Name of the core ingredient: Belimbing buluh
Botanical name: Averrhoa bilimbi
Other name in English: Cucumber tree
Native to Malaysia, the belimbing buluh has spread widely to the rest of Southeast Asia, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Africa, Australia and South America. It prefers an evenly distributed rainfall for most of the year, with 2-3 months of dry season. It requires full sunshine, and growth is inhibited under shady conditions. The plant thrives on rich, moist, well-drained soil, and can also grow and fruit quite well on sandy soil enriched with organic matter.
The fruit of this plant is eaten raw as ulam, usually dipped in appropriate sauces to lessen the acidic taste. It is also cooked in curries to lend a sour taste.
This fruit is used traditionally to soften the facial skin and to get rid of acne. It produces vitamin C, that is also used as a medicine for canker sores and bleeding gums.
Other uses include:
Digestion Aid: The fruit is used to stimulate appetite, and the sour elements help aid digestion, as well as to help difficult bowel movements.
Skin clarifying Aid: The fruit helps to detoxify the skin, and acts as a naturally cleanser. It is also used to lessen the oil production in the skin, and to eliminate acne and pimples. The fruit may be eaten or used externally on the skin in the form of a poultice or mashed, and applied directly on the itch, swelling of mumps, rheumatism, and pimples.
Heat Reduction: The fruit is also used to reduce fever and body temperature. Firstly, it is mixed with pepper and eaten to induce perspiration. Then, a paste of the pickled fruit is applied over the whole body to help regain normal strength after a long bout of prolonged fever.
Time Needed: 45 minutes
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