Scientific name: Aegle marmelos. English: Indian bael, Bael, Bael tree, Holy fruit tree. Dutch: slijm appelboom. German: Bengalische Quitte. Sanskrit: bilva. Hindi: Bel, Sirphal. Tamil: Kuvalum. Kannada: Kumbala. Malayalam: Koovalam, kuvalam, Koolakam, Mavilavu, Vilvam.
Bael Tree (kuvalam/Koovalam) is plant that has enormous significance medicinally as well as religiously. The roots, leaves , fruits all have medicinal value. The botanical name of Bael tree (kuvalam/Koovalam) is Aegle marmelos and belongs to the family Rutaceae. The pulp of the fruit that protects the seed contains chemicals that have medicinal value. The juice of the fruit contains carbohydrates and resins. The pulp outside the seed and the viscous juice of the seeds help to destroy the worms in the stomach. The Bael tree is a good medicine for diabetes, urinary tract disorders, respiratory disorders and fits. Bael (kuvalam) is a good medicine for haemorrhage. Consuming sugar mixed with Bael juice can stop haemorrhage. The decoction made from the roots of Bael and pouched rice mixed with honey is given to stop vomiting. The paste made from Bael (kuvalam/Koovalam) leaf, taken in empty stomach in the morning can cure diabetes. Bael(kuvalam) is an important ingredient in the Ayurveda medicine ‘Dasamoolarishtam’ and ‘Vilvadi’ tablets used for treating bite from poisonous animals. Bael roots mixed with nut grass is given to relieve food poisoning.
Bael tree can be grown in all types of soil especially red and laterite soil. The propagation of Bael is through seeds. The outer shell of the Bael fruit is very thick. On breaking the shell we can see the pulp and seeds inside, which is washed thoroughly in water and wrapped in a cloth and dried for at least 2 days. After this the seeds are again dried in shade for 4 days and stored in an earthen pot. Before sowing the seed., They are soaked in water for at least 6 hours. Ridges are made 30 cm from the ground and seeds are sown. The saplings will be ready for replanting once they reach 6 leaf stage. Seeds can be sown in polythene covers filled with soil mixture also. In pits 75 cm deep, fill powdered cow dung and top soil up to 60 cm and plant the saplings in them. Since Bael grows in to a tree 15 meters high, the saplings should be planted in open spaces only. Harvesting time is 10 years from planting, where the Bael tree is cut 1 meter above the ground and roots are taken out wholly. When used for remedies at home the roots can be separated carefully without damaging the tree. Leaves and fruits can also be used as per need.