Sawan 2023: Bael Patra Significance And 10 Health Benefits
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During the holy month of Sawan, which coincides with monsoon in India, devotees of Lord Shiva follow a month-long sattvik ritual fast along with a number of spiritual practices. One such ritual is the offering of Bael Patra to Lord Shiva as well as the consumption of Bael Patra, mostly in its juice form. Bael Patra, also known as Bilva or Bael leaves, are the leaves of the Bael tree, which is considered sacred in Hinduism. The Bael tree is believed to be a manifestation of Lord Shiva, and its leaves hold great significance, particularly during the holy month of Sawan

In fact, it is due to this eternal association with Lord Shiva that not only Bael Patra, but the consumption of Bael fruit or wood apple is also quite common during Sawan. According to ancient Hindu myths, the Bael tree has sattva components, so the leaves and fruits it produces are considered sattvik as well as holy ingredients. But this apart, there are also plenty of health benefits associated with consuming Bael Patra during Sawan. Here’s everything you need to know. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Sathvik Lifestyle

Cultural Significance Of Bael Patra During Sawan

During Sawan, devotees offer Bael Patra to Lord Shiva as a form of worship. The leaves are considered auspicious and are believed to please Lord Shiva and attract his blessings. Bael Patra is a trifoliate leaf and symbolically represents the three eyes of Lord Shiva. The three eyes of Lord Shiva are associated with knowledge, decision-making and action. Bael Patra is also considered to be auspicious in Jainism, and has plenty of spiritual significance as well.   

Bael leaves are believed to have purifying properties and are known for their medicinal value. Offering Bael Patra is thought to cleanse and purify the mind, body, and soul. It is also believed to protect devotees from negative energies and evil forces. Bael Patra is associated with mental clarity and focus. Offering them during Sawan is believed to enhance concentration and spiritual receptivity. 

Health Benefits Of Bael Patra During Sawan 

Did you know that apart from the spiritual benefits of Bael Patra, there are also plenty of health benefits backed by modern science that are attributed to these leaves? According to a 2018 study published in Lipids In Health And Disease, Bael Patra extract contains active chemicals like alkaloids, emodins, ferric chloride, lead acetate, gelatin, phenolics and volatile oils which have plenty of medicinal applications. In fact, the study says, Bael Patra extracts are commonly used by pharmaceutical companies to create modern and effective medicines. 

What are the potential health benefits you can gain by consuming Bael Patra extracts in juice or other safe forms. Here are 10 such benefits of consuming Bael Patra during Sawan and beyond. 

1. Digestive Aid: Bael Patra improves digestion, relieves constipation, and treats gastrointestinal disorders by promoting the secretion of digestive enzymes and regulating bowel movements. 

2. Respiratory Health: Bael leaves alleviate respiratory problems such as cough, cold, and asthma by reducing inflammation, soothing the respiratory tract, and clearing congestion. 

3. Cooling Effect: Bael Patra provides a cooling effect on the body, reducing body heat, preventing heatstroke, and relieving symptoms of heat-related ailments during the hot and humid monsoon season. 

4. Detoxification: Bael Patra aids in detoxification by eliminating toxins from the body, purifying the blood, and supporting liver function, thus promoting overall body detoxification. 

5. Anti-inflammatory Properties: Bael leaves possess anti-inflammatory effects due to the presence of compounds like tannins, which help reduce inflammation and alleviate conditions such as arthritis, joint pain, and inflammation-related disorders. 

6. Immune Booster: Bael Patra strengthens the immune system due to its high vitamin C content, enhancing the body's defense against infections, boosting immunity, and improving overall health and well-being. 

7. Antimicrobial Effects: Bael leaves exhibit antimicrobial properties, thanks to their active compounds, which help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi, protecting against various microbial infections. 

8. Antioxidant Rich: Bael Patra is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds, which help neutralize harmful free radicals, reduce oxidative stress, and lower the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. 

9. Blood Purifier: Bael leaves purify the blood by improving blood circulation, removing toxins, regulating blood pressure, and preventing blood-related disorders, thus promoting a healthy cardiovascular system. 

10. Nutritional Value: Bael Patra is a good source of essential nutrients like vitamins (A, C, and B complex), minerals (calcium, potassium, and phosphorus), and dietary fiber, providing nourishment, supporting overall health, and aiding in proper bodily function