosphorus and half dose of Potassium with the soil. Irrigate the plants immediately after providing the manures.

Soil

Bael tree grows in open forests on hills and plains at an elevation of 1200 m having an annual rainfall of 570 to 2000 mm. It can sustain in various soil conditions and is tolerant towards waterlogging. The pH level is 5 to 10 and can tolerate temperature from -7 to 48 degree Celsius.

Health & Security

For best growth, add 10 kg Ragi dung manure, 50g eyeglass, 25g phosphorus and 50g potash to each plant. Trees which are ten years old must be given 500g nitrogen, 150g phosphorus, and 500g potash. Moreover, rotten cow dung is the best fertilizer for greater sustainability. For new plants, irrigation is necessary continuously for at least two years.

Remove the suckers from rootstock at regular intervals. Lastly, make the land free of weeds and plant the legume crops with the Bael tree during the monsoon.

Harvesting & Storage

Since we use the Bael fruit for making pickles, harvest the mature green fruits. The fruit takes eight months to mature and reap the ripe fruits for making beverages. Harvest the fruits manually from the tree along with a part of fruit stalk. The fruit must not fall on the ground otherwise cracks will occur and make it difficult for storage.

Place the fruits in gunny bags and baskets for marketing and transportation. Utmost care must be taken while packing, marketing and transporting otherwise crack lead to fungal infection. Store the fully matured fruits for 15 days and the ripe fruits for seven days before consumption.

Marketing of Bael Tree

As the plant has the potential for several purposes, farmers should cultivate the plant on a large scale in wastelands which will provide them financial security. Proper systematic and scientific research must be done to explore its potential.

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