What’s the benefit of using bilimbi fruits in our diet? Does it have any health benefits?
Bilimbi’s are useful for many health related ailments. These trees are also known by ‘Cucumber tree’ or ‘Tree sorrel’ in English. In Kerala, it is known by the name ‘Chilimbikka‘.
Bilimbi trees are widely seen in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar and other South Asian countries. In India bilimbi is seen in warmest regions of the country. The leaves, flowers and fruits of bilimbi trees are used in many villages as a medicinal ingredient. Bilimbi fruit is called by different names in different countries. In Malaysia, this is called by the name ‘Belimbing asam‘ and in Indonesia it is termed as ‘Blimbing wuluh‘.
When the time of fruiting the tree trunk is proliferated with small lime-green coloured fruits. The flowers blossoming alongside bilimbi fruits has a purple, bright mauve and neon yellow colour. Since bilimbi has a sour taste and perishability it is not known to be a popular commercial crop. Bilimbi has a short shelf life of 5 days and its skin can be easily bruised. On account of all these reasons, it is difficult to transport bilimbi over long distances. Some of the health benefits of bilimbi fruits are explained below
Bilimbi’s from India are too sour and astringent to be consumed raw. Even one bite give the taste of a mouth-puckering amla. Riped bilimbi’s has a sour, tangy, sharp and acidic taste and an yellowish-green colour. The seeds are very small with a width of 1/4 inch and a brown colour. Bilimbi’s from Philippines is known to have a sweet, sour taste.
Hypertension is termed as a chronic medical condition of the body associated with the rise of blood pressure in the arteries. In adults once the blood pressure reading is consistently above 140/90 mmHg, we can conclude that the person has hypertension. Bilimbi’s may be used as a natural medicine to control hypertension. Drinking boiled water with bilimbi fruits can have a positive effect in controlling hypertension. Stewed bilimbi fruits can be boiled in 3 cups of water. You can take the decoction when half of the water gets reduced by evaporation. It is advised to have this decoction in the morning to get the desired result.
Help with the treatment of mumps
Mumps is termed as a viral disease caused by the mumps virus. This can result in the swelling of the neck due to the painful swelling of one or both parotid glands. As a result of this, the neck skin experiences hardness and stands out like a lump. Bilimbi’s can help with the reduction of this disease. Young branches of bilimbi trees are mixed with 3 to 4 grains of garlic and onion. The mixture is made into a smooth paste and is applied on mumps. This can have a positive effect in reducing mumps swellings.
Aids in controlling diabetes
People suffering from diabetes can make use of the nutritional benefits of bilimbi’s for controlling this common disease. Boil the mashed bilimbi fruits in 1 cup of water. Once the water is reduced to half a glass, strain out the stew. Drinking these distilled bilimbi decoction two times a day can help in controlling diabetes.
Promotes the alleviation of allergies
Allergies are caused by the hypersensitivity of the immune system towards the environment with which one lives on. In a healthy human, this cannot cause major problems. Allergy can be of different types like food allergies, skin allergies, allergic asthma etc. Allergic symptoms may include red eyes, shortness of breath, runny nose etc. The juice from bilimbi fruits and the extract from bilimbi leaves can help with the alleviation of allergies.