According to the Department of Agriculture, calamansi is one of the most important fruit crops grown in the country. It’s often used as a condiment, and dishes like pansit canton, chicken inasal, arroz caldo, and inihaw na baboy would be incomplete without it. Combined with soy sauce or patis, it becomes a basic sawsawan for fish, lumpiang shanghai, and dumplings.
But in my opinion, calamansi is best served as a beverage.
Ever since I was a child, my mother would make calamansi juice every single day for me to drink. One reason was that we had three healthy calamansi trees in our garden, with fruits always ready for picking. But it was more than just a surplus of calamansi that motivated her to squeeze out those tiny fruits and turn them into juice—she knew that calamansi is filled with numerous health benefits.
Here are the top health benefits of drinking calamansi juice.
1. Protects from flu and the common cold
Loaded with minerals and essential vitamins, calamansi juice boosts the body’s resistance and helps prevent flu and common colds. It’s especially rich in vitamin C, which is essential to building immunity against bacterial and viral infections.
2. Boosts immunity
Immunity is a huge concern for most people today, with the coronavirus still active and mutating. Luckily, drinking calamansi juice regularly could give you that immunity boost to protect you against COVID-19.
Because of its high vitamin C content, calamansi is known for its benefits for the immune system. Vitamin C encourages the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for protecting the body against infection. Other than flu and common colds, calamansi can boost the body’s natural defense against other bacteria and viruses.
3. Aids in weight loss
Calamansi juice is legendary in folk medicine for its positive impact on weight loss. Like many lime and lemon-based juices, calamansi juice has the ability to boost your metabolism and eliminate toxins in your body that contribute to fat storage.
By increasing your metabolic speed, calamansi juice improves passive fat-burning throughout the day. It also detoxifies your body, helping your organ systems to run more smoothly, aiding in calorie burning. This is why many people drink a glass of calamansi each day to achieve their weight loss goals.
4. Improves respiratory health
Having mucus and phlegm can be an annoying and uncomfortable experience. The strong level of citric acid in a calamansi drink is considered to cut through mucus and phlegm, where infections often live and propagate. This also soothes inflammation in the throat and respiratory tracts.
5. Promotes collagen production
Vitamin C is a vital element in collagen production, which is the compound needed to create each tissue in the body. Calamansi juice can deliver a burst of ascorbic acid that will facilitate your body’s growth ability, as well as repair damage from illness, injury, or surgery.
If you’re not a fan of the sourness of calamansi juice, you can cut up the fruit and plop the halves into your water, as you would with lemons. The drink will still be a bit sour, but not as much as the juice.
The Benefits of Calamansi on the Skin
Other than health perks, calamansi also offers many skin care benefits. Before skin care products proliferated in the market, calamansi was popularly used in homemade beauty remedies. It’s such a versatile fruit that it can be used as an active ingredient in skin care products, such as body scrubs and creams.
Calamansi is uber-rich in vitamin C, which offers a wealth of skin benefits. Vitamin C inhibits melanin production in the outer layers of the skin, causing a lightening and brightening effect. Local and international brands often incorporate vitamin C for reducing hyperpigmentation, fading dark marks, and brightening the complexion.
Here are some ways to incorporate calamansi into your skin care routine.
To lighten dark patches
Cut the fruit into two halves and carefully remove the seeds. Rub the fruit halves on the darker parts of your body such as knees and elbows. If you have dark spots or old scars, scrub the juice on those sections as well. Wash off the juice with lukewarm water after 30 minutes.
You can also mix the juice with baking soda if you want a stronger exfoliant. Combine a teaspoon of baking soda with enough calamansi juice to create a paste. Rub the solution on the problem areas and let sit for 15 minutes. Wash off with warm water.
To remove dark spots on the face
Squeeze out fresh calamansi juice and dip a small cotton ball or a cotton bud into it. Apply the juice on the dark spots on your face. Rinse off with lukewarm water after 10 minutes.
To achieve healthy, glowing skin
Add a teaspoon of calamansi juice to two tablespoons of milk. Apply this mixture all over your face and body. After 7-10 minutes, wash off with lukewarm water.
Don’t use calamansi on your skin every day as it’s not meant to be a daily skin care ingredient. And remember to always moisturize after doing any of the methods mentioned. Calamansi is extremely acidic, so it can cause excessive dryness, redness, and peeling of the skin. It also has a natural bleaching effect, which can damage your skin barrier.
For best results, repeat the processes above two to three times a week.
Where to Get Calamansi Juice
Calamansi trees are fairly easy to grow. If you’re a plantita, you can cultivate calamansi from a seed or propagate it from a cutting. This way, you always have some calamansi fruits available when you need them for whatever purpose.
If you can’t make your own calamansi juice at home, there are plenty of alternatives on the market that provide the same health benefits. You can head to your local grocery store and easily find bottles and cans of calamansi juices.
You can choose from calamansi concentrates or ready-to-drink juices that come in cans or bottles. Personally, I prefer the concentrates better since they allow me to control the sweetness or sourness of my drink.
One of the brands I’ve tried is the premium calamansi juice from Sir Jess PH. The refreshing drink has a good amount of minerals and vitamins that helps me get through the dreadful flu season every November.
Although Sir Jess PH is based in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, they can ship their products nationwide. For Bacolod residents, you can simply head over to their restaurant or order through Foodpanda.
Calamansi has always been a part of Filipino cooking recipes because of its distinct sweet and sour taste. But the wonders of calamansi aren’t only limited to improving kitchen recipes. It may be small in size, but it’s definitely big in health and skin care benefits.
What's Your Reaction?
Chryss loves ice cream, literature, and East Asian pop culture. She would like to pet your dog.