Home | Garden Plants | Herbs_and_Spices | Medical plants | Aromatic Plants | Tropical Coast Shores | Site Map | Links

Citrus hystrix Kaffir lime Rutaceae
The Kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix DC., Rutaceae), also known as kieffer lime, is native to Indonesia but widely grown worldwide as a backyard shrub. A very thorny bush with aromatic leaves. The rough bumpy fruit is inedible but its oil has strong insecticidal properties. Well suited to container growing. The green lime fruits are distinguished by their bumpy exterior and their small size (approx. 4 cm wide), and the hourglass-shaped leaves (actually, the leaf and the leaf-shaped stem or phyllode) are widely used in Cambodian, Thai, and Lao Cuisine.
Kaffir lime leaves are also popular in the Cambodia, but less so in Vietnam. Malay, Burmese and Indonesian (especially, Balinese and Javanese; see also Indonesian bay leaf) cuisines use them sporadically with chicken and fish.
The leaves can be used fresh or dried, and can be stored frozen.
Although the most common product of the kaffir lime tree is its leaves (which impart a sharp lime/neroli flavour to Cambodian base paste known as "Krueng", Thai dishes such as tom yum, and to Indonesian food such as sayur assam - literally sour vegetables), the juice and rinds of the small, dark green gnarled fruit (known as jeruk obat - literally medicine citrus) are used in traditional Indonesian medicine.
As for the zest, it is widely used in creole cuisine and to impart flavor to "arranged" rums in the Réunion island and Madagascar.

Country of Origin: South East Asia
Extraction Method: Steam distilled
It possesses a very distinctive and unique characteristic differed from other Citrus notes in general. Traditionally, Kaffir Lime leaves are utilized for various medical and culinary uses in the South East Asian Countries as in Indonesia, Thailand , Malaysia, , and islands of the West Indian Ocean as Comoro Islands, Madagascar and Reunion. The leaves have been used for centuries to preserve foods and to make them more appetizing. Kaffir Lime has become a very popular unique flavor in Asian countries. Called so as their luscious fragrance and striking flavor cannot be easily substituted by other kinds of citrus leaves. The leaves have also been used as traditional medicine, since they contain active medicinal ingredients.
The dried leaf has antihistamine, antispasmodic, and hypertensive activity. The Malays and Burmese use the fruit as natural shampoo for washing the hair and other parts of the body.
The juice of the fruit is mainly used for seasoning and as flavoring in food or sauces, and to prepare drinks . The juice is also believed as being able to promote gum health and further recommended for use in brushing teeth and gums.
In Thailand, the fresh fruit juice has been used as an expectorant . The fruit is considered stimulant and stomachic .
The whole fruit is used for preparing four internal medicaments. In one of these four prescriptions the disease is pain in the stomach. In Thailand the dried fruit peel has been given to mother after child birth and used as an emmenagogue .