Kaffir Lime is originally from Asia. In Vietnam, this is a typical tree of Bay Nui region, An Giang province. The tree has a very fragrant essential oil, which is widely used in many fields such as cuisine, pharmaceuticals, or cosmetics. Kaffir Lime is of great interest in herbal medicine, especially its essential oils, leaves, fruit, and bark.

1. An Giang Kaffir Lime

Kaffir Lime belongs to the citrus genus. In other countries, it is also known as Thai Lime, Makrut Lime, or Magrood Lime. The tree originated from Asia and is a native species of Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, etc. In Vietnam, this is a typical tree of Bay Nui region, An Giang province. It is now widely grown around the world to make spices, flavorings, and cosmetics.

Kaffir Lime is of great interest in herbal medicine. Essential oils, leaves, fruit, and bark are all used because they contain substances that offer aroma and benefits such as high alkaloid content.

In addition to medicine, Kaffir Lime is used widely in the cuisine of local people. But be careful if you’ve never tried them because of the strong taste. If you eat it, you won’t be able to deny the characteristic fragrance.

Kaffir Lime is a typical tree of An Giang province.

2. Characteristics of Kaffir Lime

Kaffir Lime is a small to medium-sized tree with spikes. The fruit is round, bigger than a lemon with rough thick green skin. Its aroma is very characteristic. The flesh of kaffir Lime is greenish yellow, less watery, and also has a unique taste and sourness to lemon. The leaves contain essential oils, shaped like grapefruit leaves. The aroma is strong and sour. The taste is mixed between lemon leaves, young grapefruit leaves, and fresh carioca leaves. Kaffir Lime is easy to grow and resistant to drought. It is only available for harvest once in the rainy season. The compound that produces the characteristic aroma is (-) – (S) -citronellal, which accounts for 80% of the leaf essential oil; auxiliary components are citronellol (10%), nerol, and limonene.

3. Nine uses of Kaffir Lime

  3.1. Promote Oral Health

This effect is from the leaf essential oil, not from the fruit. Kaffir Lime has an antiseptic property, which can eliminate harmful bacteria in the teeth. You can rub the leaves directly on the gums to prevent bacteria.

  3.2. Blood Detoxification

The essential oil of Kaffir Lime is added to alcohol medicine to help people with blood problems. Many studies show that alcohol medicine may have health benefits.

  3.3. Digestion Problems

The ingredients found in Kaffir Lime are the same as in lemongrass. These components have an anti-inflammatory effect, and at the same time can stimulate the digestive system. In addition, the special taste of the leaves and fruits can strongly stimulate the sense of smell and gastric juice, supporting digestion.

Kaffir Lime’s leaves and fruits can stimulate and support digestion

  3.4. Prevent Insects and Reptiles

Citronellol and limonene in Kaffir Lime are not as attractive to insects such as mosquitoes. So you can apply the juice directly to your body to prevent insects. However, you should try it first to see if you are irritated. In addition, growing a Kaffir in your house can help prevent snakes from entering. It is one of the four effective snakebite treatments.

  3.5. Skin Support and Deodorization

The juice contains antioxidant compounds and acids, which help neutralize free radicals. Rub the leaves on your hands to give your skin a gentle and fresh fragrance. However, check the skin reaction to Kaffir Lime’s leaves on the wrist before using.

  3.6. Boosting the Immune System

Antibacterial and antioxidant agents in Kaffir Lime help boost immunity. Adding fresh bark or leaves to a hot tub also creates a relaxing aroma.

  3.7. Healthy Hair

A little-known fact is that juice and leaves of Kaffir Lime can help strengthen hair follicles and moisturize the scalp. Many Khmer women use Kaffir Lime to wash their hair for smooth hair, improve the shiny appearance of their hair, and not get dandruff.

Kaffir Lime can bring healthy hair.

  3.8. Meat Dehydration, Air Deodorization

The characteristic fragrance of Kaffir Lime helps delaminate high protein dishes such as beef, chicken, eel, or snake. Crush a few leaves and put them in an aromatic bag to spread the fragrance in the air.

  3.9. Treating Animal Diseases

In particular, Kaffir Lime can cure some animals. People use this fruit to rub on the mouths of buffaloes and cows. This helps them eat better, and quickly recover from disease. According to folk experience, we can put crushed leaves at the bottom of the pond to disinfect, helping the fish to be healthy and grow quickly.

4. Kaffir Lime and attractive dishes

The tree has fragrant essential oil, which is widely used in many fields such as cuisine, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. In particular, the most used parts are leaves and fruit (including juice and skin).

  4.1. Kaffir Lime’s leaves

The leaves taste like lemon leaves but are more aromatic and stronger, not bitter, and lose their flavor despite being cooked for a long time. They are used in many Indian, Thai, Lao, Indonesian, Filipino, and Malaysian dishes. Young leaves are eaten raw in salads. The whole leaves are kept when cooking soups and curries, chopped or sliced in Thai grilled chopped fish, Thai hot pots, and marinades of pork, sheep, and chicken.

In Bay Nui’s cuisine, Kaffir Lime’s leaves are sliced thinly then put on steamed or boiled chicken; steamed fish, snail, clam; stir-fried (eel, frog, water snake); braised (fish, meat); salad (chicken, mussel); roasted beef, hot pot, sour soup; stewed chicken, etc.

Kaffir Lime’s leaves taste like lemon leaves but are more intense and harsh.

Other ways to enjoy:

  • Boil water with lemongrass, ginger, and add fresh skin or leaves to the hot tub for a relaxing aroma;
  • Crush a few leaves and put them in a fragrant bag to let the aroma spread in the air;
  • Rub the leaves on your hands to give your skin a gentle and fresh fragrance. However, check the skin reaction to leaves on the wrist first.

Kaffir Lime’s leaves can be used fresh or dried depending on the purpose and recipe. Tip for you: In addition to fresh use, you can freeze leaves to use gradually (put fresh leaves in a plastic ziplock bag, vacuum, and put them in the freezer). You can also preserve the leaves by drying them. With old leaves, it is possible to remove tendons and stalks to prevent bitterness, dry leaves should be pureed before use.

4.2. Fruit

The juice is sour and slightly spicy, contributing to increasing the taste of many dishes with a strong and spreading aroma. The most popular way is to eat fresh, mixed with dipping sauce; mix salad, cook soup, and braised dishes; deodorize seafood and beef; make jam. In addition to steamed chicken; eel, frog stir-fried, and steamed fish, Tri Ton region, An Giang is famous for its specialty of beef porridge. This is a dish of cultural interference between the Khmer and Vietnamese people. Kaffir Lime is often soaked in alcohol as a remedy for abdominal pain, colds, shampooing for dandruff, or bathing.

Sour, slightly sour juice, contributing to increasing the taste of many dishes.

4.3. Fruit Peel

The peel is used to deodorize water, clean, and create aromas for drinking water; as a medicinal treatment for gastrointestinal diseases, antidote, anti-emetic, anti-seizure; extract essential oils for cosmetics. The bark of the tree is sometimes used as a flavor, it has a characteristic taste that is mild and at the same time bitter and spicy./.