Kaffir lime or Citrus hystrix, a tropical fruit that is native to various parts of Asia including Thailand . Aside from its culinary uses, due to its uniquely tart and pleasant flavor, kaffir lime is also highly respected in traditional herbal medicine, due to its high content of beneficial organic compounds that can positively affect the body’s systems. The oil, leaves, fruit, and rind of kaffir limes are all utilized for different purposes. You’ll often find kaffir limes being used in soups and sauces, such as Tom Yum soup, particularly the leaves, which are frequently utilized in Thai cooking. The leaves and rind are so powerful, imparting a very strong flavor.
The strong flavor is due to the high concentration of alkaloids, citronellol, limonene, nerol, and other phytochemicals. Not only do these provide a unique aroma and flavor, but also a wide range of health benefits. Oil extracted from the leaves, as well as the leaves themselves, are commonly used for health and medicinal purposes. The oil is often mixed with shampoos, soaps, salves, fragrances, and other cosmetic products, while the leaves are usually applied topically or orally to induce a specific healthy result.
Below are some of the health benefits of Kaffir Lime.
The oil of kaffir limes is often mixed in various traditional decoctions for those suffering from blood-borne illnesses or chronic blood-related diseases. This unique mix of volatile compounds is known to eliminate those pathogens or foreign agents in the blood, while also helping to detoxify the liver and lymphatic system soff dangerous substances and improve overall health.
Aids In Oral Health
The rind and the leaves of kaffir lime are used in the enhancement of oral health. The leaves can be directly rubbed onto the gums to promote good oral health and eliminate harmful bacteria that can build up in the mouth. The oil extracted from kaffir limes can also be mixed in with organic toothpaste and mouthwashes to promote more potent oral and gum care.
Assists Digestive Processes
There are a number of phytochemicals found in kaffir limes that are anti-inflammatory in nature and are also stimulating for the digestive system. If you are suffering from constipation or indigestion, Kaffir lime decoction can clear constipation or indigestion symptoms up and get the bowels back on a regular track. This can help prevent more serious gastrointestinal issues in the future, such as colorectal cancer hemorrhoids, or gastric ulcers.
The oil extracted from these fruits can be used aromatically with great effect for anxiety or various nervous disorders, spending some time inhaling these soothing vapors can calm the body and mind.
As An Insect Repellant
In certain tropical countries, kaffir limes are often used for their insect repellant properties. The citronellol and limonene found in kaffir limes are very unappealing to most insects, and when used in a a lotion or a salve, it can significantly decrease chances of being bitten by bugs.
For Dermal Care
Kaffir lime juice and extracts are mixed into many cosmetic and bath products for its wonderful smell, as well as its antioxidants properties. Some of the acids found in kaffir limes can help to neutralize free radicals, the dangerous byproducts of cellular respiration that can cause cell mutation or apoptosis, as well as cancer. Antioxidant compounds also slow the breakdown of cells and minimize the appearance of age marks, scars, and pimples. It helps the skin to maintain a healthy, fresh and youthful radiance.
For those with rheumatism, arthritis , edema, gout, or some other inflammatory condition, kaffir limes can be a very effective remedy. One can use the juice, leaves, or oil extracts topically on the area where one is experiencing discomfort or pain, and one can also consume the fruit and the juices to enjoy a similar effect. This anti-inflammatory effect also makes kaffir lime juice beneficial for headaches and migraines.
The antibacterial and antioxidant qualities of kaffir limes make them powerful herbs to boost the immune system. Not only does the topical application prevent infections and bacteria from accumulating on the skin, but when consumed, kaffir limes can help prevent a wide variety of gastrointestinal illnesses and stimulate the immune system via antioxidant effects.
Prevents Balding and Enhances Hair Care
One of the less well-known applications of kaffir lime juice and leaves is in the hair. One can apply decoctions and mixtures to the scalp and hair to slow the onset of male pattern baldness and strengthen the follicles of the hair. This also moisturizes the skin to prevent dandruff and improves the appearance and shine.
Due to the potency of the extracted oil of kaffir limes, it is not recommended for direct consumption, as it can result in nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lightheadedness, and other unpleasant side effects. Always mix the extracted essential oil with water or another diluting agent. Other than that, there are no reported side effects of kaffir lime use. As with any herbal remedy, always consult a medical professional before taking any herbal supplements.