||Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa
||Bengal Quince, Bael (Hindi), Vilvam (Tamil), Bilva (Sanskrit)
The Bilva tree is associated with Lord Shiva. Its trifoliate leaf or tripatra, is believed to symbolise the three functions of the Lord – creation, preservation and destruction - as well as His three eyes. The offering of the leaves is a compulsory ritual while worshipping Lord Shiva all over India.
The tree is also sacred to the Jains. The 23rd Tirthankara, Bhagwan Parasnathji attained enlightenment under a Bilva tree.
Bilva is an ingredient in many Ayurvedic and Siddha formulations. Almost all parts of the tree have medicinal qualities.