Makrut lime is a wild citrus fruit most popular in Thailand but native to Indonesia. It grows on a thorny bush which has an approximate height of 2 to 11 meters.

The leaves are highly fragrant and are shaped like double leaves.

Botanical name: Citrus Hystrix

Common names: Kaffir lime, Indonesian lime, Wild lime, Thai lime, Mauritius papeda

They are acidic in nature. The fruit and leaves of makrut lime are used in cooking, garnishing, and drinks. They are also used in making oils for perfumes and deodorants However the yellowish-white seeds of makrut limes are inedible and bitter in taste.

 Makrut limes are green in color as other limes but their texture is bumpy and very odd-looking. 

Also, check out Finger Lime, Florida Pomelo, Seville Oranges, and Kiwi Berries makrut lime

Physical Appearance

The makrut limes are oddly and weird-looking fruit. They are mostly green in color and yellowish when fully matured. These lush green-colored limes have lots of bumpy texture on their rind. The inner color of the fruit is light green. The color of the leaves is also green. The makrut limes have more segments as compared to other limes.

Sri Lanka. It grows in tropical areas. Like other limes, Makruts are also sensitive to frost and cold. rain.

The shape of makrut limes is like any of other limes round or oval like but the shape of their leaves is somewhat unique, it is like an hourglass. The size of Makruts is small, having 3-5 centimeters diameter and length of about 5-7 centimeters.

Taste and Aroma

The taste of makrut limes is different from all other types of limes, they are super sour in taste. They have intense citrus freshness. The flavor of the leaves of makrut lime is like lemongrass as both are rich in essential oils. The concentration of flavor of makrut limes is at its highest peak when they are not completely mature or ripen.

Makrut limes have a strong citrus aroma. They are used in perfumery. The smell of dried makrut lime leaves is also used as an insect repellant. The makrut limes are also called leech limes as in the past the juice of it was put in the socks and shoes to get rid of leeches.


Makrut limes are native to Asian regions including Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. The exact origin of makrut limes is unknown but is supposed to be Sri Lanka. It grows in warm subtropical and tropical regions.  

Seasons and Availability

The makrut lime tree bore flowers in spring and summer and give fruits in winter. In rural areas, the people grow their own Makrut plants in the gardens to get leaves.

The makrut lime plant needs full sunlight and well-drained soil for better growth. The plant has a probability of getting root rot so there should be some space between the watering. The plant should be protected from frost.

Makrut limes and leaves are available in the grocery stores and big supermarkets in fresh, dried, and frozen forms. You can also easily buy them online at lesser rates.  


The makrut limes along with their leaves can be stored easily. The makrut lime remains fresh for 3-5 days on the kitchen countertop. They can be stored for up to two weeks in the refrigerator and the storing period can be increased to months if they are kept in the freezer.


The makrut lime is used as a spice rather than fruit. They are used in soups, curries, and cuisines. Its leaves are used in making teas, fish dishes, sauces, salads, and cooked as green vegetables. They are used to garnish dishes and add flavor to them.

They are used in making soaps, shampoos, antiseptics, perfumes, and skincare products. It is also known for its bleaching purposes.

Health Benefits and Nutrition

The rind of makrut lime contains a lot of essential oils which are used in making medical and digestive ointments. They are well known for their blood purifying purposes so are good for the circulatory system. They are boosters for skin health purposes and good for hair.

  • The oil of makrut lime is used for blood purifying purposes along with some other compounds. The oil eliminates the pathogens in the blood and helps to drain out harmful substances from the liver and lymphatic system.
  • The oils of makrut lime are used in organic toothpaste and mouthwashes for dental and oral health and hygiene. The makrut limes are widely used for protection from oral diseases. The peel and leaves of these limes can be directly rubbed on the gums to get rid of bacteria which causes infections in the mouth
  • The organic compounds present in makrut limes are anti-inflammatory and promote the health of the digestive system. They have laxative effects which also help to prevent other gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Makrut limes have been used in recent centuries for insect-repellent purposes. Their oils and juices are still used in insect-repellent lotions which keep you safe from the bites of bugs and mosquitoes.
  • They boost the immune system and cure inflammatory conditions like arthritis, edema.
  • The scent of makrut lime is very useful for aromatherapy and relieves stress and anxiety.

These are some health benefits of makrut lime and its leaves. I hope that now you will have a feeling of being familiar with makrut limes or kaffir limes and their leaves. Read More

Other Fruits To Read About

  1. Fruits That Start With M
  2. Korean Melon
  3. Plum Tomatoes
  4. June Plum
  5. Jocote

If you enjoyed these Makrut Lime and would love to see more, join me on YoutubeInstagramFacebook & Twitter!

Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.

Fortunately, because of the Ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families.