Sakshi Sharma (Ph.D. Scholar)
Dr. HemantKumar Panigrahi (Assistant Professor)
Dr. Prabhakar Singh (Professor and Head) Department of Fruit Science
 Indira Gandhi KrishiVishwavidyalaya, Raipur (C.G.)

Starfruit (Averrhoacarambola L.), commonly known as Kamarakh, is a very important and delicious fruit grown widely in warm tropical and subtropical areas. This fruit is also known as “five corner fruit” due to its unique shape when cut open in to pieces.

Starfruit has its origin in South-East Asia and Malaysia. However, due to its immense health benefits, starfruit is now grown in many countries across the world such as Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Thailand, USA, India, Brazil, Columbia and Myanmar.

Owing to very less scientific improvement work done in starfruit, sadly it is grouped under less utilized fruit crops. However it has many nutritional and medicinal properties which can lead to commercialization of carambola, as well as more improvement works can be done in future to reduce harmful nephrotoxic and neurotoxic effects.

Nutritional and Medicinal Properties of Starfruit:
  • Starfruit is considered as a rich source of natural antioxidants, reducing sugars as well as minerals such as K, Mg, Ca, P, Mn& Zn.
  • Starfruit is mostly consumed in fresh form but, it can also be used in other forms i.e. salad, desserts, preserve, candy, jam, chutney, pickle and ready-to-serve beverages.
  • Starfruit contains oxalic acid and tannin, which influence the taste and flavour of the fruit. Ripe fruits of carambola (sweet type) contains both oxalic acid (0.16%) and malic acid (0.06%), while sour type carambola contains only oxalic acid ranging from 0.5-1%.
  • Starfruit along with other parts of the tree is considered as medicinally valuable.
  • The ripe fruit of carambola produces a cooling effect which helps in curing vomiting, dysentary and diarrhoea. In India, ripe fruits are used to cure bleeding haemorrhoids and dried fruits are taken to prevent fever. Consumption of starfruit also helps in removal of cholesterol and bile acids from the body.
  • Starfruits are commonly used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine as it shows a number of beneficial health effects such as antioxidant, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, hypoglycemic and immune boosting effects (Lakmalet al., 2021).
  • In Philippines, the ground leaves and shoots are used as remedy for chicken pox, headaches and intestinal parasites (Cornell,1983). The boiled flowers are used as vermifuge, in fever and malaria. The roots are used to treat arthralgia, chronic headache and epitaxis. The powdered seeds are used for asthma and colic (Dasguptaet al., 2013).

Noxious Properties of Starfruit:
  • It is hard to believe but starfruit do possess many toxic effects mainly due to presence of high oxalate content.
  • Patients with renal diseases are affected adversely by the oxalates as they are unable to excrete toxic substance out of their body efficiently (Muthuet al., 2016).
  • Patients having chronic renal failure should strictly avoid consumption of starfruit as it can also cause neurological problems and even death.

Starfruit has immense beneficial compounds which nutritionally enrich us and cure various health issues, but due to presence of oxalate and caramboxin content in the fruits, it is very toxic to the patients with chronic kidney diseases, gastroenteropathies and chronic pancreatitis.

Thus star fruit definitely act as a friend by nutritionally enriching us but in some cases it can be a foe also. Therefore, along with the medicinal and nutritional aspects of the fruit we should be aware about the toxic attributes of the fruit.


1. Lakmal, K.;Yasawardene, P.;Jayarajah, U.;and Seneviratne, S.L. (2021). Nutritional and medicinal properties of Star fruit (Averrhoacarambola): A review. Food SciNutr., 9:1810-1823.

2. Muthuet al. Bioinformation 12(12): 420-424 (2016).

3. P Dasguptaet al., International Journal of Pharma Research and Review. 2013;2:54-63. (Google Scholar)

4. Patil, A.G.; Patil, D.A.; Phatak, A.V.; and Chandra, N. (2010). Physical and chemical characteristics of carambola (Averrhoacarambola L.) fruit at three stages of maturity. International Journal of Applied Biology and Pharmaceutical Technology, 1(2), 624-629.