Abe V Rotor
Based on a masteral thesis of Socorro Batac, (MS in Pharmacy) at the UST Graduate School: Preformulation, Quality Control and Clinical Study of an Antifungal Cream from the Fruit Pulp Extract of Citrus microcarpa Bunge (Rutaceae)
Although diminutive in size among members of the orange family, Calamansi or Citrus microcarpa, could be the practical solution to maintaining personal hygiene - from ringworm (Tinea versdicolor), candidiasis caused by Candida albicans, to the bothersome mold Trichophyton mentagrophytes - notwithstanding other fungi that cause athlete's foot, body odor, itchiness and the like.
After squeezing the fruit to obtain the juice, the otherwise spent pulp that is usually thrown away as waste, can be the source of an antifungal cream, at 40 percent dry pulp to cream (carrier) ratio. Efficacy test on Tinea versicolor compared to commercial Clotrimazole cream recorded a cure rate of 86.6 percent after two weeks of daily treatment.
Owing to its being a plant derivative, the cream did not elicit on the test Guinea pigs problems of erythema, scaling, pruritus, burning and pain. However, it is highly unstable to light and direct exposure so that the cream should be kept in air-tight aluminum containers and stored in a cool and dry place.
In general, the locally formulated calamansi (fruit) pulp antifungal cream or CPAC exhibited lower efficacy compared to the imported commercial brand. Nonetheless, CPAC is safer, practical, and economical. Potentially it can be improved through further research and improvement in its manufacture.
Next time you use calamansi for souring your food (kilawin, pansit, bagoong), and as beverage (calamansi juice), save the pulp to make a home made antifungal cream.
NOTE: Calamansi is a handy home remedy against higad (spiny caterpillar). Gently apply the affected area of the skin with the juice to dissolve the embedded hairs. This is the same principle involved in treating wound from the sharp spines of sea urchin The acid in the juice reacts with the alkaline compound in the spine and dissolves it in the process, thus saving one from hospitalization, and possible surgery. Traditionally calamansi pulp is directly applied on fungal infected foot, armpit, and skin. It is used as stain remover on fabric and housewares, and in removing fish order after eating with bare hands (kamayan).
By the way, include calamansi in the list of Backyard Plants. It is easy to grow, even with just a half-barrel base. You can purchase a fruiting sappling two to three feet high from landscape and garden suppliers, and pronto! You have a calamansi tree that can continuously bear fruits for several years. ~
Living with Nature, AVRotor; acknowledgment, photo credit Wikipedia