Bilva tree is an ancient tree which is auspicious. Also known as Bael, it is an important tree that is known for its spiritual as well as medicinal importance. It is considered as very auspicious in Hindus as per the belief this plant and leaves are liked by Lord Shiva. Most of the Bilva leaves grow as ternate represents Tripatra and compared to Lord Shiva’s three eyes. On Shivarathri day all most all Hindu temples offer Bilva leaves for Lord Shiva. Tree is grown in forest and found near Shiva temples.
Leaves of Bilva is used by Indians for many purposes. Its use is mentioned in Vedas which are oldest and ancient period on earth. Botanical name for Bilva is Aegel mermelos and it belongs to Rutaceae (curry leaf ) family. Tree grows up to 30-40 feet. Tender stem and leaves, fruits are used in medicines.
Medicinal properties of bilva:
Fruits: Helps to cure vata and kapha dosha imbalance, it has a pungent and bitter taste and juice of the fruit contains anti-inflammatory property. It improves metabolism and digestive system. Because of antioxidants content and laxative properties, fruits are used to cure stomach related conditions such as dysentery, diarrhea, vomiting.
Roots: In traditional herbal treatments, a mixture of bael’s dried root powder with clarified butter -ghee and turmeric powder was used to treat fractured bones.
Leaves: Rich in vitamins and minerals and other important nutrients such as, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, fiber, Vitamin B1, B6, and B12. Hence the leaves are included in Ayurvedic tonics for improving immune system health. Leaves are also helpful in controlling diabetes and improves heart health. It reduces bad cholesterol and hypertension condition. Leaves are used in skin conditions to reduce odor, removes spots and reduces rashes on skin. It helps to rejuvenate skin.
Other health benefits of Bilva plant:
- Drinking fruit or leaves juice improves hair health.
- For peptic ulcer: Soaking leaves overnight and drinking the water in the morning daily helps to relieve sinusitis, gastritis, and indigestion.
- Appetite: Bilva roots are used for increasing appetite. Mix one Tbsp of dried bilva leaves in glass of buttermilk, add little cumin powder and drink daily to increase appetite.
- For lungs: Traditionally, leaves are used in curing asthma and cold related issues of respiratory organs
- For diabetes: Adding bilva leaves in recipes helps to control blood sugar level.
- For constipation: Bilva juice with salt and pepper is a good remedy to get rid of constipation problem.
- For intestinal worms: Pungent and bitter taste of fruit juice helps to eliminate intestinal worms. One can also use dried bilva leaves powder -simply add it to warm water and drink twice a day for up to three days. Or consume fruit pulp with little jaggery.
- For wounds: Use bilva leaves, fruit pulp, roots to make juice. Add honey for juice and drink. This juice helps to heal wound fast.
- For hair health: Fruit pulp can be massaged on to scalp with coconut oil. Leave it for half an hour or so and wash using lukewarm water. Doing this twice in a week for couple of months will help hair to improve texture.
- Bilva is memory booster: Eating ripe fruit with jaggery helps to improve memory
- Blood purifier: Prepare fruit juice using lukewarm water, add one tsp honey and drink daily morning.
- Did you know that growing bilva at home garden removes all negative vibes and increases positive energy in and around house. Yogis used to light lamps under bilva tree to impart knowledge to all.
- Tender stem and leaves of bilva can be cooked to make chutney and soup. Both these recipes are diabetic friendly. For bilva chutney recipe please click here.
How to prepare bilva fruit soup?
For bilva soup you need following ingredients:
- Green gram-1/4 cup,
- Barley -1/4 cup
- Bilva fruit dry powder – 2 Tbsp
- Curry leave
- Buttermilk – 2 cups
- Water -1 cup
- Soak and cook green gram and barley separately in a pressure cooker.
- Place a thick bottom vessel on medium heat, add ghee, and add bilva fruit powder and sauté on low flame.
- Transfer cooked green gram and barley to ghee -bilva fruit powder mix.
- Mix well by adding half cup water and let it boil for couple of minutes
- Turn off heat and allow mix to cool.
- Once the mix cools, add butter milk and salt. Mix well.
- Prepare seasoning with ghee, cumin, mustard, curry leaves and little hing. Add this to soup and serve.
Bilva leaves, fruits and dry powder of bilva plant are available in market. Keeping dry leaves and fruit powder will be helpful for many conditions and can be used in above mentioned conditions as home remedies. Pregnant women should avoid consuming bilva. Like any other herbal medicines avoid mixing bilva medicines if you are taking any allopathic medicines.
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: March 1, 2022