Citrus Simplified — Kaffir Limes

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6 Incredible Health Benefits of Kaffir Lime Leaves

Health Benefits of Kaffir Lime Leaves

Did you know that Kaffir lime leaves are super healthy for you? Read on to learn the 6 top health benefits of Kaffir leaves.

Have you heard about the Kaffir lime?

If you've been to a Thai restaurant, then you've ingested the leaves without realizing it. You're probably wondering, is that good or bad?

Don't worry, Thai dishes are some of the healthiest food you can eat. Scientists are even researching the health benefits of the components of the popular Thai dish, tom yum soup.

Kaffir leaves are extensively used in Thai cuisine. The herbs are well-known in the Southeast Asian region for their amazing health benefits.

Let's take a look at some of the ways Kaffir lime leaves from a Kaffir tree can improve your health.

1. Stress, Stress Go Away

The reason why the leaves are used in cooking is due to their intense citrus aroma. Half of the taste is in the smell and this is why Thai foods are so delicious!

The fragrance comes from the essential oils in Kaffir lime. Kaffir lime oil is used in aromatherapy to reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue from sickness.

Inhaling the oil will do wonders for your body and mind. In fact, just keeping a kaffir lime houseplant is often enough to keep your energy up for the whole day.

2. Bad Breath No More

Before the invention of toothpaste, people in Southeast Asia have been chewing on Kaffir lime leaves for oral hygiene.

And they were right! Scientists in Thailand have developed an herbal film containing a mixture of Kaffir and guava to study their effects on bad breath. The mixture was shown to be effective in suppressing the garlic odor.

The anti-halitosis effect comes from both the pleasant fragrance of the aromatic oils and the natural antibacterial properties of the leaves.

Who needs breath mints?

3. No Bacteria Allowed

The leaves of the Kaffir lime contain substances that have antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus which is a common skin pathogen.

Kaffir lime extracts prevent the growth of bacteria on wounds to facilitate healing. This makes them effective topical antiseptics.

Their antibacterial property and pleasant smell are also reasons why Kaffir oils are in deodorants.

4. Get Healthy, Glowing Skin

Essential oils from Kaffir lime leaves can also kill Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria we see in acne. Together with the anti-inflammatory effects, these oils may help reduce the formation of acne and subsequent development of scars and blemishes.

The terpenes in Kaffir lime oil, such as citronellal and limonene, have antioxidant qualities. Antioxidants are all the rage in skin care products today. They help you reverse the effects of aging on your skin and maintain a healthy glow.

5. Protect Your Mane

Kaffir lime and other citrus extracts can be found in shampoo and other hair products. The oil is very effective in untangling hair strands and in washing away dirt and grease.

Bad hair days are now behind you!

It seems that we're not running out of the protective properties of Kaffir lime. Because in addition to their antibacterial virtues, they're also anti-dandruff and anti-lice.

6. Buzz Off!

When you're traveling abroad, you would be very irresponsible if you don't bring an insect repellant with you. Some insects -- mosquitoes, in particular -- carry diseases such as malaria and dengue.

Lemongrass and Kaffir lime both produce citronella oil which is a natural insect repellant. Instead of using commercial insect sprays which may contain harmful chemicals, go with the solution that is all-natural.

Healthy Living with Kaffir Leaves

The benefits of Kaffir leaves keep growing every day, as more and more properties are being discovered. While they're known for the lemony aroma in Asian food and wonderful Kaffir lime leaves recipes, don't discount the health benefits that they bring.

The Kaffir lime is just one of many fruits from the citrus family that do wonders for our health and well-being. Learn more about the other citrus fruits by checking out the rest of our citrus blog.

Top 5 Tips for Growing a Kaffir Lime Tree Indoors

Top 5 Tips for Growing a Kaffir Lime Tree Indoors

Are you thinking about growing a kaffir lime tree indoors? If so, read on to learn the top 5 tips for optimal indoor growing.

Kaffir lime leaves are the epitome of many Asian cuisines!

While this dwarf citrus tree can grow outdoors up to 5 feet tall, it's actually best suited for indoors. When confined to a container with adequate drainage, the tree can reach a maximum height of about 3 feet.

Apart from providing a constant supply of Kaffir lime leaves for your dishes, the tree will also complement your interior design.

Use these five effective tips to grow your Kaffir tree indoors.

1. Use a Large Potka

Choose a pot that is at least 18 inches wide and that can hold at least 5 gallons of soil. The tree will need to be re-potted after every three years. You can upgrade the container at this point if need be.

There are several container options for growing kaffir limes in a container. You can use a wooden planter, a plastic barrel, a decorative pot, or just about any container with good drainage holes. Fabric pots are another great option. While they don't have holes, their fabric mesh allows proper soil aeration and drainage.

2. Choose the Right Potting Soil

For all citrus trees, it's recommended to go for moist, well-drained potting soil with neutral pH. During its growing stage, the tree will require a somewhat humid soil condition. Since the air indoors is mostly too dry for citrus plants, it's advisable to increase the moisture by misting your Kaffir tree with a small humidifier.

However, keep in mind that the tree's roots can easily rot if constantly kept on wet soil. For best results, allow the potting soil to dry out after the daily waterings.

3. Provide Adequate Sunlight

Kaffir lime trees require six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily for best results. For maximum sunlight exposure, place the tree next to the window. Also, turn the tree every week to ensure all sides get equal sunlight for proper growth.

You can also supplement the natural sunlight with artificial lighting. These specialized light fixtures mimic the attributes of natural sunlight to stimulate the growth process of your citrus tree. They also regulate the temperature conditions of the plant. Lime trees enjoy indoor temperatures of about 16°C (60 F), especially during the cold season.

4. Choose the Right Fertilizer

Kaffir trees require both macronutrients and micronutrients to grow properly. Macronutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, while micronutrients include iron, zinc, and manganese.

A citrus fertilizer will typically contain all these minerals. Make sure you follow the directions on the package to know when and how much fertilizer you should apply.

5. Prune Your Lime Tree

Kaffir trees should be pruned while still young. This encourages proper branching and the growth of healthier leaves.

When it's fully grown, you can prune the tree at any time to keep it in shape. It's okay to remove the thorns on the tree because they don't serve any purpose indoors. What's more, they can be dangerous to your kids and pets.

Where to Buy a Kaffir Lime Tree

Want to grow your own lime tree at home?

At US Citrus, we offer healthy high-quality Kaffir lime trees. We'll get your tree shipped to your home in the shortest time possible.

How to Care for a Kaffir Lime Tree

How to Care for a Kaffir Lime Tree

Are you growing a Kaffir lime tree at your home? Learn how to care for a Kaffir lime tree below!

Are you fond of Asian cuisine? If so, then you'll love the Kaffir lime tree.

The leaves are a key ingredient in Thai cooking such as curry and coconut-based dishes. It's also used in other Southeast-Asian cuisines because of their intense citrus aroma.

Because of the pleasant smell, you can dry the leaves and turn it into potpourri. The leaves are also rich in essential oils which you can extract by DIY methods.

Just having the plant present will fill any room with an enjoyable scent. Added to the fact that these plants have a unique look and are resilient, they're one of the best houseplants to own and care for.

While the Kaffir lime can survive in less-than-ideal conditions, you still need to do specific things for optimal growth. Read on.

The Kaffir Lime Tree Loves Sunlight

Like other citrus trees, the Kaffir grows best in a subtropical climate. This means warm weather and plenty of sunlight.

Ideally, you want them to be exposed to sunlight for eight to twelve hours. You'll rarely find a spot in your home with that much natural light so just put them near a sunny window. If needed, you can supplement with fluorescent plant lights.

During the summer, you can move the Kaffir outside if you wish. However, make the transition gradual. Expose the plant to more sun bit by bit each day.

When the weather starts getting cold, carry the Kaffir tree back inside your home. Freezing temperatures are fatal for the warm-loving citrus trees.

Don't Go Loco with H2O

The Kaffir tree prefers moist but well-drained soil. You can water thoroughly if you notice that the surface of the soil has become dry. But you should allow the compost to dry out some between watering sessions, especially during winter.

You don't want the soil to become too wet and soggy. Kaffirs are prone to root rot.

During dry weather, you should mist the leaves to increase the humidity around them. Another method to increase the humidity is to put a garden saucer under the pot which holds the tree.

Groom for the Best Look

Pruning is an important part in the care of this citrus tree. Pruning encourages branching and also helps you maintain its small stature.

The method used is to cut at a 45-degree angle above the leaf node. Try to remove damaged branches to maintain a healthy plant.

Pollination Isn't a Priority

Unlike the leaves, the fruit of the Kaffir lime has limited use because of its minuscule juice production. The fruit is not the focus of growing a Kaffir lime tree.

The fruit does have some use in cleaning and hair conditioning. If you want to stimulate fruit production, pollination has to be done by hand if you're growing a Kaffir tree indoors. You can do this by using a dry paintbrush that you can dab on each flower.

Keep Pests Away

Kaffir trees are usually tough vs common pests but can become susceptible to mites or scales. This usually happens when the plant is exposed to other plants with infestation when you bring them outside.

As always, vigilance is key. You want to do regular inspections for insects and remove affected parts as necessary. If the damage is extensive, you can try a DIY organic insect spray or resort to using a commercial insecticide.

Care for Some Kaffir?

The Kaffir lime tree is a very interesting plant and it's well worth it to know how to take care of it properly. With this knowledge, you'll have plenty of leaves to use on your favorite Asian dishes.

Learn more about the Kaffir lime and tree in our previous article about Kaffir lime and tree history, drinks, and characteristics.

If you think the Kaffir is cool, we have articles on other amazing members of the citrus family, like the Meyer lemon and the Persian lime, that you're gonna love.

Keep visiting our blog for everything citrus!