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Ayurvedic Medicine



Bilva is a medium to fairly large sized deciduous and glabrous tree with auxiliary spines and usually tri- foliate leaves. The fruit is round. The root-bark, stem bark and other parts of the plant have been studied in detail for macroscopic, microscopic details and cell contents(3). The distinguishing features between the root and stem bark have been described. The root bark powder has a violet fluorescence unlike the brownish yellow color given by the stem bark(3).


Sanskrit Name: Bilwa

Botanical Name: AEGLE MARMELOS

Family Name: RUTACEAE

Part: Fruit

Traditional Ayurvedic Uses: diarrhea, non-specific colitis, malabsorption syndrome, gastritis, adults onset diabetes (as ancillary therapy)

This fruit has the rare property of being the greatest therapeutic value when unripe.



Habitat: Found all over deciduous forests in India.

Uses: It is Antiscorbutic, Carminative, Alterative and Nutritive. It is used in colisting diarrhea, dysentary, constipation and diarrhea. It is aromatic, astringent, cooling, febrifuge and also acts as tonic for heart and brain. Flesh is eaten raw or processed into drinks or flavoring. Fruit pulp is sometimes used as a detergent and adhesive. Ripe pulp is used as a digestive aid and a laxative. Unripe pulp is used to treat diarrhea and dysentery. All other parts of the plant are used for a wide variety of medicinal purposes. Leaves are poisonous.


Bilva has been used very widely for thousands of years in India. Occasionally constipation has been reported with larger doses of root bark. The extract of leaves has shown inotropic effects on the heart in experimental animals. Hypoglycaemic effects have been reported (12).


1. Chopra, R. N.: Indigenous Drugs of India, Academic Publishers, Calcutta, (1982).

2. Charaka-Samhita, (Ed.) G.S. Pandeya, Chowk-hamba Sanskrit Sanst an, Varanasi, (1983).

3. Prakash, A. and S. Prasad: J. Res. ind. Med., 4: 97, (1969).

4. Chatterji, A. and R. Majumdar: Ind. J. Chem., 9: 763, (1971).

5. Majumdar, M. D. et. al.: Phytochemistry, 17: 1814, (1978).

6. Sharma, B. K. and P. Sharma: Planta Med., 43: 102, (1981).

7. Govindachari, T. R. and M. S. Premila: Phylochemistry 22: 755, (1985).

8. Gogate, V. M.: Dravyagunavignyana, Continental Prakashan, Pune, (1982)

9. Banerji, M. and R. Kumar. J. Inst. Chem., 52: 59, (1980).

10. Jain, N. K.. Ind. Drugs Pharm. Ind., 12..55, (1977).

11. Henry and Brown: Cited in (1).

12. Vyas, D. S. et. al.: J. Res. Ind. Med. Yoga Homeo., 14: 63, (1979).

13. Sushruta-Samhita, (Ed.) J. T. Acharya, Chowkhambha Orientalia, Varanasi, (1980).

14. Desail V. G.: Aushadhi-Sangraha, Gajanan Book Depot, Bombay (1927). 15.

15. Singh, K. P. and G. N. Chaturvedi: Sachitra Ayurveda, 34: 401, (1981).

16. Kedar, P. and C. H. Chakravarti: Maharashi, Med. j., 28: 105, (1981).


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