The Health Benefits of Bael Fruit

Aegle marmelos or bael fruit tree
Bael fruit from the Bael or Aegle marmelos tree. Dinodia Photos/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Bael fruit is a sweet, aromatic fruit sometimes used for medicinal purposes. Also known as Aegle marmelos, it can be eaten whole or consumed in supplement or tea form. Proponents suggest that consumption of bael fruit can help treat certain health conditions, including digestive disorders.

Bael fruit contains a number of substances that may affect health. These substances include tannins, a class of compounds with anti-inflammatory effects.

Uses for Bael Fruit

In certain systems of alternative medicine (such as Ayurveda), unripe bael fruit is used for digestive disorders (including diarrhea and dysentery). Ripe bael fruit, meanwhile, is said to have laxative effects. 

In alternative medicine, bael fruit is also touted as a natural remedy for the following health problems:

Health Benefits of Bael Fruit

Although there's currently a lack of clinical trials testing the health effects of bael fruit, a number of preliminary studies suggest that it may offer certain health benefits. Here's a look at some key findings from the available research on bael fruit:

1)  Diarrhea

Unripe bael fruit may help treat diarrhea, according to a study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2009. In laboratory experiments, the study's authors observed that extracts of unripe bael fruit possess antibacterial properties that may help fight diarrhea caused by bacterial infection.

2)  Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Unripe bael fruit may help protect against inflammatory bowel disease (a class of conditions that includes Crohn's disease and colitis), suggests a study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology in 2012.

For the study, a group of rats with colitis were treated with extract of unripe bael fruit.

Results revealed that the extract may help to reduce intestinal inflammation, a key marker of inflammatory bowel disease.

3)  Diabetes

Several preliminary studies indicate that bael fruit may aid in diabetes management. In a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2003, for instance, tests on diabetic rats demonstrated that bael fruit may help treat diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels.


Due to a lack of research in humans, little is known about the safety of long-term or regular use of dietary supplements containing bael fruit. However, there's some concern that bael fruit may trigger such side effects as stomach upset.

It's important to keep in mind that supplements haven't been tested for safety and dietary supplements are largely unregulated. In some cases, the product may deliver doses that differ from the specified amount for each herb. In other cases, the product may be contaminated with other substances such as metals. While consumers face such risks when purchasing any dietary supplement, these risks may be of greater magnitude in the purchase of Ayurvedic products containing a variety of herbs in varying doses.

Also, the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. Learn more about how to use dietary supplements safely here.

Alternatives to Bael Fruit

Several other natural remedies are known to contain tannins (one of the types of compounds said to play a key role in bael fruit's health effects). These remedies include mangosteenblack teagreen tea, and cranberries.

If you're seeking a natural relief of diarrhea, consider such remedies as probiotics and chamomile (both found to alleviate diarrhea in scientific studies).

Where to Find It

Sold in some natural-foods stores and other stores specializing in natural products, supplements and teas containing bael fruit are also available for purchase online.

Using Bael Fruit for Health

Due to the limited research, it's too soon to recommend bael fruit as a treatment for any health condition. It's important to note that treating a condition (such as diabetes) with bael fruit and avoiding or delaying standard care may be very harmful to your health. If you're considering using it, make sure to consult your physician first.


Behera JP, Mohanty B, Ramani YR, Rath B, Pradhan S. "Effect of aqueous extract of Aegle marmelos unripe fruit on inflammatory bowel disease." Indian J Pharmacol. 2012 Sep-Oct;44(5):614-8.

Brijesh S, Daswani P, Tetali P, Antia N, Birdi T. "Studies on the antidiarrhoeal activity of Aegle marmelos unripe fruit: validating its traditional usage." BMC Complement Altern Med. 2009 Nov 23;9:47. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-9-47.

Kamalakkannan N, Prince PS. "Hypoglycaemic effect of water extracts of Aegle marmelos fruits in streptozotocin diabetic rats." J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Aug;87(2-3):207-10.

Kamalakkannan N, Prince PS. "The effect of Aegle marmelos fruit extract in streptozotocin diabetes: a histopathological study." J Herb Pharmacother. 2005;5(3):87-96.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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