Averrhoa bilimbi, commonly known as bilimbi, is a sour, tangy, juicy fruit which makes a regular appearance in the Coastal Karnataka.
It is widely called as cucumber tree or tree sorrel in English but the tree itself is native to most tropical countries.Bilimbi fruit are used in many medicinal purposes because of its high acidic properties.
Bilimbi Juice is used medicinally throughout Asia. The fruit juice has a high concentration of oxalic acid which is useful for cleaning and bleaching. Infused leaf of bilimbi can be used for cough while leaf decoction can give soothe to rectal inflammation.
The leaves of bilimbi tree are also used as a treatment relief for skin itches, swellings of mumps and rheumatism. It can also be a good alternative remedy for insect and animal bites.
The leaves are applied as poultice on itches, swellings of mumps and rheumatism, and on skin problems.
Syrup made from Bilimbi fruit is taken as a cure for fever and inflammation and to stop rectal bleeding and alleviate internal haemorrhoids.
The juice is effective as eye drops (regarded as a magic curative). Its antibacterial and properties cause many in Asia to use the juice like soap or cleansing agent.
Malays make a paste from the fruit to help new mothers heal from childbirth. Like the star fruit, its oxalic acid is a natural blade cleaner and household cleaner as well.
Bilimbis fruit contains a small amount of vitamins and minerals. According to Purdue University, an edible portion of kamias is considered to be 100 g, and this contains 0.61 g of protein, 0.6 g of fiber, 3.4 mg of calcium, 1.01 mg of iron, 11.1 mg of phosphorus, as well as trace amounts of other minerals.
Bilimbis are usually found in back yards, in gardens (their flowers are gorgeous), and they grow wildly throughout the plains of India.