Bilimbi: Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses

Bilimbi tree (Averrhoa bilimbi) is usually found in gardens and backyards. This pant it native to Southeast Asia and is widely cultivated through the Philippines, India, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Some of its popular names are Kamias, Belimbing, Pickle Fruit, and Cucumber Tree.

The fruits of this small perennial tree are small, with cylindrical-elliptical shape, crunchy while unripe, and falls to the ground when ripe. They have a sour, tangy taste due to its high amounts of oxalic acid. The acidity of the fruit gives a refreshing taste in many Asian soups, salads, wine, and curries.

Traditionally, the fruits, leaves, and flowers of Bilimbi plant have been used to treat various diseases. In addition to antioxidant content and astringent properties, the fruits also contain the following:

Nutritional Value Per 100g

  1. Protein – 0.61 g
  2. Fiber – 0.6 g
  3. Phosphorus – 11.1 mg
  4. Calcium – 3.4 mg
  5. Iron – 1.01 mg
  6. Thiamine (Vit B1) – 0.010 mg
  7. Riboflavin (Vit B2) – 0.026 mg
  8. Carotene (Vit A) – 0.035 mg
  9. Ascorbic Acid (Vit C) – 15.5 mg
  10. Niacin (Vit B3) – 0.302 mg

Health Benefits

Has Astringent Effect

The astringent effect of bilimbi can help reduce swelling and pain caused by rheumatism, insect bites, and skin eruptions.

Simply have young stems and leaves mashed with 3-4 cloves of garlic and apply on the affected areas of the skin.

Helps Control Diabetes

For the purpose of reducing blood sugar levels, bilimbi fruit can be taken in two ways:
Mash Bilimbi fruit and boil with 1cup of water. Wait until half of the water is left. Strain the decoction and drink it twice a day.

Make Bilimbi fruit juice. Consume it just like any other juices.

Helps Treat Mumps

Mumps is caused by the mumps virus. It affects the salivary glands that are located near our ears. It causes swelling on these glands. To reduce swelling and treat this condition, we need to apply a paste made with garlic and the young leaves and stem of Bilimbi.

Good for the Bones

As we age, our bones and teeth become weaker. Bilimbi fruit or Kamias is rich in calcium, a mineral that is needed for stronger bones.

Helps Treat Some Types of STD

As a treatment for sexually transmitted disease or STD, the fruits and the leaves of Bilimbi should be sun-dried then boiled with 3 glasses of water. Wait until only half of the water is left. Drink the decoction twice a day.

Helps Control Hypertension

Hypertension is associated with the rise of blood pressure in the arteries. Bilimbi fruit can help control hypertension. Simply boil the fruit in 3 cups of water. Wait until only half of the water is left. Drink the decoction every morning once it is lukewarm.

Helps Reduce Pimples and Brightens Skin

Bilimbi fruits contain vitamin C which promotes the production of collagen, a substance needed to keep the skin tones. It can help reduce black spots and brighten and tighten the skin.

Additionally, bilimbi fruit also has vitamin A and oxalic content that reduce the appearance of pimples and soothe the inflamed ones.

To reap these benefits, mash bilimbi fruit and use it as a face mask. Let it sit for 30minutes and wash with warm water. For best results, it is recommended to apply this every day for at least 3 days. We can also drink bilimbi juice every day for a brighter and glowing skin.

Aids In Weight Loss

The fruit is rich in vitamin B that plays an important role in our body and overall metabolism. Since it is low in calories, we can add it to our meals and eat instead of a chocolate bar. We can combine it with fruits in dozens of different ways.

Helps Reduce Fever and Flu

Due to the rich amounts of vitamin C present in this fruit, it can help strengthen our immune system. It has been used for centuries to treat fever. An infusion using its flowers can be made to treat cough and cold.