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Limonia acidissima Groff


Feronia elephantumCorrêaFeronia limonia (L.) Swingle.,Schinus limoniaLinn.[1]

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Belingei
English Elephant Apple, Wood Apple, Curd Fruit, Monkey Fruit
China Nu Ping Gu
Indonesia Kawiste
Thailand Makwit
Philippines Ponoan
India Katbel, Kaith, Kavita (Hindi); Bela (Kannada); Vilarmaram, Vilavu (Malayalam); Kapitthah (Sanskrit); Vilankay maram (Tamil); Velagapandu (Telagu)
France Pommier d’elephant
Germany Olifants Appel  [2][5] 

General Information


Limonia acidissima is a member of the Rutaceae family. It is a moderate sized tree, with strong, straight, axillary spines. The bark is dark grey with longitudinal furrow. The leaves are compound, imparipinnate, alternate with narrowly winged rachis. The leaflets are 3-7 in numbers, obovate, crenulate, tip often notched and gland dotted. The flowers are small, fragrant, dull red, polygamous in lateral and terminal panicles. The fruits are globose, woody, rough, and grey-coloured berries. The seeds are oblong compressed and embedded in the pulp. [2]

Plant Part Used

Bark, leaves, fruits and gum

Chemical Constituents

Stigmasterol; orientin; vitaxin; bergapten; saponarin; tannins; methyl chavicol; t-anethol; thymol; p-cymen-7-ol; alpha-pinene; beta-pinene; sabinene; myrcene; beta-phellandrene; p-cymene; limonene; t-ocimene; 1,8-cineole; fenchone; borneol; eugenol; iso-eugenol; anisaldehyde; 13 alpha,14 beta,17alpha-lanosta-7,9,24-triene-3 beta,16 alpha-diol; 4-methoxy-1-methyl-2(1H)-quinolinone; 13 alpha,14 beta,17 alpha-lanosta-7,24-diene-3 beta,11beta,16 alpha-triol; (7'E)-(7R,8S)-4-hydroxy-3,5'-dimethoxy-4',7-epoxy-8,3'-neolig-7'-en-9,9'-diyil diacetate; (+)-syringaresinol; hederatriol; basic acid methyl ester; 3β-hydroxyolean-12-en-11-one; (+)-α-dimorphecolic acid; 8(R)-hydroxylinoleic acid; (6Z,9Z,12Z)-pentadecatrienoic acid.[3][7][8]

Traditional Uses

The various parts of the plant used in traditional medicine posses different properties. The bark is aromatic and cooling. The leaves are aromatic, astringent, carminative, constipating, antiemetic, expectorant and cardiotonic. The unripe fruit is sour, astringent, constipating and alexipharmic while the ripe fruit is sweet, sour, astringent, bitter, refrigerant, aromatic, anodyne, constipating, aphrodisiac, antiscorbutic, alexipharmic, cardiotonic, diuretic, vulnerary, expectorant, stomachic and antiemetic. [2] 

The astringent, carminative, constipating, antiemetic activities render the plant useful in the treatment of various gastrointestinal diseases. The bark was prescribed for the treatment of stomach-ache, eating disorder, diarrhoea, vomiting and hiccup. The stomach-ache and intestinal problems also can be treated using the fruits and additionally it can form a paste to be applied to tone the breast. The leaves were traditionally used in the treatment of cough, respiratory problem and in cases of snakebites while for piles, both the leaves and fruits can be used[2] [3] [4]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antibacterial activity

The methanol extracts of the bark, leaf, rind, pulp and seeds of L. acidissima showed varying degrees of antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococus aureus[6]

Nitric oxide production inhibition activity

Several compounds isolated from L. acidissima potently inhibited nitric oxide (NO) production in microglia cells.[7] [8]

Antihyperglycaemic and antihypercholesterolaemic activity

Exposure to fluoride had caused a significant increase in plasma and hepatic carbohydrate and lipid profile. Feeding floride-exposed rats with a diet laced with L. acidissima fruit powder for four weeks resulted in a significant decrease in plasma glucose and lipid profiles and hepatic glucose-6-phosphate activity. There is also a significant increase in hepatic glycogen content and hexokinase activity, and plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. [9]


No documentation

Teratogenic effects

No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical Trials

No documentation

Adverse Effects in Human:

No documentation

Used in Certain Conditions

Pregnancy / Breastfeeding

No documentation

Age Limitations

Neonates / Adolescents

No documentation


No documentation

Chronic Disease Conditions

No documentation


Interactions with drugs

The fruit with its antidiabetic activity may potentiate effects of antidiabetic drugs. Patients on antidiabetic drugs should cautiously consume this herb. [9]

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation

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1) Botanical Information


  1. Tropicos [Internet]. [Cited 20th May 2014]. Available from
  2. Warrier PK, Nambiar VPK, Ramankutty C. Indian Medicinal Plants: A Compendium of 500 species Volume 3 Orient Longman Private Ltd. Hyderbad 1995 pg. 327
  3. Khare CP., Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic, and Other Traditional Usage, Botany, Springer-Verlag, Berlin 2004 pg. 214 – 215
  4.  Nadkarni KM. Dr. K. M. Nadkarni's Indian Materia Medica Volume 1, Popular Prakashan, New Delhi; 1996, pg 742.
  5. Hanelt P, Buttner R, Mansfeld’s Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2001 pg. 1037
  6. Thomas A, Ponnammal NR. Preliminary Studies on Phytochemical And Antibacterial Activity Of Limonia acidissima L. PLANT PARTS. Anc Sci Life. 2005 Oct;25(2):57-61.
  7. Kim KH, Lee IK, Kim KR, Ha SK, Kim SY, Lee KR. New benzamide derivatives and NO production inhibitory compounds from Limonia acidissima. Planta Med. 2009 Aug;75(10):1146-51.
  8. Kim KH, Ha SK, Kim SY, Youn HJ, Lee KR. Constituents of Limonia acidissima inhibit LPS-induced nitric oxide production in BV-2 microglia. J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. 2010 Dec;25(6):887-92.
  9. Vasant RA, Narasimhacharya AV. Limonia fruit as a food supplement to regulate fluoride-induced hyperglycaemia and hyperlipidaemia. J Sci Food Agric. 2013 Jan;93(2):422-6. 

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