Family • Rutaceae - Citrus microcarpa Bunge - CHINESE ORANGE - Gan

Scientific names

Citrus mitis Blanco
Citrus medica Linn. var. limetta
Citrofortunella mitis J. Ingram & H.E. Moore
Citrus madurensis Lour.
Citrus microcarpa Bunge

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Jin ju, Si ji ju, Yue ju.
DANISH: Stueappelsin.
FINNISH : Kalamondiini.
GERMAN : Zwergapfelsine.
JAPANESE: Karamonjin, Shiki kitsu, Tou kin kan.
MALAY : Limau chuit, Limau kesturi, Jeruk kasturi, Jeruk peres, Jeruk potong (Indonesia).
THAI: Manao wan, Som chit, Som mapit.

Common names

Aldonisis (Tag.)
Calamonding (P. Bis.)
Calamunding (Pamp.)
Kalamondin (Tag.)
Chinese orange (Engl.)
Calamondin (Engl.)
Calamondin orange (Engl.)
Kalamansi lime (Engl.)
Panama orange (Engl.)
Philippine lime (Engl.)
Gan (Chin.)

©Patricia Cabauatan

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antianxiety and Antidepressive Effects of Essential Oils of Citrus Spp in Mice / Che Rugayah et al / ArticlesBase.com

(2) Calamondin / Morton, J. 1987. Calamondin. p. 176–178. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.

(3) Characterisation of musk lime (Citrus microcarpa) seed oil / Manaf YantyNA, Osman Azizah, Lai OiM, Long Kamariah, Ghazali HasanahM / Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture [2008, 88(4):676-683]

(4) D-limonene from calamansi (Citrus microcarpa) rind extract:An effective dissolution agent of expanded polystyrene foam / Tecson, N.O. / National Science Fair 2005



Kalamansi is a smooth and slightly spiny plant, growing to a height of 3 to 5 meters. Leaflets are elliptic to oblong-elliptic, 4 to 8 centimeters long. Petioles are very narrowly or scarcely winged, about 1 centimeter long. Flowers are axillary, solitary, rarely in pairs, white, and short-stalked. Fruit is yellow when ripe, nearly spherical, 2 to 3.5 centimeters diameter, 6- to 7-celled, and thin-skinned. The skin or peel is green to yellowish green or yellow, loosely adhering to the flesh. The flesh contains a few light orange seeds.

– Widely cultivated in the Philippines.
– The species is native to the Philippines.

– Leaves yield volatile oil, 0.9 to 1.06%.
– Rind yields aldehydes; sesquiterpenes; beta-pinene; linalool; linelyl acetate; tannin; glucoside; cyanogenetic substances.


Aromatic, antiseptic, antiphlogistic, carminative, deodorant, refrigerant.

Parts used
Fruit, leaves, roots.

Culinary and nutrition
– It is fairly sour and is a popular seasoning for many local food.
– Served with iced-tea, seafoods and meats.
– Also used for making juice and marmalade.
– Kalamnsi-ade is a rich source of vitamin C
– Condiment: Use rind and fruit.


– Aromatic bath: Mix juice with gogo.
– Cough, colds and sore throat: Drink warm kalamansi-ade.
– Nausea and fainting: Squeeze rind near nostril to inhale.
– Applied externally for itching.
– Higaonon tribe of Mindanao use decoction of leaves to lower hypertension. Juice from partly roasted fruits used for coughs and colds.
– Fruits crushed with bark of Entada phaseoloides used as hair shampoo, for itching and to stimulate hair growth.
– Juice of fruit used for Acne vulgaris and Pruritis vulvae.
– In Malaysia, used as an antidote for poison.
– Poultice of pandanus leaves, mixed with salt and juice of citrus microcarpa, for abscesses.
– In Malaya, combined with pepper to help expel phlegm.
– Root used at childbirth.
– Leaf oil used as carminative, with a effect stronger than peppermint oil.


– Bleaching agent: Cut fruit and apply directly on freckles.
– Stain Remover / Shampoo: Juice is used to remove ink stains from clothes and washing women’s hair. Also used for bleaching freckles.
– Fruits crushed with bark of Entada phaseoloides used as hair shampoo, for itching and to stimulate hair growth.

Study Findings
• Antimicrobial: Antimicrobial properties of tropical plants against 12 pathogenic bacteria isolated from aquatic organisms: A study on the antibacterial activity of 9 tropical plants against 12 clinical and pathogenic bacterial strains including Vibrio cholera, Escherichia coli, Vibro parahemolytics, Salmonella and Streptococcus sp. showed activity against one or more species of bacteria. Citrus microcarpa was one of the most active.
• Antimicrobial: Paper described the potential of A. sativum and Citrus microcarpa extracts as alternative antimicrobial agents for local edible frog culture industry.
• Antimicrobial / Aquaculture: Study isolated 2-hydroxypropane-1,2,3-tricarboxylic acid from the crude extract of C microcarpa. The study results suggest that both the crude extract and its bioactive component might have potential as an antimicrobial in aquaculture use.
• Antianxiety / Antidepressive: Study provides evidence that the smelling of essential oils of C hystrix and C microcarpa confer anxiolytic effect. It concludes that essential oils of the Citrus family may affect behavior.
• Hepatoprotective: Kalamansi peel extract exhibited hepatoprotective activity against Acetaminophen-induced liver disease in male SD rats, comparable to commercially available silymarin preparations.
• Expectorant / Seeds: Seeds yield alkaloid, carbohydrates and protein. An alkaloidal extractive was incorporated to the formula of the final product which is an expectorant syrup was based on the ipecac syrup.
• D-Limonene / Seeds: Study tested the effectiveness of citrus oil d-limonene extracted from calamansi(Citrus microcarpa) rind in dissolving expanded polystyrene foam.
• Musk Lime Seeds / Oil: Study showed musk lime seeds are a rich source of oil, unusual in having linoleic, ol3ci and palmitic acids dominating the fatty acid composition. The oil is relatively stable to thermal oxidation due to its high concentration of unsaturated fatty acids.
• Citrus Antioxidants: Study showed C. microcarpa contained a high amount of phloretin-3′,5′-di-C-glucopyranoside that was shown to possess a high Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Ratio (TEAR) value due to its 2,4,6-trihydroxyacetophenone structure. Essential oils obtained from all citrus fruits showed very high radical-scavenging activity against the DPPH radical, well in excess that in leaves.

Perennial market produce.