Bel plant: A source of pharmaceuticals and ethno medicines

Dr Ravi Kant Upadhyay


Bel is a holy native tree of India, which has high ethnomedicinal, therapeutic, and pharmaceutical importance. Bel contains many diverse bioactive components in leaves, flowers, fruits, wood, root, and bark which show multiple biological activity and high therapeutic importance. Plant contains coumarins, marmelosin, marmesin, imperatorin, marmin, alloimperatorin, methyl ether, xanthotoxol, scoparone, scopoletin, umbelliferone, psoralen and marmelide and marmenol, aegelin, aegelenine, marmeline, dictamine, fragrine which show anticancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-plasmodial, and hepatoprotective activities. Plant possesses various polysaccharides such as galactose, arabinose, uronic acid, and L‑rhamnose. Its seed oil contains palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids which possess very high nutritive value. Plant also possesses very high tannin contents (9%) in fruits, pulp leaves. Tannin found in leaves as skimmianine. Marmelosin, skimmianine, and umbelliferone are therapeutically important active principles. Aegle marmelos is also a good source of gum, wound healers, carotenoids, vitamins, sugars, and nutritive oils. The plant is used to cure digestive disorders, ulcers, headache, hypertension, diabetes, constipation, and numerous other ailments. The ripe fruits are used as a laxative, while unripe Bel fruit, promotes digestion, and cures diarrhea. A. marmelos contains plant essential oil which shows chemotypic and seasonal variations. In the present review article, ethnomedicinal, therapeutic, pharmaceuticals, and insecticidal properties of A. marmelos have been described in detail.

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