• Name : Bilva
  • English Name :Bael
  • Scientific Name :Aegle marmelos



Bilva tree attains a height of 12 m; it grows wild and is also cultivated throughout the country.


Morphology Description (Habit):

Root cream yellow or pale yellowish-brown, thin, irregularly and shallowly ridged due to formation of longitudinal and transverse lenticels, surface ruptured, peeling off in layers, internal surface cream to light yellow; fracture, short; taste, sweet.

Bark occurs as pieces of about 0.5 to 1 cm thick, flat or channelled; surface rough and warty due to a number of lenticels, ridges and furrows; fracture tough, gritty in outer and fibrous in inner region; odour and taste, not characteristic.

Fruit, sub-globose, 5-18 cm in diameter, externally greenish when young, yellowish-brown when ripe, rind about 1.5 mm-3 mm thick, hard and woody, surface smooth or slightly granular bearing a circular scar at the point of attachment with peduncle, carpels, 10-15, central, each containing several hairy seeds embedded in yellowishbrown, extremely sticky mucilage, seeds oblong, flat, woody, and having white hair, fresh pulp of ripe fruit, brown, of sticky shreads, dried pulp hard and pale to dark red in colour, frequently breaks away from the rind during drying, leaving a thin layer attached to it, odour, faintly aromatic, taste, mucilaginous and slightly astringent.


Parts Used:

Root, Stem Bark, Leaf & Fruit



The root chiefly contains Auraptene, Coumarins, Glycosides; Coumarins and Sterols are present in stem bark while the primary constituents of Fruit are Marmalosin, tannins, mucilage, fatty oil and sugar.


As per Ayurveda:


           Rasa (Taste)                 : Sweet

           Guna (Property)           : Light

           Veerya (Potency)         : Cold

           Vipaka (End Result)      : Sweet


Stem Bark

           Rasa (Taste)                 : Sweet, Bitter and Astringent

           Guna (Property)           : Light, rough, sharp

           Veerya (Potency)         : Hot

           Vipaka (End Result)      : Pungent



           Rasa (Taste)                 : Pungent, Bitter and Astringent

           Guna (Property)           : Light, rough

           Veerya (Potency)         : Hot

           Vipaka (End Result)      : Pungent


Pharmacological Actions:

As per Ayurveda, Bilva Root is Tridoshaghna, Stem Bark and Fruit are Vatakaphahara in action. The primary pharmacological actions of this therapeutic herb are summarized as under:


Central Nervous System: 

i. Chronic administration of leaf extract has the ability to ameliorate the post-seizure depression significantly, which is evidenced by increase in the locomotor activity and decrease in the immobility time.2

ii. The leaf extract exerts protective effect against experimentally induced CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).3

iii. The leaf extract possess potential anxiolytic and antidepressant activities and it enhances the anxiolytic and antidepressant activities of imipramine and fluoxetine.4


Digestive System : 

i. Unripe Bael Fruit produces ant-inflammatory, antioxidant and mast-cell stabilizing effects demonstrating protective effect in IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease).5

ii. Exerts significant antidiarrheal6 and antibacterial7 effects.


Endocrynal System: 

i. The leaf extract has demonstrated antidiabetic antiglycating and antioxidant activity, effectively preventing kidney damage and establishment of cataracts. Limonene, reported for the first time, as possessing potent antiglycating activity.8

ii. Treatment with stem bark significantly increases insulin level and exerts regenerative effect on the β-cells.9

iii. The protective effect of fruit extract in type 2 diabetic rats is due to the preservation of β-cell function and insulin-sensitivity through increased PPARγ expression.10

iv. Scopoletin (7-hydroxy-6-methoxy coumarin), isolated from the leaves of Aegle marmelos, was observed to regulate hyperthyroidism, lipid peroxidation and hyperglycemia. It has the potential to inhibit thyroid function and hyperglycemia without hepatotoxicity.11


Cardio Vascular System: 

i. The fruit possesses significant cardioprotective activity owing to its ability to reduce oxidative stress.12

ii. The leaf extract has the potential of counteracting the obesity by lipolysis in adipocytes.13

iii. The leaf extract has been observed to exerts protective effect against Diabetic Cardiomyopathy, wherein it decreases the levels of FBG, total cholesterol, TBARS, LDH and CK, and increases the levels of GSH, CAT and SOD dose dependently.14


Musculoskeletal System : 

i. The Root Bark possesses significant anti-inflammatory activity.15

ii. The leaf extract possesses excellent analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic activities.16,17


Skin and Hair : 

i. The leaf extracts and fractions were found to have fungicidal activity against various clinical isolates of dermatophytic fungi.18


Others : 

i. The fruit protects against liver, kidneys, stomach and intestines against radiation injuries as well.19

ii. The leaf extract has pharmacologically active components with a potential to inhibit lens Aldose Reductase and consequential decrease in osmotic stress. The extract also prevents loss of antioxidants contributing to the integrity of α-crystallin's chaperone activity, thereby delaying cataract.20

iii. Few active components in Bilva - Marmin, skimmianine, (S)-aegeline, aurapten, zeorin, and dustanin, have been observed to possess significant antihistaminic activity.21

iv. The leaves possess significant immunostimulant effect.22



The unripened fruit is primarily administered in digestive disturbances, such as dysentery and diarhhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Ripe Fruit is particularly useful in hyperacidity, gastritis, peptic ulcers and associated dyspepsia

Stem Bark and Leaf are useful in Type 2 Diabetes mellitus, Pre-diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome



1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part-1.

2. Bhatti R, Singh J, Nepali K, Ishar MP. Possible Involvement of PPAR-γ in the Anticonvulsant Effect of Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa. Neurochemical Research. 2013 Aug;38(8):1624-31.

3. Lalremruta V, Prasanna GS. Evaluation of protective effect of Aegle marmelos Corr. in an animal model of chronic fatigue syndrome. Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 2012 May;44(3):351-6.

4. Kothari S, Minda M, Tonpay SD. Anxiolytic and antidepressant activities of methanol extract of Aegle marmelos leaves in mice. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. 2010 Oct-Dec;54(4):318-28.

5. Bahera JP, Mohanty B, et al. Effect of aqueous extract of Aegle marmelos unripe fruit on inflammatory bowel disease. Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 2012 Sep-Oct;44(5):614-8.

6. Brijesh S, Daswani P, Tetali P, et al. Studies on the antidiarrhoeal activity of Aegle marmelos unripe fruit: validating its traditional usage. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2009 Nov 23;9:47.

7. Poonkothai M, Saravanan M. Antibacterial activity of Aegle marmelos against leaf, bark and fruit extracts. Ancinet Science of Life. 2008 Jan;27(3):15-8.

8. Panaskar SN, Joglekar MM, Taklikar SS, et al. Aegle marmelos Correa leaf extract prevents secondary complications in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats and demonstration of limonene as a potent antiglycating agent. The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 2013 Jun;65(6):884-94.

9. Gandhi GR, Ignacimuthu S, Paulraj MG. Hypoglycemic and β-cells regenerative effects of Aegle marmelos (L.) Corr. bark extract in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2012 May;50(5):1667-74.

10. Sharma AK, Bharti S, Goyal S, Arora S, et al. Upregulation of PPARγ by Aegle marmelos ameliorates insulin resistance and β-cell dysfunction in high fat diet fed-streptozotocin induced type 2 diabetic rats. Phytotherapy Research. 2011 Oct;25(10):1457-65.

11. Panda S, Kar A. Evaluation of the antithyroid, antioxidative and antihyperglycemic activity of scopoletin from Aegle marmelosleaves in hyperthyroid rats. Phytotherapy Research. 2006 Dec;20(12):1103-5.

12. Krushna GS, Kareem MA, Reddy VD, et al. Aegle marmelos fruit extract attenuates isoproterenol-induced oxidative stress in rats. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrotion. 2012 May;50(3):199-204.

13. Karmase A, Birari R, Bhutani KK. Evaluation of anti-obesity effect of Aegle marmelos leaves. Phytomedicine. 2013 Jul 15;20(10):805-12.

14. Bhatti R, Sharma S, Singh J, Ishar MP. Ameliorative effect of Aegle marmelos leaf extract on early stage alloxan-induced diabetic cardiomyopathy in rats. Pharmaceutical Biology. 2011 Nov;49(11):1137-43.

15. Benni JM, Jayanthi MK, Suresha RN. Evaluation of the anti-inflammatory activity of Aegle marmelos (Bilwa) root. Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 2011 Jul;43(4):393-7.

16. Shankarananth V, Balakrishnan N, et al. Analgesic activity of methanol extract of Aegle marmelos leaves. Fitoterapia. 2007 Apr;78(3):258-9.

17. Arul V, Miyazaki S, Dhananjayan R. Studies on the anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic properties of the leaves of Aegle marmelos Corr. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2005 Jan 4;96(1-2):159-63.

18. Balakumar S, Rajan S, Thirunalasundari T, Jeeva S. Antifungal activity of Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa (Rutaceae) leaf extract on dermatophytes. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine. 2011 Aug;1(4):309-12.

19. Jagetia GC, Venkatesh P, Baliga MS. Fruit extract of Aegle marmelos protects mice against radiation-induced lethality. Integrative Cancer Therapies. 2004 Dec;3(4):323-32.

20. Sankeshi V, Kumar PA, Naik RR, et al. Inhibition of aldose reductase by Aegle marmelos and its protective role in diabetic cataract. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013.

21. Nugroho AE, Agistia DD, Tegar M, Purnomo H. Interaction of active compounds from Aegle marmelos CORREA with histamine-1 receptor. Bioinformation. 2013 Apr 30;9(8):383-7.

22. Govinda HV, Asdaq SM. Immunomodulatory Potential of Methanol Extract of Aegle marmelos in Animals. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2011 Mar;73(2):235-40.

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