Carambola: everything you need to know

The Carambola tree belongs to the Oxalidace family. It is also known as carambole, carambolero, Chinese tamarind, torombolo, cucumber tree or star fruit. It is of medium height and can reach 10 meters in length.

Carambola is a perennial fruit tree, native to Asia. We can also find it in several tropical countries of America.

Carambola Characteristics

It is an ornamental tree with dense foliage and a short, well-branched trunk with beautiful pink flowers. The most characteristic of this tree is its fruit, which receives the same name.

Carambola is a yellow star-shaped berry that grows in clusters and each fruit can reach a size of 12 cm in length. The flavor is acidic with a crunchy texture on the outside and pulpy inside, where we can find brown and flat seeds.

Uses of the Carambola tree

The carambola tree can be used in different ways, although its fruit is mainly used, we can also take great advantage of its wood, roots and leaves.

Wood. It is widely used in the manufacture of furniture and to treat rashes.

Sheets. They are used to make infusions and poultices to combat vomiting, headaches and rashes such as chickenpox and ringworm.

Estate.  A mixture of the roots with sugar can be used to combat some poisons.

Fruit. The carambola juice can be used to clean metals and remove rust. In medicine it is used to reduce fever, remove hangovers, relieve diarrhea and cure eye conditions. It is diuretic and quenches thirst.

seeds . The ground seeds can be used for asthma, relieve colic, increase milk secretion and cause menstruation.

Carambola Properties

Source of vitamins A and C. Carambola is a fruit rich in vitamins A and C, which helps fight cardiovascular and degenerative diseases, thanks to its high content of antioxidants.

It is good for children, pregnant women, the elderly and for all those people with a poor diet. It boosts our immune system and strengthens our vision, bones, as well as helps improve the appearance of our skin and hair.

Diabetes and hypertension. Because it is a fruit rich in potassium and low in sodium, it helps to level glucose in our body and improves blood circulation.

slimming Its high water content and the few calories, fats and carbohydrates that carambola contains, make it an excellent fruit to consume under dietary controls.

Constipation. Carambola is a fruit with a high fiber content, which is why it is considered an excellent laxative, ideal for people who suffer from constipation.

Carambola cultivation

  • The cultivation of the carambola tree should be done in tropical and subtropical climates. High temperatures are recommended as it is sensitive to frost.
  • It develops better in humid environments, the quality of the fruit improves in places where rainfall is frequent throughout the year. It should have a moderate irrigation in times of drought.
  • The most recommended soil for its cultivation are those rich in organic matter and well drained. The types of soils suitable for its growth are usually those with a high content of sand and clay.
  • It propagates by seeds, it requires a previous germination to be transplanted to the final growth site after a year.
  • The tree must be protected from the wind as it can suffer deformations during its growth.
  • For higher production it is recommended to use wood patch grafts. Grafted trees can produce after 10 months after planting. Normally the first harvest is usually after 3 years.
  • The soil should be kept free of weeds and pruned frequently to remove excess branches.
  • Harvesting must be done when the fruit is ripe, before falling to the ground and manually. For distribution, the harvest is usually carried out when the fruit is not yet ripe so that it can withstand transport and storage.
  • The pests and diseases that most affect the carambola tree are the fruit fly, beetles, mites and anthracnose.

Carambola Recipe

Carambola Salad

  • 2 carambola
  • 1 lettuce
  • 1 paprika
  • 100 gr of serrano ham

Wash the carambolas, lettuce and paprika well. Cut the starfruit into thin slices, the paprika into julienne strips, the lettuce and the ham into small pieces. Mix all the ingredients and season with salt, olive oil and vinegar to taste.

Precautions in the consumption of Carambola

  • Due to its high content of potassium and calcium oxalate, its consumption is not recommended for people with kidney problems.
  • If you are following a treatment with any medication, it is recommended to consult your doctor before consuming carambola since there may be an interaction between them.
  • The high consumption of this fruit can cause poisoning due to its large amount of neurotoxins present in the fruit.

People with gastritis problems should avoid consuming carambola as it can worsen their condition.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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