Binomial Name: Aegle marmelos
English name: Golden apple, stone apple.
Local Name: Bael
It is a mid-sized, deciduous, slender, aromatic, armed, gum-bearing tree growing up to 18 meters tall. Stem and branches light brown to green. Strong axillary spines present on the branches.
Leaves alternate, pale green, trifoliate; terminal leaflets, 5.7 cm long, 2.8 cm broad, having a long petiole; two lateral leaflets, almost sessile, 4.1cm long, 2.2 cm wide, ovate to lanceolate having reticulate pinnate venation petiole.
Flowers, greenish white, sweetly scented bisexual, actinomorphic, ebracteate, hypogynous, and stalked; 5 petals, imbricate, leathery, pale yellow from above and green from beneath, length 4mm.
Fruit 2 ½ to 3 ¼ inches in diameter, globular or ovoid in shape, colour yellowish brown, outside surface hard and nearly smooth. It has a faint aromatic odour and mucilaginous taste.
Numerous, embedded in the pulp, oblong, compressed, white, having cotton-like hairs on the outer surface.
Bael occurs in dry forests on hills and plains of northern, central and southern India, Pakistan, southern Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.
1. The fruit is eaten fresh as Juice or dried. It is used commercially in jam making.
2. Essential oil of the Bael tree to be effective against 21 types of bacteria.
3. It is prescribed for smooth bowel movement to patients suffering from constipation and other gastrointestinal problems.
4. Unripe Bael fruit is effective in combating giardia and rotavirus.
5. The fruits are very useful in chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, The unripe and half-ripe fruits improve appetite and digestion.
6. The fruits are also used in making paints in Burma. Used as a substitute for soap, as source of essential oils and perfumes. The mucilage of the seed is a cementing material.