Botanical name: Aegle marmelos | Hindi: बेल पत्र | Marathi: बेल पत्र | English Name: Bilva Tree
The Bilva tree, also known as बेल पत्र (Bel Patra) and scientifically as Aegle marmelos, is a medium-sized, deciduous tree reaching up to 15-20 meters tall. Its smooth, grey bark peels in flakes, revealing a yellowish inner layer. The distinctive feature lies in its leaves – trifoliate with each leaflet resembling a teardrop, symbolizing the three eyes of Lord Shiva in Hindu mythology. During spring, fragrant, white flowers bloom in clusters, later developing into large, hard-shelled fruits with yellowish-green pulp. The Bilva tree thrives in diverse climates, adapting well to both humid and dry conditions.
Traditional medicine utilizes various parts of the Bilva tree for their potential health benefits. However, scientific evidence supporting these uses is limited, and consulting a healthcare professional is crucial before using any part of the plant medicinally. Some traditional uses include:
- Digestive issues: Leaf and bark extracts are used to manage diarrhea, dysentery, and ulcers.
- Respiratory problems: Leaf decoctions are used for cough, asthma, and bronchitis.
- Skin conditions: Leaf paste is applied topically for wounds, burns, and skin infections.
- Diabetes: Fruit pulp is used in traditional remedies for blood sugar management.
Anandvan Trivia Quiz
Question 1: Did you know that the Bilva tree can survive for centuries and even withstand wildfires?
Answer:The Bilva tree possesses a thick, fire-resistant bark and a deep root system that allows it to access water even during droughts. This resilience has earned it the nickname “Rudraksha” (meaning “eyes of Shiva”), symbolizing its strength and endurance.