WOOD APPLE (LIMONIA ACIDISSIMA) BAEL TREE

The wood apple scientific name is Limonia Acidissima is a large tree growing to 90 meters (30 feet) tall, with rough, spiny bark. The leaves are pinnate with 5-8 leaflets, each leaflet 25-30 mm long and 15-25 mm broad, they have a citrus scent when crushed. The bark is ridged fissured and scaly and there are sharp spines, 3/4 to 2 inches (3-6cm) long on some of the zigzag twigs. The deciduous alternate leaves 3 to 5 inches (6-13cm) long, dark green, leathery, often minutely toothed, are dotted with oil glands, and slightly lemon-scented when crushed. Dull red or greenish flowers to 1/2 inches (1.5cm) wide and borne in small, loose, terminal or lateral panicles. They are usually bisexual. The flower is white and has five petals. The fruit is a berry 5-10 cm diameter and rounded to oval, 2-5 inches (5-15 cm) wide. hard, woody, grayish-white, scurfy rind about 1/4 inches ( 5mm) thick. The pulp is brown, mealy, odorous, resinous, astringent, acid, or sweetish, with numerous small, white seeds scattered through it. The fruit looks similar in appearance to the wood apple fruit, it contains a considerable amount of protein, carbohydrate, iron, fat, calcium, vitamin B & C, etc., 100 grams of ripe fruit pulp contains up to 49 calories.

In India, the fruit was traditionally a poor man’s food until processing techniques were developed in the mid-1950. Besides the name wood apple, it is also referred to as an elephant apple, monkey fruit, curd apple, keth bel, golden apple, stone apple, etc. In Malaysia, it is called gelinggai and bilingual, in Thailand ma-khwit. It is a well-known fruit that contains several known and unknown medicinal properties and hence is viewed as one of the most valuable medicinal plants in India. Several varieties of wood apple in India of which two types are very popular ‘yellow bael’ which is sweet when it’s ripe, and the ‘kod bael’, which is sweet and sour when it’s ripe. Both have tremendous medicinal value many pharmaceutical companies are doing extensive research on this fruit and the plant. 

Wood apple flower by plantsbhh.in

Wood apple is considered to be sacred since it has been cultivated in India for more than 4000 years. The whole parts of the plant are useful and are a vital part of ayurvedic medicine. The fruit is globose and the shell is very hard, it is cracked with a hammer or machete. The pulp inside the fruit is very aromatic and fibrous. It contains resinous hairy seeds which are covered with marmalade but tangy and slightly astringent having an aroma of rose. The taste of the fruit regrettably leaves something to be preferred, yet all the parts of the tree are utilized and used for a purpose, which includes fragrances, soaps, and also home furniture manufacturing. The bark contains slimy sap which oozes out from cut parts gum is gummy and clear sap that exudes wounded branches. The gum becomes solid gradually which tastes sweet at first and then irritates the throat. 

Many good things have been told about the quality of wood apple in Ayurveda, which you need to know. You can take the benefits of the medicinal properties of wood apple in diarrhea, hemorrhoids, diabetes, leucorrhea, etc. You can also take benefit from wood apple in menstrual disorders, skin diseases, fever, itching, burning sensation. Let us know how many diseases you can cure from consuming or using wood apple, as well as knowing what can be the side effects of wood apple.

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF WOOD APPLE PLANT

Wood apple plant by plantsbhh.in

The wood apple is generally grown from seeds though seeding will not bear fruit until at least 16 years of age. Multiplication is also be done b root cutting, air layers, or by budding onto self seedings to induce dwarfing. Wood apple trees required less water, it is mandatory drip system can be used in irrigation methods to provide water for better growth and yield of fruit. This plant doesn’t require any water in the rainy season and once a month after the monsoon. In case of flooding or heavy rains, make sure to drain out water as quickly as possible. However, manures and fertilizer are beneficial for higher yield. This manure and fertilizer dose should be increased each year in the same proportion for up to 10 years. After spreading these manures and fertilizers under the whole of the wood apple tree. Carry out irrigation immediately after applying the manure and fertilizers.

Usually, wood apple fruits become fully mature in eight months after the fruit set. At this stage, the shell changes from deep green to light green and flesh from light yellow to deep yellow. Wood apple fruit takes about 10 to 13 months after the fruit is set to ripen on the tree. Fruit should be harvested individually from the tree along with a portion of fruit stalk. They should not be allowed to drop or fall on the ground.

Wood Apple after ripen by plantsbhh.in

The fruit is tested for maturity by dropping onto the hard surface from a height of 1 foot ( 30cm). Immaturity fruit bounces, while mature fruit does not, after harvest the fruit is kept in the sun for 2 weeks to fully ripen. In the post-monsoon season, the basin can be mulched with dry leaves. Every year 24 kg of Farmyard manure (FYM) is to be applied for each tree at the beginning of the monsoon rains. This will help increase fruit size and quality. During the early stage of crop growth if pot watering is done during summer it will be beneficial. Being a member of the citrus family it is attacked by the leaf-eating caterpillar of citrus which completely defoliates the plant. Spraying of any contact insecticide should be done after handpicking and destruction of larvae.

BENEFITS FOR HEALTH

Wood apple after totally ripen by plantsbhh.in

Benefit for Headache

Dry roast a handful of wood apple leaves in a mud pot. Add one cup of water to it and boil it for 10 minutes. The strain and drink provide relief from Headache, nausea, and vomiting. Grind the dried root of the vine with some water. Make a paste of its leaves. Applying it on the forehead provides relief from headaches.

Benefit for Dandruff

Break the ripe fruit into two parts. Take out the marrow inside it. Add sesame oil and camphor in one part. Cover the first one from the second part and mix well. Applying this oil on the head your hair will be free from dandruff and lice.

Benefits for treat Eyes Problems

Take the wood apple leaves and apply the ghee on the leaves and compress on the eyes. You can also cure eye diseases by pouring the juice of its leaves in the eyes, or by applying its paste. The foliage is a very effective treatment for the eyes.

The benefit to the curing of Constipation

Ripe fruit of wood apple is a laxative that helps to cleanse and tone the intestine. If you consume regularly for 3-4 months in form of juice which is made with a pulp of wood apple add milk and sugar for a taste for best result. You also consume without adding milk and sugar. Forage of 40 to 60 people and have 60 grams of pulp is enough to cure constipation.

Wood apple leaves by plantsbhh.in

Benefit for Night-Blindness people

Grind ten grams of fresh wood apple leaves with 7 pieces of black pepper. Sieve it in 100 ml of water. Mix 25 grams of sugar for sweetness and drink it in the morning and evening. Soak the wood apple leaves in the water at night. Wash eyes in the morning with this water. The night-blindness will cure slowly.

Benefit in Malaria Prevention

The wood apple pulp mixture and repellents on the skin of pregnant women it is beneficial for preventing malaria. Repellents are non-irritating and neutral and have a warm sensation on the application of this pulp. Also having the juice of wood apple pulp is beneficial for malaria.

Benefit from Hearing loss or Deafness

Grind the softwood apple leaves in the urine of a healthy cow. Mix four times sesame oil and 16 times goat milk in it and cook on a slow fire. By putting it in the ears every day, deafness, sensation, sound in the ears, dryness of the ears, and itching, etc. are removed and all the problems of ears are cure by this treatment.

Benefits for Tuberculosis

Mix the ripe wood apple fruit pulp with sugar and honey and drink it daily.  Take wood apple fruit, sugar, and honey 20 grams of this mixture and cook it in half a liter of water. If chanting water remains one fourth, drink it with honey in the morning and evening is beneficial in TB disease.

The benefit of treating Scurvy

Scurvy is caused due to deficiency of vitamin C which is a life-threatening condition. Wood apple has a high content of Vitamin C which prevents scurvy from developing. The high content of vitamin C promotes potency and strengthens the immune system by prevention of viral and microbial infection.

Wood apple after ripen and broken by plantsbhh.in

The benefit of treating burning sensation

Soak 20 grams of wood apple leaves in 500 ml water for 3 hours and drink 20 ml of water every 2 hours. It cures the burning sensation of the body. Also, drink it 3-4 times a day with adding sugar for taste will be a treat in burning sensation in the chest.

Benefits for Jaundice

Mix one teaspoon of wood apple leaf powder in a pinch of black pepper powder, consume this mixture followed by a cup of buttermilk. Drink this mixture three times a day it will cure jaundice.

Benefit for Vomiting

Sieve the pulp of the ripe fruit of the wood apple and sieve it in cold water. Mix sugar candy, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, and some camphor and make a juice. Drinking this juice cures thirst, burning, vomiting, constipation, and digestive disorders. Those who have constipation, take it with food.

Benefits for Diarrhea and Dysentery

The unripe wood apple fruit an effective treatment for chronic diarrhea and dysentery. Slice the unripe fruit of wood apple and dry it under the sunlight and then made it into powder. Drink the mixture of 1 teaspoon of powder with warm water two times a day. For the best result it should be taken for at least one week it will benefit from diarrhea.

Benefit for reducing inflammation and wound

Take the 5-6 fresh leaves of wood apple and make it a paste with low heat. Put the wound place, reddish area, itching, and inflammation it will help to get relief. Collect fresh wood apple leaves and grind them, apply them over the affected part, and bandage them will help in swelling.

Benefit for Liver

Wood apple is a great source of beta carotene so it is a cure for liver ailment. IT consists of riboflavin and thiamine which is known to boost liver health. The fruit acts as an ingredient in cardiac tonics.

Wood apple pulp juice in glass by plantsbhh.in

The benefit of treating body Weakness

Take a wood apple ripe fruit pulp and dry it, Make a fine powder of its pulp. Drink it daily in the morning and evening in small amounts. This removes weakness, laziness in your body.

The benefit of Blood Purifier

Mix 60 grams of wood apple juice which is extracted in a half glass of warm water. Add one teaspoon for taste and drink it daily. It purifies the blood and keeps you from infection.

Benefit in Kidney Diseases

Chronic kidney diseases occur when diseases impair kidney function causing kidney damage. Take one teaspoon of dried wood apple leaves and make a powder with lukewarm water. Consume them regularly to prevent kidney diseases.

Benefit in Piles problem

Take one teaspoon of dried ginger and fennel seeds and crush it. mix it with unripe fruit of the wood apple. Boiled this mixture in 4 cups of water for two hours. Drink this mixture will help to cure piles.

Helps in Snakebite

The root and the fruit of wood apple are utilized with in the treatment for snake bite.

Benefit in Fever

The roots as well as the bark of the wood apple tree are utilized as a decoction to deals with all kinds of fevers. 

HINDU RELIGIOUS BELIEFS 

Hindu religious by plantsbhh.in

 

A wood apple tree is used in the ritual rite of Hindus. Wood apple is considered one of the sacred trees of Hindus. The earliest evidence of the religious importance of wood apple appears in Shri Shuktam of rig Veda which revere this plant as a resident of goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth and prosperity. Wood apple trees are considered an incarnation of the goddess of Sati. A wood apple tree can be seen neat the Hindu temple and their home. It believes that the Hindu Lord Shiva is fond of the wood apple tree and its leaves and fruit still Hindus are worshiped lord Shive with wood apple leaves.

NEPAL RELIGIOUS BELIEFS

Nepal religious beliefs by plantsbhh.in

In the tradition of Buddhist religions by people of the Newar culture of Nepal, the wood apple tree of a fertility ritual for girl known as the ‘Bel Bibaaha’. Girls are married to the wood apple fruit, as long as the fruit is kept in safe which can never crack, the girl can never become widowed, even if her husband dies. This is the ritual guarantee the high status of widows in the Newar community compared to other women in Nepal.

DIFFERENT NAMES IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES

Hindi : Bael ; Shriphal

Assamese: Bel

Oriya : Belo ; belthei

Kannada : Bailpatre

Telugu : Maredu ; Bilvpandu

Bengali : Bel

Gujarati : beli

Tamil : Bilvam ; 

Marathi : Bael ; Bili; Bolo

Nepali : Bel

Malayalam : Kuvalap pazham

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