|Origin||The musk lime is believed native to China and thought to have been taken in early times to Indonesia and the Philippines. It is widely grown in India and throughout southern Asia and Malaysia.|
|Description||The musk lime tree, ranging from 6 1/2 to 25 ft (2-7.5 m) high, is erect, slender, often quite cylindrical, densely branched beginning close to the ground, slightly thorny, and develops an extraordinarily deep taproot.|
|Growth Habitat||Musk lime thrives in a warm climate but is cold tolerant and frost sensitive. It is also adaptable to areas with long dry periods provided irrigation is available. It is moderately drought-tolerant and is intolerant of strong winds.|
|Foliage||The evergreen leaves (technically single leaflets) are alternate, aromatic, broad-oval, dark-green, glossy on the upper surface, yellowish-green beneath, 1 1/2 to 3 in (4-7.5 cm) long, faintly toothed at the apex, with short, narrowly-winged petioles.|
|Flowers||The richly and sweetly fragrant flowers, having 5 elliptic-oblong, pure-white petals, are about 1 in (2.5 cm) wide and borne singly or in 2's or 3's terminally or in the leaf axils near the branch tips.|
|Fruits||The fruit of musk lime resembles a small, round lime, usually 25-35mm in diameter, but sometimes up to 45mm. The center pulp and juice is the orange color of a tangerine with a very thin green (unripe form) or orange (fully ripe) colored peel. The pulp, in 6 to 10 segments, is highly acid, seedless or with 1 to 5 small, obovoid seeds, green within.|
|Harvest||To harvest, pick the matured fruits from the branch, either by hand or by using a pair of scissors. Take extra care to prevent damage to the branches or to the leaves. To keep the fruit fresh, leave a portion of the stem attached to the fruit and avoid injury to the skin when harvesting.|
|Soil||It is adaptable to a wide range of soils from clay loams to calcareous soils to sandy soils. It does best in well-drained, sandy loams or clay loams rich in organic matter at pH 5.5-7.|
|Pruning||Pruning should be employed to remove excess, diseased and dead branches. To maximize light penetration, 3-5 lateral branches in spiral arrangement are allowed to develop starting from about 1 ft (30 cm) from the base of the trunk. Pruning may be done also to limit expansion of the tree canopy.|
|Fertilization||To produce big, luscious fruits, applying fertilizer, such as ammonium sulfate or urea, around each tree one month after planting is essential. The trees will start to bear fruit one or two years after planting.|
|Propagation||Musk lime can be propagated by seed or by asexual method. Seedlings raised from seed are true-to-type and spiny. Clonal seedlings can also be propagated by stem cutting, air layering or marcotting, budding and grafting.|
|The musk lime fruit is rich in phosphorus, calcium, iron and vitamin C.
Nutritive Values Per 100 gm:
- Calories: 37
- Vitamin B: Thiamine .04 mg;
- Riboflavin: trace
- Niacin: .1 mg
- Vitamin C: 27 mg.
- Calcium: 40 mg.
- Iron: 6 mg.
- Phosphorus: 22 mg.
- Fat: .1 gm
- Protein: .8 gm
|Health Benefits||Rubbing musk lime juice on insect bites banishes the itching and irritation.
It bleaches freckles and helps to clear up acne vulgaris and pruritus vulvae.
It is taken orally as a cough remedy and antiphlogistic.
Slightly diluted and drunk warm, it serves as a laxative.
Combined with pepper, it is prescribed in Malaya to expel phlegm.
The distilled oil of the leaves serves as a carminative with more potency than peppermint oil.
|Commercial Uses||The musk lime is well known for its acid juice which is used as a flavoring for dishes comprising seafood and meat. Commercially, this sour-tasting juice is processed into concentrate, drinks, and various products. In Malaya, the musk lime is an ingredient in chutney and the preserved peel is added as flavoring to other fruits stewed or preserved. In the Philippines, the musk lime is squeezed for its juice and added to over charcoal-grilled fish, pork or beef and is an important ingredient in many dipping sauces. The fruit juice is used in the Philippines to bleach ink stains from fabrics and serves as a body deodorant or skin and hair bleach and some even use the fruit for dandruff treatment.|
|Food Suggestion||Bistek Tagalog
- ½ kilo beef (sirloin or tenderloin)
- 1cup musk lime juice
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 white onions (cut into rings )
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- cooking oil
1.Slice the beef around ¼-inch thick. Mix musk lime juice and soy sauce in a mixing bowl, add pepper, garlic and beef. Mix the ingredients well. Refrigerate the mixture and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
2.Heat the skillet. Pour cooking oil and increase the heat for oil to become very hot.
3.Fry the slices of beef for about 3 minutes per each side or cook until brown. Do this in batches. Keep the marinade, it will be used later.
4.When you are finished with the beef, stir fry the onion rings in the remaining oil. Put back the beef in the skillet, then pour the marinade. Boil for 1 minute.
5.Remove the beef slices from the skillet and arranged it in a medium-sized platter. Topped with onion rings. Pour the sauce over the beef and onions. Best when served hot and with white rice.