Background: Bilva (Aegle marmelos Corr.) is an historical plant which is used for religious and medical purposes since time immemorial. It is often considered to be a sacred tree in India, where its leaves, fruits and owers are used for offerings to many deities. Apart from the above, Bilva has been used as a therapeutic in wide range of ailments in Ayurveda. The drug has also been in use as traditional medicinal practice by many tribal and village dwellers from centuries. Aims: To analyze the historical & ethnomedical uses of Bilva. Material & Methods: Various lexicons, religious scriptures and articles regarding ethno-botany were referred and essential data were compiled and analyzed. Results: The in-depth analyses of historical and ethno-medical usage of Bilva tree reveals that the drug was is in use right from the Vedic period till today albeit slight differences in its religious usage. Various references of the plant has been enlisted in lexicons of Ayurveda and the ethno medical usage has been found throughout India. Which has similar indications as observed in ethno medicinal claims in vast number of disorders, however the method of application shows minor differences. Conclusion: Bilva is one of the most important drug in modern times which has a rich history of its usage from Vedic period. The present insight on the ethnomedical usage of the drug on large group of disorders warrants the need of systematic clinical researches to ascertain its properties and mode of action.
Key words: Aegle marmelos Corr., Ayurveda, Bilva, Historical & Ethno-medical uses