The fruit is very crunchy when unripe and it turns from bright-green to yellowish-green, when it is ripe. Once it got ripe it falls on the ground. The outer skin is shiny, very thin and gentle, and the flesh will be greenish-white in color which will be very juicy and extremely sour. It has a few flattened seeds which is brown in color.
The fruit juice has a high concentration of oxalic acid which is useful for cleaning and bleaching.
The fruit is generally regarded as too acid for eating raw so are used extensively in soups, sauces, curries etc.
There is a sweet variety of bilimbi in the Philippines where the sour bilimbis are called kamias, while the sweet variety is called balimbing.
The leaves of bilimbi are used as a treatment for venereal disease.
The leaf decoction is taken as a medicine to relieve from rectal inflammation.
The fruit seems to be effective against coughs and thrush.
Syrup made from Bilimbi is a cure for fever and inflammation.
It is also used to stop rectal bleeding and alleviate internal hemorrhoids.
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