In the Philippines, the leaves serve as a paste on itches, swelling, rheumatism, mumps or skin eruptions. Elsewhere, they are used for bites of poisonous creatures. A leaf infusion is used as an after-birth tonic, while the flower infusion is used for thrush, cold, and cough. Malaysians use fermented or fresh bilimbi leaves to treat venereal diseases. In French Guiana, syrup made from the fruit is used to treat inflammatory conditions. To date there is no scientific evidence to confirm effectiveness for such uses.
In some villages in the Thiruvananthapuram district of India, the fruit of the bilimbi was used in folk medicine to control obesity. This led to further studies on its antihyperlipidemic properties
In Malaysia, very acidic bilimbis is used to clean the kris blade. In the Philippines, it is often used in rural places as an alternative stain remover. Indonesia, its red flowers are sought as the ingredients of natural red dye for traditional textiles.
The fruit is used to remove stains from clothing and also for washing the hands. It is also used as a seasoning and is made into sweets, including jam, and is used in making pickles. Daruty reports that the fruit contain potassium oxalate.
Burkill and Haniff records that the leaves are used by the Malays externally as a paste applied hot to itches; and internally, fresh or fermented, for syphilis; or, in the form of infusion, as a protective medicine after childbirth. Heyne states that a decoction of the leaves is given in Java for inflammation of the rectum. The Japanese also apply a paste of them for mumps, rheumatism, and pimples. They use an infusion of the flowers for coughs and thrust. According to Kirtikar and Basu and Nadkarni, the fruit is an astringent,...