They’re tangy, they’re zesty, and they’re so delicious. The citrus fruit kaffir has a combination of sweet and sour flavor that makes it one of the most favored and sought-after tropical fruit across the globe. There are multiple names for kaffir. There are over 20 different official Latin synonyms.
Kaffir is a significant ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisines and various beauty products. A kaffir tree can grow up to 35 feet tall. But did you know that kaffir has an extensive range of benefits? Did you know that kaffir reduces stress?
Surprised? Yes! Kaffir has excellent health benefits to boost your immune system, to detoxify the blood, to lower inflammation, and promote sleep. Read on to find the benefits of kaffir and versatile uses of kaffir.
What is Kaffir: An Overview
Kaffir belongs to citrus plant family and scientifically known as citrus hystrix or Mauritius papeda. This citrus fruit native to southern China and tropical southeast Asia. Kaffir has a rough, warty, green exterior and does not resemble most of the limes that you see. Owing to its name, kaffir has attracted a lot of massive controversies because it’s considered an ethnic slur in South Africa.
The main constituents of kaffir include citronellal, that is present up to 80%, and other minor components include limonene, and nerol Kaffir’s leaves and fruits are used in Asian cuisines, and the essential oil is used in scents.
kaffir Lime Uses
Kaffir lime has a wide range of health benefits and more versatile ways of using it. Ithas a pleasant and sweet flavor which gives it a special place in herbal medicine. The highly aromatic leaves are suitable for Asian cuisines, Cambodian, Indonesian, Thai, and Lao cuisines.
Adding kaffir lime leaves(1) to curries, soups, and stir-fries make the dish delicious and aromatic. Also, kaffir leaves are useful in decreasing the pungent odor caused while steaming snails and in Vietnamese cuisine to add fragrance and flavor to chicken dishes.
In Thai cuisines, kaffir lime is a significant ingredient in soups and sauces. The kaffir oil is an ingredient in cosmetic products including soaps, salves, fragrances, and shampoos. Cambodian religious ceremonies use holy water mixed with slices of the kaffir fruit. It is also used as a cleanser.10 Astonishing Health Benefits of Kaffir that Make it Stand Out
[Read: Health Benefits of Jicama]
Kaffir Lime Benefits
1. Detoxifies Blood
The kaffir oil blends in various useful decoctions for those affected by blood-borne sickness or continual blood-related illness. The unique mix of volatile compounds is known to eliminate the foreign agents or pathogens in the blood, while also helping the lymphatic and liver strain out harmful substances and improve your general well-being.
2. Promotes Oral Health
The most effective use of kaffir is in the protection of health. Eating the leaves, rind and the fruit provides beneficial results for oral health. Kaffir oil from kaffir lime can be mixed with mouthwashes and organic toothpaste to promote more potent gum and oral care. The leaves can be directly rubbed onto your gums to eliminate harmful bacteria which can build up in the mouth and promote good oral health.
3. Immune System
Kaffir is extremely rich in antibacterial and antioxidant properties which makes them highly useful in boosting up the immune system. Also, the tropical fruit stops microorganism and infections from accumulating on the pores of the skin. Kaffir lime juice stimulates the immune system through antioxidants(2) and prevents all kinds of gastrointestinal diseases.
4. Lowers Inflammation
Kaffir limes can be a very effective remedy for those who have arthritis, rheumatism, edema, and other inflammatory conditions. The juice, oil, and leaves extract topically useful on the area where you are experiencing pain and discomfort. You can also consume the fruit and the juices to enjoy a pain relief effect. Kaffir anti-inflammatory effect is tremendously beneficial for migraines and headaches.
5. Insect Repellant
Kaffir limes are generally useful for their insect repellant properties. The limonene and citronellol found in kaffir limes are very unattractive to most insects. You can put a salve or lotion containing kaffir oil/juice on your skin, and significantly decrease the chances of being bitten by insects or bugs.
6. Natural Anti-Parasitic Properties
The presence of intestinal worms in the human body can cause nutritional deficiencies, in addition to other health issues. Parasitic infections are common in poorer countries with less proper sanitation and access to health care.
But extracts of kaffir lime are found to possess anti-parasitic action that specifically kills larvae and intestinal worms. Consume kaffir lime essential oil if you notice any infection in your body to avoid a full-blown parasitic infection.
[Read: Benefits of Kale Juice]
7. Skin Care
Kaffir extracts and lime juice are vital ingredients in beauty products and bathtub merchandise for its fabulous odor, in addition to its antioxidants properties. Antioxidant compounds present in kaffir additionally decrease signs of pimples, scars, and age marks. Kaffir limes contain several acids that help to neutralize free radicals, the harmful byproducts of mobile respiration that may trigger cell mutation or apoptosis.
[Also Read: Get Rid of Dry Skin with Natural Remedies]
8. Reduce Stress
Many of you never knew that kaffir lime is effectively used in aromatherapy. The kaffir oil is aromatically useful with wondrous effect for a stressed person. If you suffer from depression and anxiety, spending a few minutes inhaling kaffir oil aromatherapy calms the mind and body.
Kaffir’s well-known applications include hair care. Kaffir lime juice moisturizes the skin to prevent dandruff and improves the shine and appearance of your hair. Also, kaffir remedies of hair care add volume, presumably by imbuing an electrical charge on hair strands that cause them to repel from each other. Applying mixtures and decoctions to the hair and scalp slow the onset of male pattern baldness and strengthen the follicles of the hair.
10. Promotes Sleep
Kaffir effectively helps to relieve anxiety and stress and inevitably enhances the quality of sleep you get at night. Similarly to chamomile, it has some sedative properties that make it easier for you to get to sleep. Kaffir calms the mind and the body and provides good deep sleep on inhalation.
DIY Kaffir Lime Recipes
Kaffir Lime Leaves Tea:
Kaffir lime tea comes in an Asian background. The kaffir lime leaf tea is made from freshly picked leaves from the kaffir lime tree. The highly aromatic leaves are suitable for Asian, Thai, and Indonesian cuisines. The kaffir lime leaf tea is best if taken mid-afternoon or mornings.
- kaffir fresh leaves
- 3 ½ teaspoons of brown sugar
- 1 1/4 cup of water
How to Prepare?
- Boil the water in a simmer
- Cut the leaves into three pieces to let out the natural oils.
- Place the leaves in water for about 2 minutes
- Add sugar and stir well.
- Consume kaffir lime leaf tea by placing a fresh leaf in your cup for extra flavor.
[Read: Benefits of Lime Essential Oil]
Here are some tips and suggestions for the use of kaffir.
- Always make sure that you mix the essential oil with water or carrier oils like coconut oil, olive oil or another diluting agent.
- Kaffir lime oil is not recommended for direct consumption due to its potency. Consuming directly can cause lightheadedness, dizziness, vomiting, and nausea or other unpleasant side effects.
- As with any herbal remedy consult your doctor before making a significant change in your supplement schedule.
Even though kaffir limes are unlikely to replace the standard lime in the predicted future, you still benefit from making a part of your pantry. The Benefits of kaffir are discussed above and on using give remarkable results. The leaves and juices of kaffir are tremendously useful, and the oil extract needs important consideration.
Always keep in mind the tips and suggestions before you use kaffir lime essential oil. Consult your medical professional for the usage of kaffir lime oil with herbal remedies for your diet schedule.