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The etymology you can read in:
Language and linguistic area: essays by Murray Barnson Emeneau, if you google this
SANSKRIT - Sriphala, Bilwa; HINDI and BENGALI - Bel; GUJRATI - Bilinu phal; TAMIL - Vilwa pazhann; TELUGU - Bilwa pandu; ENGLISH - Bengali quince.
Fresh pulp of unripe or half ripe fruit.
Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Rosiflorae / Rosidae; Rutales; Rutaceae - Citrus Family
Ghose: Drugs of Hindoosthan, Ed., 3rd, 87.
Description of the substance
Kuvalam is a sacred tree from India, of the Rutaceae family, related to Citrus.
The common name is Bel fruit, but it has many Indian names, depending on the geographical region or the language, for example: maredu (Andhra Pradesh), bel (Bengal), bil (Gujrat), bael, bil (Himachal Pradesh), bael (Hindi), bilpatra, kumbala, malura (Karnatka), vilwam (Kerala), bilwa (Sanskrit), kuvalum (Tamil Nadu). Also in English there are different names: Bengal quince, golden apple, stone apple.
It grows wild in the Indian forests (up to 1000 meters of altitude), Ceylon. Burma, Thailand and Indo-China. It can be found also cultivated (i.e. not wild) because of its countless properties and employments. The cultivated variety has smaller fruits than the wild one.
It is a very beautiful medium sized tree (average is 8.5 mt. tall), with spines on the branches and very aromatic. It matures in about 60 years.
Leaves are pale green, trifoliate.
Flowers are greenish white, sweetly scented.
Fruits are yellowish green, with small dots on the outer surface, 5.3 cm to 7 2 cm in diameter; weight, 77.2 g. They have an unusual texture and aroma and they are a very good source of protein.
The pulp is yellow and mucilaginous. The pulp of dried fruits retains its yellow, and also remains intact. It is not a good source of vitamin C.
This fruit is a very good source of protein that is 5.12 per cent of the edible portion. The total mineral content of the edible portion, as represented by ash, is 2.663 per cent. The percentage content of some of the minerals, viz. phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron is 0.137, 0.746, 0.188, 0.127 and 0.007 respectively.
Seeds are very numerous, embedded in the pulp, oblong, compressed, white, having cotton-like hairs on their outer surface.
General Purpose Utilization
People usually eat the fruits. They are also used in the preparation of many medicines in the villages. These protein-rich fruits are also used in making a very good drink. They also can make a good jam. The fruits are also used in making paints in Burma. They are also used as a substitute for soap, as source of essential oils and perfumes.
The mucilage of the seed is a good cementing material.
The wood takes a fine polish and is used in building houses, constructing carts, agricultural implements, in oil-mills and sugar-mills, in making pestles, handles of tools, in making combs, etc., and for carving but the tree is too valuable to be cut for its timber.
A yellow dye is obtained from the rind of the unripe fruits. An essential oil is distilled from the rind (skin).
The dried fruits, after their pulp separated from the rind, are used as pillboxes for keeping valuable medicines, sacred ashes and tobacco.
The leaves contain 0.6 per cent essential oil, mostly composed of d-limonene.
In summary: every part of the tree is used: leaves, fruits, bark, roots and seeds.