Comprehensive Health Benefits Of Star Fruit's Unique Properties

  • Kowsika G Mpharm, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, SRMIST, Kattankulathur, Chennai,Tamil Nadu

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Overview of the star fruit

Averrhoa carambola L, the plant commonly known as the star-fruit, is a plant native to the tropical parts of the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India. It is a member of the Oxalidaceae family.1 The star fruit has a cross-section that resembles a star and five longitudinal ridges. There are two varieties; sour and sweet types. The sour type has significantly high oxalic acid levels, which can be harmful to people with uremic conditions (a condition involving high levels of waste products in the blood due to kidney dysfunction) According to Darley (1993), star fruits have either off-white, yellow, or light green colour.2 This fruit is well known for its strong antioxidant properties, which effectively scavenge free radicals and contribute in the treatment of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar ) and hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol levels)3, 4
Nutritional Profile of Star Fruit

Star fruits are made up of g cellulose (60%), hemicelluloses (27%), and pectin (13%), which help control blood sugar levels. Star fruits also contain helpful plant chemicals like phenols, anthocyanins, chalcones, leucoanthocyanidins, catechins, and triterpenoids.8,9

Pharmacological activities

Antioxidant effects 

The major function of antioxidants is to remove harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as peroxides, from the body. These ROS can damage important fatty acids.10 Eating star-fruits promotes detoxification and fortifies the body against cancer, ROS damage, and lipoperoxidation.11 Tests have shown that star fruit leaves have the highest antioxidant activity, which helps protect and treat conditions related to oxidative stress. This is due to the high levels of natural antioxidants, phenols, and flavonoids in the leaves.12

Health benefits of star fruit 

Digestive Health: Dietary fibre, which star fruit is an excellent source of, is your digestive system's closest buddy. Constipation may be avoided, regular bowel movements are encouraged, and a healthy digestive system is supported by a diet high in fibre.13

Immune system stimulation: Vitamin C, which is abundant in star fruit, is crucial for immune system upkeep. A diet high in vitamin C strengthens your body's defenses against illnesses, infections, and the flu, which benefits your general health.14

Enhances Health of the Respiratory System: To determine whether star fruit juice and honey could help individuals with Chronic Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a standard trial was carried out. The study concluded  that this mixture, when used with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory drugs, can assist relieve respiratory problems and lessen COPD.15

Enhances Cardiovascular Health: Numerous minerals included in star fruit are good for human health, including potassium and sodium, which are vital electrolytes that support healthy cardiovascular function and blood pressure regulation.15

Improves Sleep: The star fruit is a great option if you are struggling to get a good night's sleep because it contains magnesium, a mineral which is believed to help with sleep. The magnesium in star fruit facilitates the activation of the sleep-inducing molecule Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).16

Anti-ulcer Qualities: Stomach ulcers have been treated with star fruit preparations in traditional medicine, such as Ayurveda. Terpenoids, flavonoids, and mucilage are included in its extracts, which aid in the treatment of ulcers. Eyesores can be relieved by the star fruit's cooling and anti-inflammatory qualities. Using the fruit to make a salve and putting it on your eyes will work. Epicatechini, gallic acid, and vitamin C are present and aid in the treatment of oral ulcers.16


In recent times, there has been a noticeable increase in reports of toxic effects associated with consuming star fruits. After eating star fruit, the main harmful consequences are neurotoxic and nephrotoxic. According to reports, neurotoxic symptoms of star fruit intoxication in humans can range from mental disorientation, altered consciousness, seizures,comas,ntractable hiccups and feelings of paraesthesia. There have been reports of acute poisoning with stroke-like neurological symptoms. It was uncommon for patients with previously normal renal function to experience neurotoxicity.17


In conclusion, the star fruit, has a number of health benefits due to its unique pharmacological properties and rich nutritional profile. tar fruits are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, among other critical nutrients. One of star fruit's most notable benefits is its capacity to promote digestive health. Due to its high fibre content, star fruit promotes regular bowel movements and helps lessen constipation. Moreover, its high vitamin C boosts immunity and helps to protect against diseases and infections. Star fruit is a good choice for those on weight loss diets because it is low in calories and sugar. Because of its high magnesium concentration, it also promotes cardiovascular and respiratory health and even improves the quality of sleep. 

However, star fruit also contains oxalic acid, which can be dangerous for some medical problems. Because of this, star fruit consumption should be done with caution, especially for those who already have kidney problems. Studies have shown that eating star fruit may have adverse effects, especially in the areas of neurotoxicity and nephrotoxicity. These findings emphasize the need for moderation and being mindful of potential hazards.

All things considered, star fruit can be a tasty and nutrient-dense addition to a balanced diet when eaten in proportion and offers a number of health advantages for general wellbeing. 


  1. Muthu N, Lee SY, Phua KK, Bhore SJ. Nutritional, Medicinal and Toxicological Attributes of Star-Fruits (Averrhoa carambola L.): A Review. Bioinformation. 2016 Dec 22;12(12):420-424. doi: 10.6026/97320630012420. PMID: 28405126; PMCID: PMC5357571.
  2. Pacific Food Guide | Star Fruit [Internet]. Available from:
  3. Chau CF, Chen CH, Lin CY. Insoluble fiber-rich fractions derived from Averrhoa carambola: hypoglycemic effects determined by in vitro methods. LWT-Food Science and Technology. 2004 May 1;37(3):331-5.
  4. Shui G, Leong LP. Residue from star fruit as valuable source for functional food ingredients and antioxidant nutraceuticals. Food chemistry. 2006 Jul 1;97(2):277-84.
  5. Chang CT, Chen YC, Fang JT, Huang CC. Star fruit (Averrhoa carambola) intoxication: an important cause of consciousness disturbance in patients with renal failure. Renal failure. 2002 Jan 1;24(3):379-82.
  6. Chang JM, Hwang SJ, Kuo HT, Tsai JC, Guh JY, Chen HC, Tsai JH, Lai YH. Fatal outcome after ingestion of star fruit (Averrhoa carambola) in uremic patients. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. 2000 Feb 1;35(2):189-93.
  7. Tse KC, Yip PS, Lam MF, Choy BY, Li FK, Lui SL, Lo WK, Chan TM, Lai KN. Star fruit intoxication in uraemic patients: case series and review of the literature. Internal Medicine Journal. 2003 Jul;33(7):314-6.
  8. Luan F, Peng L, Lei Z, Jia X, Zou J, Yang Y, He X, Zeng N. Traditional uses, phytochemical constituents and pharmacological properties of Averrhoa carambola L.: A review. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2021 Aug 12;12:699899.
  9. Lakmal K, Yasawardene P, Jayarajah U, Seneviratne SL. Nutritional and medicinal properties of Star fruit (Averrhoa carambola): A review. Food Science & Nutrition. 2021 Mar;9(3):1810-23
  10. Niki E, Yoshida Y, Saito Y, Noguchi N. Lipid peroxidation: mechanisms, inhibition, and biological effects. Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 2005 Dec 9;338(1):668-76.
  11. Ikram EH, Eng KH, Jalil AM, Ismail A, Idris S, Azlan A, Nazri HS, Diton NA, Mokhtar RA. Antioxidant capacity and total phenolic content of Malaysian underutilized fruits. Journal of food Composition and Analysis. 2009 Aug 1;22(5):388-93.
  12. Chen GL, Zhang X, Chen SG, Han MD, Gao YQ. Antioxidant activities and contents of free, esterified and insoluble-bound phenolics in 14 subtropical fruit leaves collected from the south of China. Journal of Functional Foods. 2017 Mar 1;30:290-302.
  13. 5 Amazing Benefits Of Starfruit For Overall Health [Internet]. Onlymyhealth. 2023 [cited 2024 May 23]. Available from:
  14. Amazing Benefits Of Starfruit For Overall Health [Internet]. Onlymyhealth. 2023 [cited 2024 May 23]. Available from:
  15. Food Data Central [Internet]. Available from:
  16. Benefits Of Star Fruit, Nutrition, Recipes, & Side Effects [Internet]. STYLECRAZE. 2021. Available from:
  17. Yasawardene P, Jayarajah U, De Zoysa I, Seneviratne SL. Mechanisms of star fruit (Averrhoa carambola) toxicity: A mini-review. Toxicon. 2020 Nov 1;187:198-202.

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Kowsika G

Mpharm, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, SRMIST, Kattankulathur, Chennai,Tamil Nadu

I am G.KOWSIKA with background in the field of M.PHARM (PHARMACEUTICAL CHEMISTRY). I have an experience as a hospital pharmacist managing in both dispensing and patient counselling. presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
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