Properties of carambola or starfruit


What is carambola?

Carambola or star fruit is the fruit of carambola (Averrhoa carambola), a fruit tree native of Indonesia.

When cut, the fruit has a star-shaped cross section. This feature has made it a popular fruit to decorate cocktails and desserts, being also the reason to be called starfruit.

Carambola brings a certain amount of sugars (4-8 %) and vitamin C (22mg. per 100g.), carotenoids and vitamins from vitamin B complex

This fruit also presents soluble fiber, which is soothing and laxative for intestinal tract. Because of its fiber content, it can also help lower cholesterol.

Acid taste and flavors are due to the high content of organic acids, among which: malic, citric, fumaric, succinic and tartaric are the main ones.


  • Mild laxative: carambola is used as a mild laxative to treat constipation and regulate intestinal transit. This fruit contains fiber that softens and smoothes intestinal tissue, and it is also rich in tartaric and malic acid with mild laxative effects.
  • It stimulates the secretion of saliva and cleans your mouth : carambola fruit is a sialagogue remedy (it stimulates the secretion of saliva). Traditional Chinese medicine takes profit of this property to quench thirst, and also to treat dry mouth and to help treat the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome

These properties are provided by the malic acid, which also appears in apples. Malic acid also has properties as a cleaner of mouth after eating, for its bactericidal properties. Carambola taken as dessert helps to improve oral health. The bactericidal properties can also be applied to cures sores in the mouth.

Sliced carambolaPhoto of a sliced carambola or star fruit
  • Hemostatic: the fruit has medicinal uses as a hemostatic, That’s to say, to stop bleeding and to relieve bleeding hemorrhoids. These properties are due to the high hemostatic oxalic acid content of the fruit, since it is one of the fruits with most oxalates.
  • To improve cardiovascular system: Carambola is high in soluble fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol levels. It contains at least 6 components with antiatherosclerosis properties, among which: organic acids, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals.
  • Antioxidant: Carambola fruit also displays a great antioxidant potential, providing vitamin C and carotenoids with antioxidant properties, but also due to their organic acids which increase the antioxidant power of the other components present in this food (malic, tartaric and citric acid are synergistic antioxidants).
  • Adding carambola to our fruit desserts will increase the antioxidant power of other foods, being highly recommended in anti aging diets.
Because of its high content in oxalates, this fruit is totally contraindicated for people with gout, kidney disease, renal or kidney stones. There have been cases of people with kidney problems who have suffered poisoning from ingesting oxalates from carambola juice.

punto rojoMore information about carambola.

This article was endorsed by Montserrat Enrich - Journalist specializing in edible wild plants and plant uses.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

30 October, 2021

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