Bengal quince (Aegle marmelos)

Bengal quince is a slender aromatic tree up to 9-12 m tall, with a thick trunk and straight sharp spines. Considered sacred by the Hindus, it has a pleasant smell. Other name: Egle marmalade


This plant has a thick trunk, the leaves are trifoliate. Gives 2 types of shoots: long with internodes of 3-5 cm and shortened with leaves collected in bunches. The flowers are greenish-white, fragrant, in small axillary or apical racemes. The fruits are similar in shape to a thick lemon or spherical; in wild trees, the fruit is 5-7.5 cm in diameter, in cultivated trees – up to 15-17.5 cm. At first, the fruits are grayish-yellow, but at full maturity they are bright orange. Inside, the fruit is filled with a sweet-tasting, sweet-tasting jelly-like pulp. Seeds are large, pubescent, up to 6-10 pcs. in the fruit. In the wild, Bngal quince grows in Northern India, Burma and Indochina. In India, it rises to 1200 m above sea level in the Himalayas, that is, in a completely subtropical climate zone. It is cultivated very widely throughout India, Burma and Indonesia.

Contains active substances:

Alkaloids, coumarins, and steroids have been isolated from various organs of the plant. So, within 5 alkaloids were isolated from the leaves, their structure was confirmed by synthesis. The fruits contain coumarins (alloimperatorin, imperatorin), β-sitosterol. Freshly harvested tree bark contains coumarins marmine, umbelliferone; lupeol, auroptin. The same compounds are found in the roots of the plant, also psoralen, xanthotoxin, scopoletin. Essential oil, gum, mucus accumulate in the fruits of Bengal Quince. The fruits are distinguished by a very high content of riboflavin – more than 1%. The most pharmacologically active component of the fruit is marmelosin. It is present both in fruits and in other parts of the plant.

Medicinal use:

At home in India, it is used for gastric diseases. Unripe fruits are considered the best remedy for dysentery, especially in babies, they promote digestion, have a milk-producing, antibiotic effect. Mature fruits have the properties of a gentle laxative, are widely used both as a dessert fruit and for the preparation of aromatic and refreshing soft drinks. The leaves also have medical significance. They have antibiotic, anti-febrile and anti-diabetic effects. The root bark is used for leukoderma and leprosy.

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