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
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.
BAEL, QUINCE, APPLE WOOD, HOLY FRUIT TREE
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).
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11. Henry and Brown: Cited in (1).
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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).