Bael Fruit: A Natural Cure for Vitiligo
Bael fruit is an ancient pulpy fruit that has many traditional healing properties. One of the most unique properties of the fruit is its ability to repigment the skin. Find out more about this amazing fruit below.
Loss of pigmentation on the skin can be scary. Very little is known about what causes vitiligo and other forms of pigmentation loss, such as leucoderma. When vitiligo occurs, the skin simply loses the ability to make pigmentation. This condition affects all colors of skin, but the darker the skin, the more noticeable the condition.
Since the cause of vitiligo is unknown, treatment methods are mainly cosmetic in nature. The highest rate of success typically comes from supplements that encourage the skin to repigment. A combination of light therapy and supplements or medication is one of the best treatment methods.
However, there is no absolute cure, and in many cases, once the loss of pigmentation starts to occur, a complete recovery is unlikely. If intervention is started early enough when the signs of pigment loss are just starting, you have a much higher chance of stopping the progression of the condition.
One traditional supplement used to treat vitiligo is Bael fruit. Bael is a small fruit, known as a golden apple or stone apple in from India. Bael fruit contains ingredients that can be helpful in fighting pigmentation loss both internally and externally.
The bael fruit looks like a small, round, yellow apple. The rind of the fruit is somewhat woody, and usually yellow in color. The inside of the fruit is filled with an orange pulp that is sweet to the taste. The fruit is native to India, Burma, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Bael is an ancient fruit, and the first historical mention of the fruit was recorded in 800 B.C.. The fruit contains many beneficial ingredients, including alkaloids, tannins, psoralen, and marmelosin. Bael also contains vitamin B1, B3, B2, vitamin C, and tartaric acid.
One of the traditional uses for vitiligo in India is the bael fruit. According to Purdue University, the reason that bael is identified as a beneficial treatment for vitiligo is due to the psoralen contained in the pulp of the fruit. Eating the pulp increases the tolerance for sunlight, and that combined with the carotene present in the fruit helps maintain a normal skin color.
In essence, the fruit acts as a magnifier for the absorption of the beneficial parts of sun exposure. As light therapy is one of the most effective known treatment methods for vitiligo, there is a high probability that supplementing with bael will also help slow the progression of vitiligo and restore pigmentation to the skin, even though there have been no official scientific studies on the fruit in recent years.
A study on the bael fruit conducted by Karpagam University in 2012 identified the bael fruit as a viable treatment option for vitiligo, as did a 2011 review of the fruit published in the Asian Journal of Plant Science and Research.
There are two ways you can use bael fruit and extract to benefit vitiligo. Taking the fruit internally as a supplement or eating the fruit directly will provide one benefit, while applying it to the skin will provide another.
If you are taking any medications or have any other health conditions, consult with a health professional before adding a bael supplement or any other herbal supplement to your diet. Some supplements could interfere with other medications or cause complications in some health conditions.
Eating the fruit is the most effective treatment method. You can add a bael extract supplement of 250 to 1000 mg daily to fight vitiligo, or you can try eating a few of the fruits directly, if you can find them in a local grocery store or find a place to ship them to you.
Externally, applying the pulp of the fruit to the skin may also provide some benefit. The color in the fruit will provide some camouflaging benefit to white patches of skin, and the psoralen in the fruit will boost sun absorption in the area. Make sure you watch how much sun you get, as placing bael on your skin could make it easier to get sunburned.
Bael also offers an array of other benefits. According to Purdue University, bael has been used as a digestive supplement, as a healing treatment for dysentery, as a fever reducer, for reducing inflammation, as an expectorant for coughs, as a treatment for and inflamed bowel, for helping regulate the heartbeat, and as a remedy for delirium. Many of these treatment methods are part of traditional medicine, and have not been studied extensively in recent history.
A 2009 study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal proved that the fruit of the bael tree was beneficial in eliminating bacteria that caused diarrhea, validating its use as a treatment for stomach bacterial infections like dysentery.
A 2005 study published in The Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy studied the effects of supplementing with bael fruit in diabetic rats. After supplementing with 250 mg of bael extract twice daily for 30 days, although the rats gained weight, their pancreas did not show additional degenerative effects, and in fact, improved a little.
When facing the issue of pigmentation failing in the skin, aggressive action is necessary to stop the progression and restore color to the skin. Because aggressive action is necessary, taking bael alone is not enough to stop the progression of this puzzling condition. Other supplements have also shown to be effective in adding pigmentation back to the skin. Formulas that offer several of these ingredients at once can be extremely effective at repigmenting the skin and adding color back to white patches.
If you are facing fading skin pigmentation, add the following remedies to your supplement list to protect the health of your skin and prevent further damage:
In a 2006 study from New York Medical College, patients who underwent broadband UVB treatments for vitiligo showed between 51 percent and 100 percent regimentation after 8 months of treatment. Some responded in as little as two months.
In 2003, researchers from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research found that vitiligo patients who supplemented with ginkgo biloba three times a day. By the end of the study, participants taking the ginkgo biloba had a repigmentation rate five times greater than individuals in the placebo group.
According to a 1989 study conducted by Regional Research Laboratory in India, the use Picrorhiza supplements improved the effectiveness of the vitiligo drug methoxsalen. L-phenylalanine A 2002 study from Spain showed that supplementing with l-phenylalanine orally as well as using it topically improved vitiligo symptoms in 90 percent of study participants. 68.7 percent saw at least a 70 percent improvement.
In 1982, research published in Dermatologica Journal indicated that supplementing with khellin improved the condition of the skin in over 60 percent of patients. 16.6 percent of patients in the study showed complete recovery from their vitiligo.
Most repigmentation for vitiligo occurs from the inside out. However, there are a few steps you can take to improve the condition from the outside. While in recovery, applying makeup to the lightened areas of the skin can help hide the difference between skin tones.
You may also want to apply sunscreen to the darker areas of your skin to reduce the contrast between the light and dark patches of skin while you recover. While sun exposure is good for clearing vitiligo, sun exposure to the other parts of your skin will only make the condition more noticeable.
In a 1998 study from the University of Pavia, when applying khellin in addition to taking UVA treatments, 41% of patients experienced 70% repigmentation or more on their skin.
The Spain study outlined above shows that using l-phenylalanine as a topical treatment for vitiligo is highly effective for repigmenting the skin.
As outlined by Purdue University, the psoralen in bael fruit is what makes it beneficial for adding pigmentation back into the skin. In fact, psoralen is an added ingredient in many other vitiligo treatments, both oral and topical. One of the easiest ways to add psoralen into your body is through supplementing with bael fruit. With the use of other vitiligo-fighting supplements in addition to bael, you will see pigmentation return to your skin within just a few months.
Consult with your doctor about the condition and the best treatment options even if you plan to take pigmenting supplements, because many of these supplements work best in conjunction with standard UV treatments for vitiligo. To stop the progression of the condition, aggressive action is needed, and the best way to do that is to combine natural methods with conventional methods prescribed by your doctor.
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*Callumae is a Vitiligo Remedy designed to help get rid of white spots on your skin. Use in conjunction with light therapy (or natural sun light) to help get the most repigmentation to your skin.