Indian bael, a native plant of India, has spread over wide areas of southeast Asia. The ripe fruit and unripe fruit, as well as the roots, leaves and branches have all been used in traditional medicine. In Ayurveda, the ripe fruit has been used for chronic diarrhea and dysentery, as a tonic for the heart and brain, and as adjuvant treatment of dysentery. A decoction of the roots has been used to treat melancholia, intermittent fevers, and palpitations; the roots have mainly been used as an ingredient of the Ayurvedic medicine, dashmool. The leaves have been given as a febrifuge, and as a poultice for the treatment of eye disorders and ulcers; and administration of fresh leaves has been used for weakness of the heart, dropsy, and beriberi.
A survey showed that in 2001-2002 in a Himalayan region (State of Uttaranchal, Indian Republic), vaidyas (practitioners of Ayurveda) used Indian bael as an ingredient in respective herbal formulations for boils, dysentery, earaches, discharge from the ears, and fever/cold.
There are very few available human studies evaluating bael fruit for any condition, although Indian bael has been studied in animals and laboratory studies.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Indian bael has traditionally been used as a treatment for diarrhea. However, capsules of dried powder of the unripe fruit were not effective in treating diarrhea in patients with shigellosis. Additional study investigating different preparations of bael fruit would help confirm this finding.
* Key to grades
A: Strong scientific evidence for this use B: Good scientific evidence for this use C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work) F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)
Tradition / Theory
The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
There is no proven safe or effective dose for bael fruit. Traditionally, individuals have taken 2-12 grams of the fruit powder, 28-56 milliliters of a bael decoction, or 12-20 milliliters of an infusion by mouth.
Children (younger than 18 years):
There is no proven safe or effective dose for bael fruit for children, and use is not recommended.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to Indian bael.
Side Effects and Warnings
In general, there is a lack of available safety reports on Indian bael. Based on traditional use, Indian bael may be safe when used in the traditional manner and the fresh, ripe fruit is taken by mouth, or when preparations of the pulp are taken in a drink (e.g., nectar, squash) or jam. Avoid dosages that exceed those used in traditional medicine.
Although not well studied in humans, large quantities of Indian bael may result in digestive complaints and constipation. It may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking thyroid hormones, herbs for thyroid disorders, or herbs that may exacerbate or induce hyperthyroidism, should use caution.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Indian bael is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence. Indian bael leaves have been traditionally used to induce abortion and to sterilize women.
Indian bael, as extracts of the leaves or seeds, may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Although not well studied in humans, Indian bael may interact with thyroid hormones or anti-thyroid drugs. Caution is advised.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Indian bael, as extracts of the leaves or seeds, may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
Although not well studied in humans, Indian bael may interact with thyroid extracts or anti-thyroid herbs or supplements. Caution is advised.
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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.