Belae Fructus, I.C.A. Bael Fruit.
Bael fruit is the product of Aegle Marmelos, Correa (N. O. Rutaceae), a tree indigenous to India. The half-ripe fruit is collected from cultivated trees, and the pulp used while fresh; or, the fruit is dried and exported entire, or in transverse slices or quarters. The dried fruit was formerly official, and the fresh half-ripe fruit from cultivated trees is now used in India and the Eastern Colonies. The fruit is readily recognised by the polished surface of the rind, by the hairy seeds which should not be fully developed, and by the reddish pulp which adheres firmly to the rind. The fruit is a spherical or ovoid berry from 7 to 10 centimetres in diameter. Externally it has a yellowish-brown, smooth, or slightly granular hard rind, bearing a circular scar at the point of attachment of the peduncle. When the fruit is cut transversely the rind appears reddish, and is seen to enclose from ten to fifteen carpels, each containing several hairy seeds embedded in a pale-reddish pulp, which usually adheres to the rind. The pulp becomes very hard on drying.
Constituents.—The chief constituents of bael fruit appear to be the mucilage and pectin contained in the pulp of the unripe fruits. Ripe fruits differ from the unripe in yielding the tannin reaction with ferric chloride, and also in possessing a distinct aroma.
Action and Uses.—Fresh half-ripe bael fruit is mildly astringent and is used in India in cases of dysentery and diarrhoea. The pulp may be eaten, or the decoction administered. The liquid extract is much superior to the extract of the dried fruit, which was formerly used. A confection of fresh bael fruit is also prepared.
- Decoctum Belae, B.P.C.—DECOCTION OF BAEL FRUIT. 1 in 2 ½ .
- Dose.—15 to 60 mils (1 to 2 fluid ounces).
- Extractum Belae Liquidum, I.C.A.—LIQUID EXTRACT OF BAEL.
- Bael fruit, in No. 20 powder, 100; distilled water, 1500; alcohol, sufficient to produce 100. Add the drug to 500 of water, allow to macerate for twelve hours, and decant the clear liquid; submit the marc twice to the same treatment, for one hour with equal quantities of the water, then press the marc, mix the liquids, and filter through flannel. Finally, evaporate the mixture to 75, cool, and add sufficient alcohol to make up to the required volume, filtering if necessary. Liquid extract of bael prepared from the fruit imported in dried slices, as formerly used in this country, did not uphold the reputation gained by preparations of the fresh fruit in India, where it is a popular remedy for diarrhoea and dysentery. The extract is especially suited to children, since its use is not followed by constipation. Liquid extract of bael is official in India and the Eastern Colonies, where the proportion of alcohol may be increased to one-fourth by weight of the finished product in order to prevent fermentation. Dose.—4 to 8 mils (1 to 2 fluid drachms).