Wood apple or Bael as it is commonly known in India, has been of great importance to us with its health benefits, medicinal value and religious importance. This fruit is a native to India, though is found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, and other South Asian countries too. It is also known as Elephant’s apple as it is the favourite fruit of elephants.
Wood apple is usually consumed ripe as fruit or in the form of juice. Its pulp can be eaten as custard. The ripe fruit has a sweet taste and a refreshing fragrance. The raw pulp is used to prepare chutney as it has a sour taste. Bael leaves are used in salads and as little as 10 g of dried leaves every day, helps to keep the sugar levels in check.
Wood apple is found to be rich in vitamins, tannin, calcium, phosphorus, fibre, protein and iron. It is the best home remedy to combat health issues we face in our daily life like constipation, chronic indigestion, peptic ulcers, respiratory problems, diarrhoea, diabetes, increases milk secretion in lactating mothers, etc.
Let us discuss few such health benefits:
1. Digestion: Regular consumption of wood apple helps in treating peptic ulcers and haemorrhoids due to the presence of tannin which reduces inflammation and its laxative property relieve's constipation. Apart from this, it has a cooling effect on the stomach hence gives relief from summer heat and flatulence.
2. Detoxification: Juice of wood apple mixed with warm water and sugar, purifies blood and removes toxins from the body which cause extensive damage. It gives a new lease of life to the liver and kidney, as it reduces the strain on them for removal of toxins.
3. Immunity: Since wood apple is a rich source of vitamin C, it increases the strength and potency of the immune system. Regular consumption of wood apple provides protection from scurvy and a host of microbial and viral infections.
4. Energy Booster: A 100 g serving of its pulp provides 134 Kcal of energy. Its nutrients are found to boost organ activity and metabolism also its high protein content makes healing process faster and support muscle growth.
5. Diabetics’ friend: The trunk and branches of wood apple tree contain “Feronia gum”, which, helps in reducing the severity of diabetes, manage the flow and balance of sugar in the bloodstream, preventing spikes and plunges thereby which are the biggest threat of this condition.
Despite all the positives it has, wood apple should be consumed in moderation like anything else. Excessive consumption may lead to bloating and stomach cramps. If having for the first time caution of quantity is of utmost importance, just to check how much goes well with your system.