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Averrhoa bilimbi


Averrhoa obtusangula, Blimbigum teres.

Vernacular Names:


Belimbing Buluh, Belimbing Asam, Belimbing Besi, B’ling, Billing-billing

English Bilimbi, Cucumber tree, Tree Sorrel

Limeng, Selimeng, Thlimeng (Acheh); Selemeng (Gayo); Asom, Belimbing, Balimbingan (Batak); Malimbi (Nias); Balimbieng (Minangkabau); Belimbing asam (Melayu); Balimbing (Lampung); Balimbing wuluh, Blimbing (Jawa); Calingcing, Calingcing wulet, Balingbing (Sunda); Bhalingbhing bulu (Madura); Blingbing buloh (Bali); Limbi (Bima); Libi (Sawu); Balimbeng (Flores); Belereng (Sangi); Lumpias, Rumpeasa during, Wulidan, Lopias, Lembetue (Gorontalo); Lombituko (Buol); Tangkurera (Baree); Bainang (Makasar); Calene (Bugis); Ninilu dae lok (Roti); Kerbol (Timor, Kai); Takurela (Ambon); Balimbi (Ulias); Taprera (Buru); Malibi (Halmahera); miri-miri (Kapaur); Uteke (Irian Jaya)


Ta-ling-pring, Kaling pring


San nien


Bilim, Bilimbi, Bimblee, Tamarang


Kamias, Balambing, Camias kalanias, Kilingiba; Kalamias, Kilingiwa, Pias


Zibeline, Bilimbi, Blimblim, Blinblin, Cornichon des Indes, Zibeline blonde, Carambolier


Bilimbi, Gurkenbaum


Bilimbi, Grosella China, Mimbro, Vinagrillo; Tiriguro, Pepino de Indias


Limao de caiena [1][3][5][7][9]

General Information


Averrhoa bilimbi is a member of the Oxalidaceae family. It is a tree which can grow up to 15 m high.The leaves are oddly pinnate. The leaflets have 12 pairs, ovate, linear, acute, soft and downy. Each leaflet measures 5-10cm long. The tree is cauliflorous with 18-64 flowers in panicles that form on the trunk and older branches.  Flowers small, pinkish or purplish, on trunk and branches. The stamens 10 in number, five alternately longer. The pistils are divergent in angle. The fruit is oblong in shape, obtuse at the end, with five broad ribs.[5]

Plant Part Used

Leaves, flowers and fruits [1][4][9]

Chemical Constituents

2-furaldehyde; ascorbic acid; butyl-nicotinate; hexyl-nicotinate; niacin; oxalic acid; palmitic acid; riboflavin; thiamine; vitamin A

Traditional Used:

The leaves of A. bilimbi is used for the treatment of stomachache, and parotitis. The fruit is used to treat dyspepsia, colitis and also dental caries. It is also used to treat bleeding haemorrhoids, bleeding gums, mouth ulcers, dental caries and to alleviate internal haemorrhoids. Infusion of the flowers is a remedy for mouth ulcers and oral thrush. [1][4][9]

The flowers of A. bilimbi is used to treat cough, while the fruits is used for the more sinister whooping cough where the juice extracted from 10 fruits is mixed with salt and given to the patient. Conserves of the fruit can also be given for cough. [1][2][4][7][8][9]

The fruits of A. bilimbi is used in the treatment of infective conditions like acne, mumps, and abscesses. Paste of the leaves is applied over joints for relieve of rheumatic pains. [1][2][7][8][9]

A. bilimbi had been advocated for the treatment of hypertension and diabetes by the use of various parts of the plant by different society. In Indonesia the fruit is used to treat hypertension and the decoction of the leaves is for diabetes. The Indians made used of the leaves, flowers and fruits to treat both hypertension and diabetes. The fruit is also used for tinea versicolor, beri-beri, and fever. [1][2][4][6][7][8][9]

Pre-Clinical Data


Antidiabetic activity

Pushparaj et al. [10][11][12] did a series of studies on the hypoglycaemic activity of the leaves of Averrhoa bilimbi Linn. Their initial work was with ethanolic extract of the leaves whence they found that it was able to reduce blood glucose levels by 50% and the blood triglyceride levels by 130%. It was found that it also increase the HDL-cholesterol level by 60% and reduced the kidney lipid peroxidation level but did not affect the total cholesterol and the LDL-cholesterol concentration.

Antihypercholesterolemic activity

Studies on the antihypercholesterolemic properties of A. bilimbi fruit in rats. They found that the fruit and aqueous extract of the fruit showed remarkable antihypercholesterolaemic activity. General toxicity evaluation of the fruit in mice did not show any toxic symptoms in doses up to 1g/kg over 15 days.[13]


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

No documentation

Interactions with Other Herbs / Herbal Constituents

No documentation



No documentation

Case Reports

No documentation

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  1) Botanical Info


    1. Setiawan Dalimartha, Atlas tumbuhan obat Indonesia: menguak kekayaan tumbuhan obat Indonesia, Volume 5, Pustaka Bunda, Jakarta, 2008. pg6 -10
    2. Jules Janick, Robert E. Paull, The encyclopedia of fruit & nuts, CABI, Oxfordshire, 2008. pg575
    3. Johannes Seidemann, World spice plants, Springer, New York, 2005. pg59
    4. Peter, K.V.: ed., Underutilized and Underexploited Horticultural Crops:, Volume 2, New India Publishing, New Delhi, 2007. pg47
    5. T. H . Pardo De Tavera, the Medicinal Plants of the Philippines,  Forgotten Books, 1892. pg60
    6. Heber Drury, The Useful Plants of India, READ BOOKS, 2010. pg58
    7. Hean Chooi Ong, Sayuran: khasiat makanan & ubatan, Utusan Publications, Kuala Lumpur, 2003. pg26-27
    8. Hean Chooi Ong, Rempah-ratus: khasiat makanan & ubatan, Utusan Publications, Kuala Lumpur, 2008. pg70-71
    9. World Agro Forestry. [Accessed on 9/11/2010]
    10. Pushparaj P, Tan CH, Tan BK. Effects of Averrhoa bilimbi leaf extract on blood glucose and lipids in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Sep;72(1-2):69-76.
    11. Pushparaj PN, Tan BK, Tan CH. The mechanism of hypoglycemic action of the semi-purified fractions of Averrhoa bilimbi in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. Life Sci. 2001 Dec 21;70(5):535-47.
    12. Tan BK, Tan CH, Pushparaj PN. Anti-diabetic activity of the semi-purified fractions of Averrhoa bilimbi in high fat diet fed-streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Life Sci. 2005 Apr 29;76(24):2827-39.
    13. Ambili S, Subramoniam A, Nagarajan NS. Studies on the antihyperlipidemic properties of Averrhoa bilimbi fruit in rats. Planta Med. 2009 Jan;75(1):55-8.

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