Family • Rutaceae - Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa - STONE APPLE - Mu ju

Scientific names

Aegle marmelos Correa
Belou marmelos (L.) A. Lyons
Crataeva marmelos L.
Cydonia indica Spach.
Feronia pellucida Roth.

Common names

Bael (Tag.)
Bael fruit (Engl.)
Bengal quince (Engl.)
Bitter orange (Engl.)
Elephant’s apple (Engl.)
Japanese bitter apple (Engl.)
Maredoo (Engl.)
Stone apple (Engl.)
Wood apple (Engl.)
Mu ju (Chin.)


Bael is a small, deciduous, smooth tree. Spines are straight, strong, axillary, and about 2.5 centimeters in length. Leaflets are 3 to 5, ovate-lanceolate, shallowly toothed, the lateral ones being sessile and the terminal ones long-petioled. A gummy sap exudes from the wounded branches, hanging down in long strands, slowly hardening. Flowers are 3 centimeters across, greenish-white and sweet-scented. Fruit is nearly spherical, 10 to 14 centimeters in diameter. Rind is grey or yellow; the pulp sweet, thick, aromatic, gelatinous, and orange-colored. Seeds are numerous, oblong and flat.

– Recently introduced to the Philippines.
– Native of Australia.
– Also reported in India and Sri Lanka.

– Rind yields an essential oil – Marmelle oil.
– Dry pulp, moistened with cold water, yields a red liquid containing mucilage and (probably) pectin.
– Fruit, ripe or unripe, moistened with a ferric chloride solution, gives a tannic reaction, strongest in the parts of the pulp next to the rind.
– Fruit yields 2.08 % ash, 3.72 % in the pulp separated from the rind.
– Wood yields the following composition: Soluble potassium and sodium compounds, 0.16%; phosphates of calcium and iron, 0.13%; calcium carbonate, 2.16%; magnesium carbonate, 0.19%; silica with sand and other impurities, 0.01%.
– Distillation of fresh leaves yielded one ounce of thin volatile oil having a faint, yellowish-green color, a neutral reaction, a peculiar aromatic odor, and a slightly bitter taste.
– Plants contains a bitter principle and a balsamic principle resembling Balsam of Peru.
– Roots, leaves and bark yield reducing sugars and tannin.
– Fruit pulp yields marmelosin, considered one of the most important active principle of the fruit.
– Phytochemical screening of leaves yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins saponins and sitosterol.

– Unripe fruit considered astringent, carminative, digestive, stomachic, anti-diarrheal.
– Fresh juice is bitter and pungent.
– Ripe fruit is sweet, aromatic, cooling, laxative.

Parts used
Root, bark, fruits, flowers.

Fresh, ripe fruit is edible.
Some tribes use it for pickling or as preserves; also, as a refreshing and mildly laxative drink or sherbet.
Also prepared as a marmalade from the full grown and tender fruit, cut in thin slices.
In India, beating the seeded pulp together with milk and sugar makes a popular sherbet drink.
Young shoots and leaves eaten as vegetable in Thailand; as food seasoning in Indonesia.

Other vernacular names

ARABIC : Safargal hindî, Safarjal e hindî, Shull.
BURMESE : Opesheet, Ohshit.
CHINESE: Meng jia la ping guo, Ying pi ju, Yin du gou qi.
FRENCH : Bel indien, Cognassier du Bengal, Coing de l’Inde, Oranger de Malabar, Oranger du Malabar.
GERMAN : Belbaum, Bengalische Quitte, Indische Quitte.
GUJARATI: Bel, Belli, Bili.
HINDI: Bel, Beli, Belgiri, Bila, Bilin, Shil, Shul, Siphal, Sirphal, Shriphal, Vilva, Willaw, Willau.
HUNGARIAN : Bengálibirs.
ITALIAN : Cotogno del Bengala, Cotogno d’India.
JAPANESE: Berunoki, Igure marumerozu.
KANNADA: Baelada mara, Belpatra, Bilva, Maaluraa.
KHMER : Bnau, Phneou, Pnoi.
MALAY: Bel, Bila, Bilak, Maja (Indonesia), Maja batuh (Indonesia), Maja pahit (Indonesia), Modjo (Java).
MALAYALAM : Maaredy.
MARATHI: Bel, Vel.
NEPALESE: Bel, Belapatra, Belpatra.
ORIYA : Belo.
PERSIAN : Bah hindi shull.
POLISH : Klejowiec jadalny.
PORTUGUESE : Marmelos de Bengala, Marmeleiro de India.
SANSKRIT : Bilva, Bilwa, Shivadrumaa, Shivaphala, Vilva,Vilvam.
SPANISH : Bela, Milva.
TAMIL: Kuuviram, Vilvama, Vilvam , Vilva marum.
TELUGU: Bilva, Bilva pandu, Maaredu, Kapitthaphalamu, Velagapandu.
THAI: Matum, Mapin.
TURKISH : Hind ayva agh.
URDU : Bel, Bel kham, Belgiri.
VIETNAMESE : Bau nau, Tráimam.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Evaluation of the radioprotective effect of Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa in cultured human peripheral blood lymphocytes exposed to different doses of -radiation: a micronucleus study / Ganesh Chandra Jagetia, Ponemone Ventkatesh and Manjeshwar Shrinath Baliga / Mutagenesis vol. 18 no. 4 pp. 387-393, July 2003

(2) Acute and subacute toxicity studies of Aegle marmelos Corr., an Indian medicinal plant / Veerappan, A.; Miyazaki, S.; Kadarkaraisamy, M.; Ranganathan, D / International Journal of Phytotherapy & Phytopharmacology

(3) In Vitro Evaluation of Antibacterial Activity of Phytochemical Extracts from Leaves of Aegle marmelos (L.) Corr. (Rutaceae) / C. Rajasekaran, E. Meignanam, N. Premkumar et al / Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 1124-28. 2008.

(4) Comparative effects of Aegle marmelos extract and alpha-tocopherol on serum lipids, lipid peroxides and cardiac enzyme levels in rats with isoproterenol-induced myocardial infarction / N Rajadurai and P S M Priince / Singapore Med J 2005; 46(2) : 78


(6) The Effect of Chronic Administration of Aegle Marmelos Seed Extract on Learning and Memory in Diabetic Rats / Amir Farshchi, Golbarg Ghiasi, Samireh Farshchi, Amin Taleb Ghobadi et al / Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, Vol. 14, No. 1, Jan-Feb 2011, 42-48

(7) Studies on the antidiarrhoeal activity of Aegle marmelos unripe fruit: Validating its traditional usage / S Brijesh, Poonam Daswani, Pundarikakshudu Tetali et al / BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2009, 9:47doi:10.1186/1472-6882-9-47

(8) Studies on the anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic properties of the leaves of Aegle marmelos Corr. / Veerappan Arula, Shigeru Miyazaki and Renganathan Dhananjayan / Journal of Ethno-pharmacology Volume 96, Issues 1-2, 4 January 2005, Pages 159-163 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2004.09.013

(9) FORMULATION OF MUCOADHESIVE TABLET BY USING AEGLE MARMELOS GUM / Rohini S. Kharwade, Neha S.Vyavhare, Sachin M.More / Intl Journ of Applied Biology and Pharmaceutical Technology, Vol 2, No 1, Jan-Mar 2011

(10) Clinical Evaluation of Antidiabetic Activity of Trigonella Seeds and Aegle marmelos Leaves / Mohammad Yaheya Mohammad Ismail / World Applied Sciences Journal 7 (10): 1231-1234, 2009

(11) Insecticidal Activity Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa Essential Oil Against Four Stored Grain Insect Pests / Rajesh Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Chandra Shekhar Prasal et al / Internet Journal of Food Safety, Vol.10, 2008, p.39-49


(13) ANTIHYPERLIPIDEMIC ACTIVITY OF Aegle marmelos (L) Corr., LEAF EXTRACT IN TRITON WR- 1339 INDUCED HYPERLIPIDEMIC RATS / R Bhuvaneswari and K Sasikumar* / Pharmacie Globale (IJCP) 2013, 3 (04)


– Mucous fluid from the stem and fruit is rubbed on the hair in place of oil by the rural folk.
– Decoction of root-bark used for hypochondriasis, melancholia, intermittent fever, palpitations.
– Poultice of leaves applied to inflamed parts.
– Bitter fresh juice, diluted with water, used as remedy for catarrh and fever.
– Decoction of leaves used for asthma.
– Fresh juice of leaves, sweetened with honey, used as laxative or febrifuge; also, used for asthma.
– Sweet-scented extract from flowers used as lotion for the eyes.
– Infusion of flower used as cooling drink.
– Unripe or half-ripe fruit used for diarrhea, believed effective because of the tannins and mucilaginous substances.
– Hindu physicians used a confiture made from preserved sliced fruits for diarrhea and dysentery.
– Sherbet drink of ripe fruit – two ounces of pulp in 3 or 4 ounces of water or syrup – is a pleasant laxative and a simple cure for dyspepsia.
– Bael-marmalade or an aromatized confection is a useful breakfast during convalescence from dysentery or diarrhea; also, used daily as a preventive during cholera epidemics. Also, used to prevent the growth of piles.
– Fruit used in tuberculosis.
– Leaf paste applied to premature graying hair.
– Leaves said to cause abortion and sterility in women.
– Decoction of unripe fruit mixed with fennel and ginger is used for hemorrhoids.
– Astringent rind of the ripe fruit used in acute dysentery, its effect enhanced by combining it with opium.
– Powder of dried pulp used in dysentery accompanied by gripping pains in the loins and costiveness. – Tonic is prepared from 12 to 15 gm of the powdered pulp; 16 to 20 grains as febrifuge; 20 grains to 2 drachms, as nauseant and antidysenteric.
– In Iranian folk medicine, used for treatment of diabetes.
– In Indian traditional medicine, used for diarrhea.
– Scent: Perfume is distilled from the flowers. The limonene-rich oil has been distilled from the rind and used for scenting hair.
– Fruit employed in the treatment of scum in vinegar manufacture.
– Wood: Used for small-scale turnery, tool and knife handle, pestles and combs. Shell of hard fruits fashioned into pill and snuff boxes.
– Gum or resins: Abundant gum from the seed used as household glue and adhesive by jewelers.
– Detergent: Fruit pulp has detergent action, used as a soap substitute for washing clothes.
– Used in construction as water-proofing walls – mixed with lime plaster and added to cement.
– Added to watercolors or as protective coating for paintings.
– Dye: There is 9% tannin in the pulp of wild fruits, 20% in the rind. Rind is employed in tanning; also, yields a yellow dye for calico and silk fabrics.
– Insecticidal: Leaf extract used as insecticidal against the brown plant hopper, a rice plant pest in Asia.
– Ritual: In the Hindu culture, leaves are important ingredients of offerings to the “Lord Shiva.”

Study Findings
• Radioprotective / Free Radical Scavenging:Results demonstrated that AME protected HPBLs against radiation-induced DNA damage and genomic instability. Its radioprotective effect may be from scavenging of radiation-induced free radicals and increase oxidant status.
• Antidiarrheal Activity: A study of the effect of the methanolic extracts of four medicinal plants, including Aegle marmelos, against castor oil-induced diarrhea in mice, showed the methanolic extracts to significantly reduce induction time of diarrhea and the total weight of feces, establishing the efficacy of the extracts as antidiarrheal agents.
• Safety: Study evaluated the acute and sub-acute toxicity of Aegle marmelos in rats. Results demonstrate the extract of leaves have a high margin of safety.
• Anti-Dyslipidemia / Fruit: Study was done to evaluate the antidyslipidemic effect of AM unripe fruit aqueous extract against isoproterenol-induced cardiac stressed rats. Results showed the extract to have significant antidyslipidemic effect.
• Anti-Dyslipidemia / Leaves: Study showed AM leaves possess antihyperlipidemic effects in rats with ISO-induced myocardial infarction.
• Antibacterial: Study showed significant anti-bacterial activity that was both organism and solvent dependent. Results show the ethanol and chloroform leaf extracts can be used as potential source of antimicrobial agents.
• Hepatoprotective / Alcohol-Induced Toxicity: Study in alcohol-induced liver disease in albino rats showed that Bael leaves have excellent hepatoprotective effects compared with the standard herbal drug, silymarin.
• Hepatoprotective / CCL4-Induced Hepatotoxicity: Study evaluating an ethanolic extract of leaves in carbon-tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced toxicity in mice exhibited hepatoprotective activity.
• Sperm Motility Effects: Study showed the water extract of leaf of A. marmelos possesses anti-motility action on spermatozoa in rats.
• Hypoglycemic / Antioxidant Effects: Study on diabetic rats showed the aqueous extract of leaves possesses hypoglycemic and antioxidant properties and presents a potential for diabetic management. Leaf extract effectively reduced oxidative stress induced by alloxan and produced a reduction in blood sugar.
• Marmin / Anti-Allergic: Study isolated marmin, 7-(6′,7′-dihydroxygeranyl-oxy)coumarin. Marmin exhibited an inhibitory effect on histamine release from the mast cells involving mechanisms related to intracellular Ca++ signaling events by blocking Ca influx into mast cells.
• Learning and Memory Effects: Study evaluating the effect of chronic administration of A. marmelos as cognitive enhancer in diabetic rats. Results showed a significant protective effect against diabetes-induced spatial learning and memory deficits. The effect was attributed to hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic and antioxidant activities of A. Marmelos.
• Anti-Diarrheal / Decreased Colonization: Decoction of unripe fruit affected the bacterial colonization to gut epithelium and production and action of certain enterotoxins. Decoction also showed cidal activity against Giardia and rotavirus and significantly reduced bacterial adherence to and invasion of HEp-2 cells.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Antipyretic / Analgesic: Serial extracts of leaves showed marked analgesic activity, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic activities.
• Gum / Mucoadhesive Tablets: Gum isolated from the pulp showed good flow property. Results suggest the gum is suitable for use as a release retardant for the manufacture of sustained release tablets.
• Antioxidant / Antimicrobial: Fruit of Aegle marmelos was evaluated for antimicrobial and antioxidant activity. Tested against six food pathogenic strains of bacteria and fungi, results showed more antifungal activity. Results showed A. marmelos may be recommended as an antimicrobial and antioxidant of plant origin to enhance the shelf life of stored food commodities by controlling fungal growth and oxidation process.
• Hypoglycemic Effect: Bael leaves produce hypoglycemic effect probably through enhancement of peripheral utilization of glucose, correction of impaired hepatic glycolysis and limiting gluconeogenic formation.
• Skimmianine / Effect: Study isolated skimmianine, a quinoline alkaloid from the roots of AM. Skiammianine markedly inhibited the histamine release from mast cells probably involving mechanisms related to intracellular Ca++ signaling evens and protein kinase C signaling with a role in granule exocytotic processes.
• Insecticidal: Study showed aegle oil may be used as botanical insecticide against different stored grain insect pests causing infestation in stored wheat and pulses.
• Genotoxicity Modulation: Various concentrations of AM was studied on doxorubicin (DOX)-induced genotoxic effects in mice bone marrow. Results showed protection against DOX-induced genotoxicityand may be due to inhibition of free radicals and increased antioxidant status.
• Anti-Ulcer / Root: Study of a 50% ethanolic extract of Aegle marmels root showed dose-dependent ulcer protective effect in a gastric ulcer model in rats.
• Antihyperlipidemic: Study of various extracts on hyperlipidemic activity in rats showed dose-dependent reduction of total cholesterol triglycerides, LDL, VLDL, and significantly increased HDL.
• Anti-Ulcer / Fruit Seed: Study evaluated the anti-ulcer activity of methanolic and aqueous extract of A. marmelos seeds in indomethacin-induced, stress-induced, and pylorus ligation-induced ulceration models. Results showed anti-ulcer activity with reduction in gastric juice volume, free acidity, total acidity and increase in pH. The antiulcer activity was attributed to the presence of quercetin-like (flavonoid) contents.
• Phytoremediation / Fruit Seed: In a study on Dust Collection Efficiency of dust capturing herbs, shrubs, and trees, Aegle marmelos showed medium efficiency (11 to 20%).
• Anti-Fertility / Antispermatogenic: Study evaluated the antifertilty effect of an aqueous extract of Aegle marmels in male rats. Results showed a highly significant decrease in weights of testes, epididymis, seminal vesicle, ventral prostate and vas deferens, with significant reduction of serum testosterone. Results conclude an antispermatogenic and antifertility effect.
• Antifungal: Study evaluated various extracts of leaf, fruit, and stem for potential against four fungal strains: Candida albicans, P. chrysogenum, A niger and F solani. A methanolic fruit extract showed strong antifungal activity against most of the strains, while a leaf extract showed moderate potential.