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The healing power of carambola

  1. The carambola or star fruit is native to Southeast Asia and the Pacific or Pacific Islands. It grows under hot, tropical conditions on an evergreen tree that grows to a height of five to twelve meters. In exceptional cases, the tree can reach a height of 25 meters. It looks different compared to other fruits; it has five sharp corners. If you cut it, you can clearly see a pentagram in the shape of the cross section. A carambola weighs 70 to 130 grams each, is up to 15 centimeters long and 9 centimeters wide. You can simply eat the peel of the fruit. It is a fruit with a delicious, smooth taste. The carambola can quench thirst well on a tropical hot day.


  1. General information Naming carambola Nutritional value of carambola Tips for eating carambola Beware of kidney problems Carambola in Ayurveda Carambola in the unani

General information

  1. The carambola is grown in Thailand, Israel, the US state of Florida, Brazil, The Philippines, China, Australia, Indonesia and the warmer parts of India. The fruit is grown for its culinary qualities as well as medicinal use. It is related to the Averrhoa bilimbi, which is called cucumber tree in Dutch because of its elongated fruits. Incidentally, this has led to a confusion of languages ​​in Indonesia and Suriname; here the carambola is called blimbing or birambi.

Naming carambola

  1. The Latin name for carambola is Averrhoa carambola. People from the former Dutch East Indies, present-day Indonesia, know the fruit under the name belimbing manis. In Suriname, the star fruit is also called birambi, which is confusingly similar to brambi, a completely different small and sour fruit. The origin of the name star fruit is clear when you see the shape; like a pentagram star. The name carambola is not that clear. It would go back to a Sanskrit word karambal, but that means 'red ball' and that has nothing to do with the green star shape of carambola. The Latin name Averhoa comes from Averrhoes, an Arab philosopher from the 12th century who is honored with this naming. In Dutch it is also called star fruit, star fruit and star fruit against the carambola.

Nutritional value of carambola

  1. Vitamin C is mostly found in carambola. 100 grams contain no less than 57% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C. Other vitamins and minerals are contained with RDA percentages of 3% or lower. That does not mean that carambola is less healthy than other fruits. The fact that the other important nutrients are in it, even if in low percentages, adds to the overall health benefit that carambola provides. There are many polyphenols in carambola such as quercetin, epocatechin and gallic acid. These polyphenols significantly increase the antioxidant effect of the carambola.

Tips for eating carambola

  1. A star fruit is too beautiful to be mixed into a fruit pulp in a smoothie. Of course this does happen, especially in places where the carambola is available in abundance. Instead of lemon, in some tropical regions, a slice of star fruit is placed on the rim of a cocktail glass for decoration. It is an expensive fruit in Belgium and the Netherlands. It is used in salads or simply used for its beautiful star shape and placed decoratively on a plate. The fruit itself can very well be eaten like this. Jams and sauces are made from it; it is also a special fruit to use with tempeh, fish or chicken dishes.

Beware of kidney problems

  1. Carambola and carambola juice are not suitable for people with kidney problems as they contain a lot of oxalic acid. There have been sporadic, fatal cases of kidney patients eating carambola. In healthy people, this acid is filtered out by the kidneys.

Carambola in Ayurveda

  1. The carambola is used for a wide variety of medicinal properties. According to Indian Ayurveda, the fruit has an astringent effect on the intestines, increases bile production, acts as a strengthening tonic and has a cooling effect on the body. It is an excellent thirst quencher. It also prevents fevers. It is also given for bleeding hemorrhoids. Carambola is also used in traditional Chinese medicine to combat fever. The pulp can be smeared on a wound to speed up the wound. Cut carambola / Source: Hedwig Storch, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Carambola in the unani

  1. In the Middle East, healing is done according to the Unani system, based on the knowledge of Hippocrates from ancient Greece and the physician Galen, who belonged to the ancient Romans. In the Unani it is known that carambola stops diarrhea and prevents vomiting. It also prevents scabies and intestinal worms. An infusion or tea from the leaves is also good for scabies.

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