The bilimbi fruit also known as cucumber tree originated from Moluccas in Indonesia. Today, this tree iw widely grown in Philippines, Malaysia and Sri Lanka among other areas. This tree grows up to 10m tall when fully mature. The tree thrives in warm climatic regions of Asia, Africa and America. It grows well in well drained soil with evenly distributed rainfall as it requires some dry periods to produce. The tree produces some yellowish green flowers that are attached on the trunk of the tree. The fruit is usually long assuming the shape of cucumber. When mature, the fruit is normally green in color, with juicy inner part that is crunchy.
This fruit contains most of the major nutrients required for the wellbeing of the body. It is rich in:
- Dietary fiber
Preparation of fruit for consumption
In order to consume this fruit, there are several ways to prepare it, such as;
- It can be eaten raw.
- The fruit can be cut into pieces, adding salt and consuming it.
- The raw fruit can also be served with rice.
- The fruit can be dried in the sun and used in making chutney.
- The fruit is also served with fish as a spice as it is sour.
- The fleshy part of the fruit is blended to make juice.
Health benefits of Bilimbi fruit
Bilimbi fruit has medicinal value that brings about numerous benefits in the body. Consuming the fruit regularly either along with food as a spice, as a juice or as a fruit brings about the following benefits;
- Remedy for flu
This fruit is effective in getting rid of flu and other cold related symptoms. This is facilitated by the presence of riboflavin and thiamine which are components of acerbic acid which is effective for treatment of the flu.
- Cough suppression
The juice derived from this fruit is a natural remedy for suppressing coughs.
- Treatment of fever
The fruit is used in preparation of syrup that is effective in elimination of fever during sickness.
- Treatment of hemorrhoids
When consumed, the fruit leads to gradual reduction of bleeding in the rectum caused by hemorrhoids. Continuous consumption of the fruit helps in acceleration of healing of hemorrhoids getting rid of them.
- Treatment of venereal diseases
The juice from the fruits is added to that of the leaves from the tree for treatment of venereal diseases.
- Alleviation of allergies
The juice from the fruits and the sap from the leaves are effective in alleviating allergies when applied on the affected part of the skin.
Storage and preservation
This fruit from bilimbi tree is highly perishable. When stored in a cool place, it lasts for about 3-4 days. This fruit is preserved by drying it under the sun.
Bilimbi fruit should be eaten in limited amounts. This is because it excessive consumption may cause digestive issues such as constipation.