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Limau purut

Limau Purut  
Scientific Name Citrus hystrix DC.  Order
Family Rutaceae
Synonyms Citrus auraria Michel, Citrus echinata Saint- Lager, Citrus Hyalopulpa Tanaka, Citrus Kerrii (Swingle) Tanaka, Citrus Macroptera Montrouzier var. kerrii Swingle, Citrus papeda Miquel, Fortunella sagittifolia F.M. Feng & P. I Mao, Papeda rumphii Hasskarl.
Common Name Kaffir lime (English), Limau purut (Malaysia), Jeruk purut (Indonesia), Kabuyau (Philipines), Ma kruut (Thailand).
Plant material of Interest The fruit and leaves are popular spice ingredient in Asian cooking. The leaves has a strong, aromatic, unique and spicy flavour. It is widely been used in different cuisines such as Tom yum (Thailand), Krueng (Lao and Cambodian), sayur assam or salty and sour vegetable, spicy curry dishes, and also in Sate (Java and Bali), and also Rendang (Malaysia). The juice of the fruit is often used for souring dishes, added to fish or meat to make them more tender, and also to fragrant or give flavour to grilled fish and beef. The juice is also used to make a refreshing drinks (Lim, T.K. 2012).
Limau Purut  

 

Native to South East Asia Countries but widely grown worldwide as a backyard shrub. The Citrus hystrix were bumpy, green, maturing to yellow skinned citrus fruit with a highly acidic flavour. A very thorny bush with aromatic leaves. The rough bumpy fruit is inedible but its oil has strong insecticidal properties. 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) (Wikipedia).


It can grow up to 12m tall. It has a crooked trunk and short stiff spines. The leaves measure 3-15cm x 2-6cm and are broadly egg-shaped to ovate-oblong. The flowers are small, fragrant and white. The fruit is an ovoid to ellipsoidal berry. It is 5-7cm in diameter, green to yellow and irregularly very bumpy with 10-12 segments (Globinmed).


The origin is not known, but it is widely naturalised in Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Burma (Globinmed).


Citrus hystrix is used as a traditional medicine for stomachache caused by dyspepsia (Gimlette and Thomson, 1983). The fruit juice is an expectorant and also used to heal swollen gums. The rind can relieve gastralgia and acts as a carminative. It is used to expel worms from children and to relieve headaches. It is also a necessary ingredient in most Malay tonic medicines. Together with ginger and other aromatics, it is used as a bolus to treat postpartum septicaemia. The juice can also be used as syampoo. The acidic content of the juice will tighten the hair cuticles, give smoother hair and is aromatic to the scalp. It is also been used to treat flu (Che Aniha Che Isahak)


Anti cancer activity: Kaffir lime oil has been associated with anti-proliferative activity on KB and P388 cell lines and has the potential for cancer treatment Repellency Activity Insecticidal properties of C. hystrix leaves essential oil was investigated against tobacco army worm, Spodoptera litura using topical application bioassay on uniform weighted second instar larvae in the laboratory. Essential oil was effectively in killing the larvae and showed that the LD50 is 26.748 μL/g. Insect development and growth index observations showed that the essential oil had antifeedant properties resulting in severe growth inhibition of S. litura. (Loh 2011).

Cardioprotector Citrus hystrix peel ethanol extract has potency to developed as cardioprotector agent in chemotheraphy (Putri H.et al 2013)


  1. Lim, T.K. (2012). Citrus hystrix in Edible Medicinal and Non-Medicinal Plants, pp 634-643.http://www.globinmed.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=62855:citrus-hystrix-dc&catid=367:c
  2. Che Aniha Che Isahak (2008). 99 Herba. pg 58, Alaf 21, Shah Alam.
  3. Loh, S. F., R.M. Awang, D. Omar & M. Rahman  (2011) Insecticidal propterties of Citrus hystrix DC leaves essential oil against Spodoptera litura fabricius. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol 5 (16) Pp 3739-3744. Herwandhani P., S. Nagadi, Y. A. Larasati, N. Wulandari & A. Hermawan (2013). Cardioprotective and hepatoprotective effects of Citrus hystrix peels extract on rats mode. Asian Pac j. Trop Biomed, 3(5); 371-375. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3642446/