Bel patra, also known as bilva patra in Sanskrit, holds a special place in Hindu worship. The act of offering bel patra to Lord Shiva signifies the surrender of one’s entire being – the positive and negative aspects. Bel patra has deep cultural and therapeutic value, making it an integral part of rituals and practices.
What is Bel Patra?
Bel patra refers to the leaves of the bel tree, scientifically known as Aegle marmelos. The bel fruit, with its tangy taste and hard shell, is also included in this category. Bel patra holds different names and pronunciations depending on the Indian region. It is revered for its numerous uses and benefits.
The Significance of Offering Bel Patra to Lord Shiva
Among the various items offered during worship, bel patra holds great importance when it comes to appeasing Lord Shiva. According to belief, the leaves of bel patra are Lord Shiva’s favorite. The three-leafed bel patra represents the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh (Shiva). Additionally, these leaves symbolize Lord Shiva’s three eyes, as mentioned in scriptures.
Jains also consider bel patra auspicious, as it is believed that the 23rd Tirthankara, Parshavantha, attained nirvana under a bel tree.
Surprising Benefits of Bel Patra
Bel patra offers a multitude of benefits beyond its religious significance. Let’s explore some of its remarkable uses:
Medicinal Importance of Bel Patra
Bel patra possesses unique medicinal properties. Its fruit is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, Vitamin A, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, fiber, and B vitamins. These nutrients are essential for overall growth and development.
According to Ayurveda, the consumption of bel patra helps in balancing the three doshas – Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha. It also acts as an antioxidant and has laxative properties, aiding in the treatment of stomach-related ailments such as diarrhea, dysentery, and vomiting. Additionally, bel patra helps control lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, and cholesterol.
Bel Patra Benefits for the Skin
Bel patra offers various benefits for maintaining healthy skin. It can be used as a face pack to reduce body odor caused by excessive perspiration or alleviate skin rashes. Consuming bel patra juice or incorporating it in your diet can help combat hair fall and improve the texture of dry and rough hair. Furthermore, bel patra mixtures assist in removing white spots on the skin, a possible side effect of medication.
Growing Bel Patra at Home
While bel patra plants are typically found in forests, you can grow them at home. Skanda Purana mentions that the bel patra plant grew from the sweat droplets of Goddess Parvati, making it sacred and auspicious. The best time to sow the root is during the monsoon season.
Vastu Benefits of Bel Patra
Apart from its religious significance, bel patra is known to purify the surroundings and bring positive energy. It is believed that lighting a lamp under the bel tree enhances knowledge and wisdom.
Bel Patra Lemonade Recipe
During hot summers, you can enjoy a refreshing bel patra lemonade to beat the heat. Here’s how you can prepare it at home:
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Difficulty level: Easy
- 1 bel fruit
- 1-2 glasses of water
- ½ lemon
- 4-5 mint leaves
- Jaggery/brown sugar to taste
- Extract the pulp from the bel fruit and place it in a bowl.
- Add a glass of water to the pulp and mash it while separating the seeds.
- Filter the water from the pulp.
- Crush the mint leaves.
- In a separate glass, add crushed mint leaves and lemon.
- Mix the filtered juice with the mint leaves and lemon.
- Adjust the sweetness with jaggery or brown sugar according to your taste.
Note: Bel fruit is naturally sweet, but you can add jaggery to enhance the sweetness.
Let’s celebrate the sacredness of bel patra and explore its divine significance together. For more information and products related to bel patra, visit the Ames Farm Center.
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