Last Updated on Jun 13, 2018


Citron lime also known as rough lime or keffir lime is a member of the citrus family of fruits. It is native to India, Nepal, Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and other South-east Asian countries. It is widely grown in Southern India and grows on any kind of soil whether sandy or loamy. It is known as Nartanga in Hindi, Nartangai in Tamil and Herelekai in Kannada.

This fruit is like a cross between sweet lime and lemon. It is almost as big as a sweet lime with a rough, dark green outer layer. It can be cut like a sweet lime and the juice is as easy to extract as the lemon. The juice is less acerbic than that of the lemon and has a pleasant odor and flavor. Adding water, sugar and a pinch of the salt to the extracted juice can be very refreshing and replenishes electrolytes.

Citron Lime: Benefits and Recipes

Lime Nutrition Facts

The nutritional values of "Limes, raw" per 100 grams are:

  • Total calories: 30
  • Protein: 2.4g
  • Fat: 1.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.1g
  • Calcium, Ca: 33mg (3.3%)
  • Copper, Cu: 0.06 mg (3.25%)
  • Iron, Fe: 0.6 mg (3.33%)
  • Magnesium, Mg: 6 mg (1.5%)
  • Manganese, Mn: 0.01 mg (0.4%)
  • Phosphorus, P: 18 mg (1.8%)
  • Potassium, K: 102 mg (2.91%)
  • Selenium, Se: 0.4 mg (0.57%)
  • Sodium, Na: 2 mg (0.08%)
  • Zinc, Zn: 0.11 mg (0.73%)
  • Vitamin A: 50 IU (1%)
  • Vitamin C: 29.1 mg (48.5%)
  • Vitamin B6: 0.04 mg (2.15%)
  • Vitamin E: 0.22 mg (0.73%)
  • Vitamin K: 0.6 mcg (0.75%)
  • Riboflavin: 0.02 mg (1.18%)
  • Thiamin: 0.03 mg (2%)
  • Folate, DFE: 8 mcg (2%)
  • Niacin: 0.2 mg (1%)
  • Sugars: 1.69 g
  • Fiber: 2.8 g (11.2%)
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg (0%)
  • Water: 88.26 g
  • Carotene, alpha: 0 mcg
  • Carotene, beta: 30 mcg
  • Choline: 5.1 mg
  • Lycopene: 0 mcg

Health Benefits

Citron lime is known to have certain medicinal properties. The botanical name Citrus Medica is indicative of its health benefits.

Citron and Blood Pressure

In South India, the juice is highly recommended for high blood pressure. Taken first thing in the morning with warm water, the juice can help lower high blood pressure. Citron lime contains potassium which also improves heart health. This juice with warm water is also a blood purifier, cleansing and purifying the liver.

Citron and Blood Pressure

Citron and Ayurveda

Citron lime is also said to lessen the effects of Pitta (heat in Ayurveda medicine) including rashes, giddiness and nausea. The juice is excellent for curing feelings of nausea. Women with morning sickness or people recovering from jaundice and other liver ailments can benefit by taking the juice twice a day morning and evening. It also cools the body and aids digestion.

The fruit is generally supposed to have good effects on the body as it has flavonoid components which have antioxidant properties. Since it is also rich in vitamin C, citron lime enhances immunity and helps the body fight off infections. Its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce some of the painful symptoms of osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis.

Citron and Skin-Hair Benefits

The citron lime peel can be used to remove dark spots and excess melanin from the skin. Rubbing peel on the face can reduce the pigment. Citron lime also gives a good skin tone and complexion when taken with warm water and honey first thing in the morning. Like any other lime can also be used for hair care. The juice can be applied before a hair wash for reducing dandruff and getting rid of excess oil.

Citron and Weight Loss

Lime water has always been useful for weight loss. Taken with warm water and honey in the morning, it can rejuvenate the body and aid weight loss.

Citron and Weight Loss


The citron lime is widely used in South Indian cuisine. It is used to make tangy pickles soaking quartered pieces in its own juice along with salt and red chili powder. The pickle is an excellent appetite stimulant. The outer cover/rind is also used to make a tangy sauce (gojju in Kannada) with tamarind extract, jaggery and mustard seeds. Another popular dish is lemon rice (chitranna in Kannada) made with rice, citron lime, peanuts and green chilies.

Citron lime pickle


citron lime washed and cut into small pieces (1/2 kg), juice of at least 5 citron limes, pickle powder (can be made by dry roasting and grinding dry red chillies, mustard seeds, asafoetida on a low flame), salt.

Citron Lime Pickle

In a glass jar, add the citron lime juice and mix in salt along with the cut pieces of lime. Mix well and leave it for five days. Let it remain sterile and airtight. After five days, mix in the pickle powder according to taste. Let it remain for another day. Add a tadka of oil and mustard seeds. Mix well and use.

Citron lime chitranna (mixed rice)


2-3 citron limes, medium cooked rice, green chillies, peanuts, mustard seeds, urad dal, coriander leaves, curry leaves, salt to taste.

In a bowl mix the cooked rice with the juice of 2-3 citron limes. Add salt according to your taste. Make a tadka frying mustard seeds, urad dal, green chillies, peanuts and curry leaves on a low flame. Add this to the rice mixture. Mix well. Garnish with coriander leaves.


The citron lime is not as widely available as the yellow lemon. It is not available throughout the year like the yellow lemon and is usually available in plenty during the monsoon. Since it grows easily in any kind of soil, people with some open/garden space can get a tree cutting. The tree is as tall as the lemon tree and the leaves have a fragrant odor. It is useful to grow this exceptional variety of lime both for its medicinal properties as well as uses in cuisine.

Limes, raw

The nutritional values of "Limes, raw" per 100 grams are:
Nutrition Summary
Total Calories 30
Protein 0.7 g
Fat 0.4 g
Carbohydrate 10.5 g
NutrientsAmount%Daily Value
Calcium, Ca 33 mg 3.3 %
Copper, Cu 0.06 mg 3.25 %
Iron, Fe 0.6  mg 3.33 %
Magnesium, Mg 6 mg 1.5 %
Manganese, Mn 0.01 mg 0.4 %
Phosphorus, P 18 mg 1.8 %
Potassium, K 102  mg 2.91 %
Selenium, Se 0.4 mcg 0.57 %
Sodium, Na 2 mg 0.08 %
Zinc, Zn 0.11 mg 0.73 %
Vitamin A 50  IU 1 %
Vitamin C 29.1 mg 48.5 %
Vitamin B6 0.04 mg 2.15 %
Vitamin E 0.22 mg 0.73 %
Vitamin K 0.6  mcg 0.75 %
Riboflavin 0.02  mg 1.18 %
Thiamin 0.03 mg 2 %
Folate, DFE 8  mcg 2 %
Niacin 0.2  mg 1 %
Sugars 1.69 g
Fiber 2.8  g 11.2 %
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Water 88.26 g
Carotene, alpha 0 mcg
Carotene, beta 30  mcg
Choline 5.1 mg
Lycopene 0  mcg
View all +
Data source: USDA Nutrient Database, R25
*Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.


  1. Kaffir lime - (
  2. Lemon/Limes - (

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