Kabuyau is a small, slender, erect
tree. Leaves are smooth, oblong, 10 to 15 centimeters long, 3 to 5 centimeters wide. Flowers
are cream-colored, borne in fascicles upon short, green axillary spikes. Fruit
is variable in size, globose, up to 10 centimeters in diameter; slightly raised at the apex, and many seeded. Flesh is white
and astringently sour. Rind is thick, lemon yellow.
- Common in
primary and secondary forests, sometimes in or near settlements, at low and medium altitudes, throughout the Philippines.
- Native to the Archipelago.
-Rind: volatile oil,
4%; citral, 40%.
- Leaves: volatile oil, 0.08%.
- From the essential oil: Limonene (most abundant), B-pinene, terpinen-4-ol
- Three coumarins have been reported: bergamottin, oxypeucedanin and 5-[(6',7'-dihydroxy-3',7'-dimethyl-2-octenyl)oxy]
- Study for volatiles from C. hystrix peels essential oil
yielded 13.4%. Major compounds were sabinene, ß-pinene, limonene, α -pinene, camphene, myrcene, terinen-4-ol, α -terpinol, linalool, terpinolene and citronellal.
- Study of for major and minor components of kafir lime oil by fractional distillation process of mix-twigs and leaves yielded 20 compounds. The five main components
were ß-citronellal (46.40%), L-linalool (13.11%), ß-citronellol (11.03%), citronelyl acetate (6.76%) and sabinen (5.91%). (32)
- GC-MS study of C. hystrix leaves for essential oil yielded 29 compounds. Major constituents were beta-citronellal (66.85%), beta citronellol (6.59%), linalool (3.90%) and citronellol (1.76%). (see study below) (34)
- Leaves yield an oil resembling the odor of oil distilled from the leaves of C. grandis.
- Fruit is considered stimulant and stomachic.
- Studies have shown insect repellent, mosquito larvicidal, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antitumor, anxiolytic, anti-cockroach, antifertiliy, cardioprotective, skin whitening properties.
Leaves, rind, fruits.
Edibility / Culinary
- Fruit flesh is astringently sour; juice used for seasoning and makes a good drink.
- Rind is squeezed to extract oil
- Rind is often mixed with gogo to impart a sweet smell.
- Leaves used to season food.
- Leaves used in preparation of Thai and Malay dishes.
- Aromatic baths: Squeeze
fruit and juice to gogo (for shampoo) or water (bath).
- Nausea and fainting: Inhale oil from rind.
- Malays use the peel as a tonic ingredient.
- Fresh peels and dried fruits used to relieve nausea, flatulence, and control menstruation.
- Rind used in treatment headache and worms
- In Malaysia, used for stomachaches and
- Fruit juice is expectorant and antidandruff.
- With ginger and other aromatics, used to treat postpartum septicemia.
- In Meghalaya, India, the Garo and Khasi tribes use the whole fruit or juice orally as antidote for food poisoning. Fresh or stored juice use for relief of fever and stomach disorders. Juice in water, mixed with salt and sugar taken for various abdominal complaints i.e., flatulence, constipation, etc. Juice topically applied to whole body or forehead to reduce fever. Also, used as antiseptic on cuts and wounds. (37)
- Scent: Volatile oil used in perfumery, toiletries, handwash and shampoo.
- Insecticide: Juice of fruit used as insecticide.
• Insect Repellent: (1) Essential oil effective in repelling mosquitoes,
but less than tumeric or citronella grass. (2) Except at 10% and 25% of Kaffir lime oil, the studied oils at all concentrations were able to protect mosquito bites more than 2 hrs. with dose dependence .
isolated three known coumarins from CH as inhibitors of both lipopolysaccharide
and interferon-y-induced nitric oxide generation in in Mouse Macrophage
RAW 264.7 Cells. (2)
• Anti-Tumor / Glyceroglycolipids: Glyceroglycolipids
from Citrus hystrix, a Traditional Herb in Thailand, Potently Inhibit
the Tumor-Promoting Activity of 12-O-Tetradecanoylphorbol 13-Acetate
in Mouse Skin: Study isolated two glyceroglycolipids from the leaves
of Citrus hystrix. Both showed to be potent inhibitors of tumor promoter-induced
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) activation. The anti-tumor promotion may involved
the inhibition of arachidonic acid cascade. (3)
• Anti-Microbial / Thai Herbs:
Study of fresh and oil extracts fifteen medicinal herbs were tested
for potential use as natural antimicrobial additives in foods. Tested
against B cereus, S typhi and S aureus, six , including Citrus hystrix,
showed high activities on first screening. C. hystrix, together with
A. ascalonicum and C aurantifolium were selected as potential antimicrobial
food additives (4).
Antimicrobial / Peel: Study showed the ethyl acetate extract of kaffir
lime (C hystrix) peel showed broad spectrum inhibition against all Gram-positive
bacteria, yeast and molds including S aureus, B cereus, Listeria monocytogenes,
Saccharomyces cerevisae and A fumigatus.
Flavonoid / Antioxidant / Effect of Processing: Study compared
fresh use with effects of boiling and deep-fat frying on the leaf of
Citrus hystrix's phenolic, flavonoid contents and antioxidant capacities.
Results showed boiling decreased total antioxidant capacity and that
the method of processing can significantly affect the flavonoid content
and their total antioxidant capacities. (5)
Antioxidant In a study of four Citrus species, C. hyxtrix exhibited the highest antioxidant activity by DPPH and FRAP methods, and the highest flavanoid and phenolic content. (18)
Antioxidant / Free Radical Scavenging Activity:
Study on 10 methanolic extracts from various medicinal plants commonly
used in Thai traditional medicine, the extract from leaves and peels
of Kaffir lime exerted the strongest effect on production of the hydroxyl
radical (OH). (7)
Stimulating Effect of Oil / Aromatherapy: Study of kaffir lime essential oil from fresh peels of Citrus hystrix showed a significant increase in blood pressure and decrease in skin temperature. Findings likely represent stimulating / activating effects of the kaffir lime oil, providing some evidence for use in aromatherapy. (8)
Anti-Fertility: Study of extracts of C hystrix fruit peel showed effective inhibition of implantation, producing abortion and slight hastening of labor time. The extract stimulated uterine contractions in an in situ study. (9)
Anxiolytic Effect: Study provided evidence that smelling oils of C hystrix and C microcarpa have anxiolytic property, with the C hystrix having a stronger effect. (9)
Insecticidal / Essential Oil: Study of essential oil yielded 29 compounds. Beta-citronellal, 66.85%, was the major compound, followed by beta-citronellol, linalool and citronellol. Topical application of the essential oil showed antifeedant properties with severe growth inhibition of S. litura. (13)
Antioxidative / Myricetin:Study showed C. hystrix leaf may exert antioxidative stress properties by scavenging hydroxyl radicals and inhibiting lipid peroxidation that causes oxidative damage to the liver cancer cell line HepG2. A possible component inhibiting lipid peroxidation is myricetin, a predominant flavonol of C. hystrix leaves.
Antibacterial / Essential Oil:Study showed emulsions with at least 2% of the essential oil of Kaffir lime showed inhibition of growth of E. coli, B. subtilis, and S. aureus at at efficacy similar to Ampicillin. (15)
Anxiolytic: Study provided some evidence that the smelling of essential oils of C. hystrix and C. microcarpa confer anxiolytic effect. (10)
Cockroach Control: According to a 2007 study by the Thailand National Institute of Health evaluating natural remedies for cockroach control, C. hystrix was the most effective essential oil used in controlling the pest, repelling 100 % of certain types of cockroaches. (17)
Cytotoxicity / Leukemic Cell Lines: Various crude extracts from leaves were evaluated for potential in vitro cytotoxic activity. An ethyl acetate fraction showed the highest cytotoxicity on 4 leukemic cell lines. (19)
Antibacterial / Essential Oils/ Respiratory Tract Pathogens: Study evaluated the inhibitory effect of essential oils of leaf and fruit peel against respiratory tract pathogens. Both oils were effective against all test pathogens. Results suggest makrut leaf oil, makrut oil, and components (citronellal, α-terpineol, terpinene-4-ol) may be alternative natural medicines for prevention and treatment of many bacterial diseases. (20)
Cockroach Repellent / Essential Oils: Seven commercial essential oils were evaluated for repellent activity against three cockroach species. The essential oil derived from Citrus hystrix showed the best repellency (100%) against P. americana and B. germanica and highest repellency (87.5%) against N. rhombifolia. (21)
Cardioprotective / Peels Extract: Study observed the combination effect of doxorubicin and kaffir lime peel ethanolic extract (ChEE) on ALT and AST activity and cardio-hepato-histopathology on female Sprague Dawley rats. Results showed ChEE repaired cardiohistopathology profile of doxorubicin induced cardiotoxicity, but did not repair hepatohistopathology nor reduce ALT and AST enzymes activity. (22) Kaffir lime peel contains several flavonoids viz., rutin, naringenin, hesperidin that has show potency as cardioprotector in chemotherapy. Study showed peel extract in a microemulsifying drug delivery system (SMEDDS) repaired cardio-hepato-histopathology profile in doxorubicin-induced rats. Results suggest a potential as cardio-hepato-protector in chemotherapy. (43)
Antibacterial / Fruit: Study evaluated the antibacterial activities of methanol extracts of Citrus hystrix and C. maxima fruit. Results showed antibacterial activity against all test organisms (S. aureus, S. typhi, E. coli) except for P. aeruginosa and K. pneumonia. (24)
Anti-Cancer / Leaves / Cervical Cancer and Neuroblastoma Cell Lines: Study evaluated the cytotoxic effect of kaffir lime leaf extract on cervical cancer and neuroblastoma cell lines. Results showed reduced viability of the cell lines and potential as anti-cancer compounds. (25)
Larvicidal / Aedes aegypti / Leaves / Fruit and Peels: Study evaluated ethanol extract of C. hystrix leaves for larvicidal effect against Aedes aegypti. Results showed concentration dependent larvicidal effect, with a 2.4% leaf extract causing 99.5% mortality of Aedes larvae in 24 hours. (26)
Skin Whitening and Cosmetic Applications / Essential Oil: Study sought to develop topical whitening formulations from essential oil of C. hystrix. The percentage of tyrosinase inhibition of fruit peel oil and leaf oil (0.25% w/v) was 54 and 55, respectively. Both topical cream and gel formulations had no irritation to either rabbits or human volunteers. The study showed strong potential for health products containing essential oil of C. hystrix in cosmetic applications. (27)
Antifungal Against Rice Pathogenic Fungi / Essential Oil: Essential oils from Bergamot oil (Citrus hystrix) and Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) provided anti-mycelial growth, and disrupted spore germination activity on economically important rice pathogenic fungi. (28)
Antibacterial in Periodontal Disease / Synergistic Action / Essential Oil: Study evaluated essential oil from leaves and peel for antibiofilm formation and mode of action against bacteria causing periodontal disease. The leaf oil exhibited antibacterial activity at MICs of 1.06 mg/mL for P. gingivalis and S. mutans and 2.12 mg/mL for S. sanguinis. Leaf oil also showed antibiofilm formation activity with 99% inhibition. There was synergism of the oil with chlorhexidine. There was disruption of bacterial outer membrane. Citronellal was identified as a major active compound of C. hystrix oil. Results suggest the leaf oil can be a natural active compound or used in combination with chlorhexidine in mouthwash preparations. (29)
• Automated Steam Distillation for Extraction of Essential Oil: Study reports on automated steam distillation for commercial extraction of essential oil.
Oil extraction took less than 3 hours with oil yield of 13.4% more than uncontrolled temperature. With uncontrolled temperature, oil analysis yielded some important volatile compounds were absent viz., terpinolone, linalool, terpinen-4-ol due to thermal degradation effect from fast heating of extracted material. (see constituents above) (30)
/ Pathogenic Otomycosis / Leaves: Study evaluated the antifungal effect of kaffir lime leaf extracts against fungi Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans. Both aqueous and alcohol extracts showed zones of inhibition against A. niger and C. albicans. The antifungal efficacy towards pathogenic otomycosis was solvent dependent. Both extracts exhibited greater inhibition of C. albicans. (31)
• Fumigant / Repellent / Leaves: Although quite effective, synthetic pesticides have a negative effect on the environment. Study evaluated the repellent and fumigant activity of leaf extract of C. hystrix against all L. serricorne life stage. GC-MS analysis of leaf crude extracts and n-hexane solvent showed a high percentage of citronellal compound (86.43%). The leaf extract showed strong fumigant activity against pupae and eggs. Leaves also exhibited strong repellent activity against cigarette beetle Lasioderma serricone. (33)
• Insecticidal / Essential Oil of Leaves: Study evaluated the insecticidal activity of essential oil of kaffir lime leaves against tobacco army worm, Spodoptera litura. Results showed effectively killing of larvae with an LD50 of 26.748 µL/g. The oil also exhibited antifeedant properties resulting in severe growth inhibition of S. litura. (see constituents above) (34)
• Excito-Repellency Against Ae. aegypti and An. minimus / Leaf and Peel Essential Oils: Various concentrations of essential oil of kaffir lime were evaluated for repellency, excitation, and knockdown properties against laboratory strains of Aedes aegypti and Anopheles minimus using an excito-repellency system. The leaf oil showed strong combined irritant and repellent activity and strongest spatial repellent activity. Peel oil showed good excitation with repellency. Kaffir lime oils were more active against An. minimus than Ae. aegypti mosquitoes. Leaf oil exhibited statistically more activity than peel oil at each concentration against An. minimus. (35)
• Effect on Breast Cancer Cell Line (T47D) Protein Profile / Leaf: Previous study showed kaffir lime leaf has cytotoxic effect on cervical cancer and neuroblastoma. This study evaluated the protein profile of T47D and vero cell after treatment with kaffir lime leaf. Results suggest the kaffir lime leaf extract affected the protein profile in T47D and vero cell, possibly changing the cellular susceptibility to apoptosis. Results suggests further studies of KL leaf extracts as chemopreventive agent with less side effects. (36)
/ Peel: Pomacea canaliculata (golden apple snail) is an invasive pest that affects rice cultivation. Study evaluated the molluscicidal activity of extracts of peels and pulps of Citrus hystrix against Pomacea canaliculata under controlled laboratory conditions. A methanol peel extract showed toxicity to the snail with LC50 of 71.66 mg/mL. The pulp extract produced no mortality. The molluscicidal mechanisms were unclear. (38)
• Amelioration of Acetylcholine Deficits: Cholinergic neurotransmission is an affliction found in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases for which treatment relies on elevating neurotransmission through Ache activity or positive modulation of Ach receptors. This study investigates the potential and underlying mechanism of Kaffir lime oil and its active constituents in the augmentation of cholinergic response in Caenorhabditis elegans. Results established the potential of Kaffir lime oil and identified its components for ameliorative potential related to cholinergic dysfunction in patients suffering from neurodegenerative disorders. (41)
/ Leaves: Antimutagenicity is recognized as an important food function. Antimutagenic food components can reduce risk of carcinogenesis. Study of methanolic extract of kaffir lime leaves showed strong antimutagenicity against heterocyclic amins (food-originating mutagens). Major antimutagenic compounds in kaffir lime leaves are furanocoumarin derivatives epoxybergamottin and oxypeucedanin. (42)
• Phytophotodermatitis: Occasional reports of photodermatitis from
rubbing the juice onto the skin for insect bites and as insect repellent. Another report of dermatitis associated with rubbing the juice of the medicinal lime onto the scalp to dye the hair. (eMediine) (40)
Kaffir Lime Oil, Kaffir lime blends, essences, shampoos in the cybermarket