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Bael: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and More By Dr. Siddharth Gupta

By Dr Siddharth Gupta +2 more


Bael tree is considered a sacred tree. Its leaves are offered in prayers. It is known as Adhararutha in Sanskrit, Iyalbudi in Tamil, Sriphalamu in Telugu, Billi in Gujarati, Bengal quince or stone apple in English and Bel in Hindi and Bengali.1 Its scientific name is Aegle marmelos,and might prove to be   one of the most important medicinal plants in India, Ceylon and Burma.2

”No drug has been longer and better known nor more appreciated by the inhabitants of India than the Bael fruit,” said Chopra accurately in his book, Indigenous drugs of India (1982). Bael has been used in the Ayurveda as a part of various formulations since ancient times to help with boils, dysentery, earaches, discharge from ears and fever/cold.2

bael fruit

Did You Know?

  • Bael fruit has antimicrobial properties and may help fight against certain bacteria and fungi. source: sciencedirect.com
  • Bael fruit has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help reduce inflammation in the body. source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Bael fruit has been shown to have hepatoprotective properties, which may help protect the liver. source: sciencedirect.com
  • Bael fruit has been shown to have anti-diarrheal effects, which may help reduce diarrhoea. source: sciencedirect.com
  • Bael fruit has been found to have anti-mutagenic properties, which may help prevent DNA damage. source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Nutritional Value of Bael:

Bael is rich in the following nutrients:

Nutrients Percentage content (%)
Vitamin C0.008

Table depicting the nutritional value of bael3

  • Other than these nutrients, it also contains various essential amino acids, vitamins B1 and B2 and phytochemicals.4
  • It is observed that Bael contains the highest amount of alkaloids, flavonoids and tannins compared to other medicinal plants.4

I have observed that Bael fruit has been traditionally used for the management of jaundice. Bael contains compounds that help in improving liver function and promoting the elimination of toxins from the body. These properties of Bael may support the recovery from jaundice and help in restoring normal liver function.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Properties of Bael:

Bael has various properties, and it might plays a role to help with many diseases.5 It might possess the potential properties such as:

  • It may act as an antidiarrhoeal agent
  • It may be an antimicrobial (effectively kills various microorganisms)
  • It may have radioprotective potential (protects the body from harmful effects of radiation)
  • It might have anticancer potential
  • It may act as an antipyretic (fever-reducing) agent
  • It may have anti-ulcer properties
  • It may be an antigenotoxic (prevents damage to DNA)
  • It may be a diuretic (increases urine output)
  • It may act as an anti- inflammatory agent5

Also Read: Apricot: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Potential Uses of Bael:

Bael might have the following potential uses:

Potential uses of Bael for diabetes:

According to animal studies, oral intake or injection of Bael fruit extract might help to lower blood glucose and haemoglobin-bound glucose levels. It might also help increase the level of insulin in the blood and might help the conversion of glucose in the liver.2 Certain compounds (coumarins) present in the bael fruit extract might help in the secretion of insulin from the liver, thus might be helpful in lowering blood sugar levels.2

Furthermore, as per a clinical trial, lowering of blood cholesterol and slight lowering of blood glucose might be possible in some patients with diabetes to whom Bael leaf extract was administered.2 However, more research is required. Kindly consult a doctor for seriosu conditions such as diabetes which must be diagnosed and treated by a doctor.

Also Read: Paneer Dodi: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Potential uses of Bael for stomach ulcers:

Bael might have stomach protective effects. Stomach ulcers are mainly formed due to the accumulation of free radicals in the stomach cells (oxidative stress).Bael might exhibit antiulcer properties through its potential antioxidant activity and might eliminate the oxidative stress in the stomach lining and ulcer formation. Additionally, the unripe Bael fruit might help with the damage to the stomach lining induced by absolute ethanol (alcohol) in the stomach.2 However, more research is required. Kindly consult a doctor, please do not self-medicate.

Potential uses of Bael for inflammation:

Bael extracts might help in the reduction of swelling, pain and fever.2 The alcoholic extract of Bael leaves might potentially inhibit the activation of a receptor (histamine receptor), which is responsible for inflammation and most of the symptoms of allergy and asthma.2 However, more research is required. Moreover, you should consult a doctor before using bael for health.

Potential uses of Bael for cancer:    

In one of the studies, the administration of Bael has shown the potential to interfere with the growth of a tumour.2 The exact mechanism has not yet been established, but the alcoholic extract of Bael might have the potential to help against the growth of cancer cells.2 A bioactive compound present in the leaf extract of Bael might   show a potential to interfere with the growth of breast cancer cells.2 However, more research is required. Moreover, cancer is a serious condition and must be diagnosed and treated by a doctor.

Potential uses of Bael for infections:

Bael might be effective for various infections caused by bacteria, indicating that it might act as a   potent antibacterial agent.2

Studies have shown that the 50% ethanolic extract of Bael might have an effect on the Ranikhet disease virus.2 It might also act on the early activities of the virus in the body and may stop it, which is in contrast to the activity of modern drugs being used to treat viral diseases.2

Furthermore, Bael leaf oil may show a protective effect against fungal infections.2 This activity may be due to its interference in the mechanism that leads to the growth of fungus in the body.2 Various studies have shown that it might have effectiveness against common fungal infections.2owever, more research is required to ascertain such claims.

Potential usesof Bael for diarrhoea:

The root extract and the unripe fruit pulp of Bael might help with diarrhoea, this potential use has been mentioned even in the ancient Indian texts. This may be due to its potential effect against various bacteria causing stomach infections.5 However, more studies are required. Kindly do not self-medicate.

Also Read: Home Remedies for Loose Motion

Based on my experience, I have seen positive effects of Bael fruit in the management of ulcer disease. The fruit contains certain compounds that have been found to possess anti-ulcer properties, which may help in reducing the symptoms of ulcers.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Other Potential uses of Bael:

  • The seeds of Bael might helpful to destroy the parasite that causes malaria. Thus, it may act as a potent anti-malarial agent.2
  • It was seen that Bael might even reduce the thyroid hormone levels. Therefore, it may be helpful for conditions with elevated thyroid levels like hypothyroidism.2
  • Bael, along with other herbal constituents, in a compound Ayurvedic preparation might have potential to help with stomach irritability in irritable bowel syndrome.2
  • It was found that the ethanolic extract might have a potential to increase the excretion of sodium and might have potential use as a diuretic at high doses to eliminate excess water and sodium from the body.5
  • Bael might have a positive effect on the body by virtue of its potential antioxidant property. This property might be exhibited due to the presence of bioactive compounds like tannins, flavonoids etc. They might neutralise free radicals present in the body and may help reduce  oxidative stress, which is the main causative factor for many diseases.2
  • In addition to all its potential health uses, Bael might even be good for the environment as it is a member of the plant species group called ‘climate purifiers’. These plants emit more oxygen in the sunlight than other plants.2 The Bael plant might also participate in the absorption and neutralisation of harmful poisonous gases from the atmosphere.2
  • Bael might also possess potential radioprotective properties. It might help the normal cells of the body against the harmful effects of exposure to radiation.2 As radiation leads to the production of free radicals in the body, the antioxidant activity of Bael might help the body by acting as a scavenger for these free radicals produced.2

Though there are studies that show the potential useof bael in various conditions, but these are insufficient and there is a need of further studies to establish the true extent of benefits of baelon human health.

Based on the recommendations from nutrition scientists, it is advised to include a minimum of 115 grams of bael fruit in your daily diet for a balanced nutrition. This fruit is rich in essential nutrients that can support optimal growth and development of the human body. By providing the necessary nutrients, bael fruit can promote overall health and well-being.

Dr. Smita barode, BAMS

How to Use Bael? 

Bael is a traditional medicinal plant, and all of its parts are utilised for their various therapeutic properties. The parts that can be used are: 

  1. Leaves 
  2. Flowers 
  3. Root bark 
  4. Fruit (both ripe and unripe)  
  5. Seed2  

Your Ayurvedic physician will prescribe you the form and dosage as per your health condition.  

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.

How to make bael juice?

It is a traditional recipe commonly found in the households of North Eastern India, especially during summers.

Take bael fruit, wash it and break the hard shell from all around. Once it broke, remove the pulp in a bowl. Mash the pulp till it softens and strain the mixture to remove any solid particles or impurities. You can add chilled milk, cardamom powder, jaggery, and black salt to the bael pulp if you want. 

Bael recipes to try

Now that you understand the benefits of bael. Let’s look at some easy bael recipe ideas you can try out: 

  • Bael Smoothie – Mix the pulp of 3 bael fruit with jaggery (country sugar), cardamon and some water (as per preference). Regular consumption can help with bowel movements while being delicious and refreshing. 
  • Bael Mojito – Perfect for a summer’s day, blend 1 bael with sugar to taste, black pepper, black salt, a squeeze of lemon and ice cubes.
  • Bael Chutney – A sticky, flavourful spread for snacks or flatbreads like parathas, make this chutney by combining 12 baels with brown sugar, black salt, cumin seeds, black pepper powder, fennel, regular salt and a hint of red chilli powder. Reduce over medium-low heat till you have a thick, paste-like consistency.
  • Bael Jam – For a sweeter version of the previous recipe, use only ingredients; bael, sugar and lemon juice. Follow the same instructions and reduce till you have an easily spreadable jam.
  • Bael Flavoured Lassi – With the added benefit of curd, this concoction will make you feel fresh while being a boon for your digestion. Blend 1 bael fruit with water (3 cups), curd ( ½ cup), sugar or honey to taste, half a teaspoon chaat masala powder and optionally top each glass off with an ice cube. 

Get all the benefits of bael with these tasty recipes. Don’t be afraid to venture outside your comfort zone, while bael juice recipes may be easy, there are so many other ways to consume this fruit!

Side Effects of Bael: 

There are no common side effects reported with the use of Bael. However, if any kind of side effect is noticed, a physician should be consulted for expert opinion. 

Precautions to Take With Bael:  

You should ensure to take general precautions before using bael for its potential health uses, especially by pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, elderly individuals and children.   However, an Ayurvedic physician should be consulted for its use in specific conditions as the physician will prescribe the appropriate dosage and form.

Also Read: Shilajit vs Ashwagandha: Which One Is Better For Your Health? A Scientific Comparison

Interactions With Other Drugs: 

More research is required to study the interactions of bael with other drugs. Therefore, precaution should be taken and a doctor should be consulted to ensure the safety of using bael for you. Please do not self-medicate, alter, replace or discontinue any ongoing treatment by yourself.

Also Read: Honey: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Can Bael be used for diarrhoea? 

Bael might be helpful for diarrhoea. It has been used for centuries to deal with diarrhoea due to its potential activity against various bacteria which may cause it.5 However, please consult a doctor and do not self-medicate.

Is Bael good for hair? 

There are no published reports suggesting the benefit of Bael for hair. 

Are Bael leaves beneficial for health? 

Bael leaves might have potential properties and may help with elevated blood sugar levels, blood cholesterol levels, and for various infectious diseases etc.2 However, more studies are required to prove such claims. Kindly consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of conditions.

Can diabetic patients consume Bael? 

Patients with diabetes may be able to consume Bael. It might help lower blood sugar levels and might have anti-diabetic properties.2 however, more studies are required to prove such effects of bael.

Can Bael cure cataracts? 

No reports regarding the usage of Bael as a cure for cataracts have been documented. Please consult a doctor.

You May Also Like: Effective Home Remedies For Blackheads


1. Patkar A, Desai N, Ranage A, Kalekar K. A review on AEGLE MARMELOS: A potential medicinal tree. Int Res J Pharm. 2012;3(8):86–91. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292739276_A_review_on_Aegle_marmelos_a_potential_medicinal_tree 

2. Dhankhar S, Ruhil S, Balhara M, Dhankhar S, Chhillar AK. Aegle marmelos (Linn.) Correa: A potential source of Phytomedicine. J Med Plants Res. 2011;5(9):1497–507. Available from: https://academicjournals.org/article/article1380546385_Dhankhar%20et%20el.pdf 

3. Pradesh M, Nadu T. Health Benefits of Bael Fruit Botanical Information on Fruit. :3–5. Available from: https://vikaspedia.in/health/ayush/ayurveda-1/ayurvedic-herbal-healing/health-benefits-of-bael-fruit 

4. Mujeeb F, Bajpai P, Pathak N. Phytochemical evaluation, antimicrobial activity, and determination of bioactive components from leaves of aegle marmelos. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014. Available from: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/497606/ 

5. Rahman S, Parvin R. Therapeutic potential of Aegle marmelos (L.)-An overview. Asian Pacific J Trop Dis. 2014;4(1):71–7. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027346/

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