Five months ago, I had posted about Bilimbi (Irumban puli) and how the plant is blossoming and ready to deliver fruits in bounty..!
True to its commitment like a faithful wife, it delivered the bounty. There were enough fruits for everyone. I used to munch on one ripe fruit everyday, I used to feed my second niece too. She loves it. Though, lately we both have got tired of its sourness.
Then one fine morning, there was a news article about how this particular fruit was used by patients for cholesterol, Hypertension(Blood pressure) and Diabetes. I don’t know the scientific aspect of it. But, the newspaper report suggested that the fruit contains a high amount of Oxalic acid in it. When consumed in large quantities, the oxalic acid affects the blood system and thereby creating kidney stones and thereby affecting renal functions. I didn’t believe the newspaper report outright, but I found out that Oxalic acid indeed have that negative effect on the kidney under high doses. Importantly, in my viewpoint it was consumed by patients having “lifestyle disorder” and was looking for short-cuts to overcome their gluttony related/induced diseases. According to paper “Acute oxalate nephropathy due to ‘Averrhoa bilimbi’ fruit juice ingestion” by G. Bakul, V. N. Unni, N. V. Seethaleksmy et.al, The case studies were conducted on male adults having pre-existing condition. Also, their intake was one glass of the I.puli juice continuously for more than 5 days. I guess, higher consumption led to their downfall. Also, It reminds me of a Mark Twain quote.. “Too much of anything is bad, but too much good Beer is barely enough.”
Also coming back, To reduce the so called acidity, there are helpful ways, the fruit may be first pricked and soaked in water overnight, or soaked in salted water for a shorter time.
It was good and when taken alongside കഞ്ഞി ‘kanji’, it was great.
I think and I am pretty sure that it is alright to consume in small quantities. Well That’s it. I guess, considering the harmful effects of cigarettes, Deep fried foods, and such harmful processed foods, Bilimbi pales in comparison. So, take a bite of it and enjoy the sourness. As long as it is not a staple diet like rice and wheat and you don’t use it to treat stupid lifestyle diseases, it is a great snack to munch and the sourness can create a face and photo to cherish for years..!!!