Averrhoa bilimbi probably originated in Indonesia, though the species is now cultivated and found throughout the Philippines and Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Myanmar, and Malaysia. Essentially a tropical tree, kamias is less resistant to cold, and glows best in rich and well-drained soil.
The kamias usually begins to glower in February then blooms and bear fruits more or less continously until December. The fruits are usually picked by hand; these need gentle handling because of their thin skin.
Averrhoa bilimbi, or bilimbi, is widely called kamias in the Philippines and “cucumber tree” or “tree sorrel” in English. The 5 – 12 m tall tree is native to southeast Asia and was once common in all local household backyards. It is fruit-bearing tree, and the small (4 cm in length), green, acidic fruits have various culinary uses. Kamias gives a sour flavor to dishes. One type recipe is bangus belly in sour soup.
The fruits can also be eaten raw, dipped in rock salt, transformed into juice or relish or pickled. Kamias is also sometimes used as a subtitutes for tamarind.
This species is also considered to have medicinal properties. Leaves of the tree can be used to treat itchy skin, insect or animal bites, swilling and rheumatism. Infusions of the the flowers are given to treat cough. It is considered a fruit that strengthens the immune system to a high quantity of ascorbic acid.
One of nature’s unappreciated fruit is kamias or bilimbi. The sour fruit is a natural source of vitamins B and C, iron phosphorus and anioxidants.
Its other amazing benefits: Its leave relieve coughing, thrush, hemorrhoids, stings, itches, pimples and skin eruptions.
The fruits of Kamias
The fruit of the kamias tree contains protein, fiber, phosphorous, calcium, iron, thiamine, reboflavin, carotene, ascorbic acid, and niacin among others.
Its fruits can control gastrointestinal bleeding in the stomach, fight cholesterol, fever and inflammation, and prevent cough, beriberi and scurvy.
Kamias is Antibacterial agents
The leaves are applied as a paste or poulticed on itches, swellings of mumps and rheumatism, and on skin eruption. The leaves have hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activites. The leaves and fruit extract is an effective antibacterial against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enteritidis.
Medicinal and otheruses
When ground into a paste, the leaves can be applied to soothe itches, swelling, rheumatism, mumps, or skin eruptions.
In other countries, a syrup made from kamias fruit is used to treat inflammatory conditions.
In Muslim areas, the acidic juice of the kamias is often used to clean kris blades. The juice can also be used as an alternative stain remover.
It is said that in Indonesia, the red flowers of the kamias tree are sought after as an ingredient for the natural red dye used for traditional textiles.
Effects of Averrhoa Bilimbi Leaf extract on Blood Glucose and Lipids in Streptozotocin-Diabetic Rats
The present study was designed to investigate the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activities of an ethanolic extract of Averrhoa bilimbi Linn. Leaves (Oxalidaceae, common name: Bilimbi) in streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic rats.
The optimal hypoglycemic dose (125 mg kg(1)) was determined by performing the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in both normal and STZ-diabetic rats. To investigate the effect of repeated with vehicle (distilled water), ABE (125 mg kg (-1)) or metformin (500) mg kg (-1) twice a day for 2 weeks. Like metformin, ABE significantly lowered blood glucose by 50% and blood triglyceride by 30% when compared with the behicle.
ABE thus significantly increased the LDL-cholesterol concentrations by 60% compared with the behicle. ABE thus significantly increases the anti-atherogenic index and HDL cholesterol/total cholesterol ratio.
However, like metformin, ABE did not affect total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol concentrations, but significantly reduced the kidney lipid peroxidation level. These data show that ABE has hypoglycemic, hypotriglyceridemic, anti-lipid peroxidative and anti-atherogenic properties in STZ- diabetic rats.
Kamias Health Benefits
Used as Cough Treatment
Kamias fruit can be a good medicine to relieve cough. The sour taste of kamias will relieve cough and the content of expectoran substance will also relieve the throat.
Kamias Loss Weight
Health benefits of kamias can be used as weight loss treatment or diet plan. The kamias has vitamin B, C, fiber and antioxidants. Kamias are able to control gastrointestinal and able to control the cholesterol.
Prevent Premature Aging
Kamias contains excellent antioxidant substances to prevent premature aging. Vitamin C and vitamin A are antioxidants contained in kamias. Antioxidants will counteract the free radicals that are the primary cause of premature aging. Mineral and vitamin content available in ka ias is also afficacious to reduce wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.
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