Citrus aurantiifolia (Christm.) Swingle

DeFilipps, Robert A. & Krupnick, Gary A., 2018, The medicinal plants of Myanmar, PhytoKeys 102, pp. 1-341: 151-152

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Citrus aurantiifolia (Christm.) Swingle


Citrus aurantiifolia (Christm.) Swingle 


Myanmar: thanbayar, lawihkri-shalwai (Kachin), sot-parite-sanut (Mon), maksun-ting (Shan). English: key lime, lime, Mexican lime.


India and Southeast Asia. Found throughout Myanmar as a cultivar.


Bark: Boiled in water to half the starting volume, and taken once in the morning and once in the evening to reduce fever. Fruit: The sour fruit is used to stimulate the appetite and aid digestion, as well as to control vomiting, coughing, sore throat, asthma, and bloating. Fresh lime juice is consumed to alleviate vomiting and fatigue; it is also squeezed into the nostrils to stop bloody noses and taken to protect against diseases, especially those that affect the stomach. Lime juice taken with added sugar is used as a remedy for coughing due to too much fat, weak bile, and aches and pains in the joints. Lime juice with a small amount of sugar is taken twice daily, in the mornings and evenings, to cure bleeding gums. A paste made from crushing together the fruit, charred from roasting over hot coals with one clove, is applied to the base of the teeth for toothaches. Consumption of great volumes of the juice mixed with small amounts of sugar is considered a cure for opium overdoses, alcohol toxicity, and food poisoning. Lime juice mixed with ash from baked cowry shells ( Cypraea tigris  ) is taken as a remedy for difficulty and pain in passing urine. Hot lime juice mixed with honey is taken twice daily to alleviate sore throats. Drinking lime juice every day is considered a cure for dizziness that occurs upon sitting or standing. As a very strong tea, lime juice is taken as a remedy for headaches. The fruit’s green skin is ingested to relieve chest and stomach pains. The fruit can be sliced in half and applied to the skin as a cure for ringworm, discoloration, hair loss, itching, and rashes. Lime pickle (after slightly dried, fruit preserved in oil and spices such as cumin, coridander, and mustard seed) ingested regularly after meals is considered a cure for inflammation of the spleen. Seed: Crushed and rubbed onto the temples to treat headaches affecting only one side of the head.


The oil in the peel of limes, i.e., oil of bergamot, contains psoralen, a chemical which can cause phototoxic reactions such as blistering and burning of human skin when exposed to sunlight after eating limes, affecting areas around a person’s chin, cheeks, and chest. Oil of bergamot is used in Egypt as a folk remedy for vitiligo, a skin disease causing loss of skin pigment, and it is currently being investigated for its ability to remedy severe psoriasis ( Martin 1993). The medicinal uses of this plant in the Caribbean region, as well as its chemistry, biological activity, toxicity and dosages, are discussed by Germosén-Robineau (1997). Data on the propagation, seed treatment and agricultural management of this species are given by Katende et al. (1995) and Bekele-Tesemma (1993).


Agricultural Corporation (1980).