Wampi – nutrition, proven health benefits and uses

The scientific name of the wampi include Clausena lansium (Lour.) Skeels,
Quinaria lansium Lour. , Cookia wampi Blanco, Cookia punctata Sonn., Clausena wampi Oliv. ,Clausena punctata Rehder & Wils. It is also known as  Chinese clausena, Fool’s curry leaf, and Wampee.

Other names include

CHINESE: Huang pi, Huang pi zi.
DUTCH: Vampi.
FRENCH: Vampi, Wampi.
JAPANESE: Kurausena ranjuumu, Kurauzena ranshiumu, Wanpii.
KHMER: Kantrop, Sômz maf’ai.
LAOTIAN: Somz mafai.
MALAY: Wampi, Wang-pei, Wampoi
RUSSIAN: Klauzena tochechnaia, Vampi.
THAI: Ma fai chin, Som ma fai, Mafai chin, Ueng-tuai, Ueng-tua, Ueng-phuai.
VIETNAMESE: Hoàng bi, Hồng bì, Quất hồng bì.

Wampi is a small tree about 7 meters high. Fruit is ivory yellow, rounded, about 2 centimeters in diameter, very slightly flattened at the base, somewhat rounded at the tip, and borne in bunches. Skin of the fruit is thin and soft, dotted with minute, raised, somewhat darker-colored spots, covered with short hairs, and marked by five, usually very inconspicuous, longitudinal lines which are lighter in color than the remainder of the fruit. Flesh is yellowish white, soft, juicy, somewhat acid in taste; cross-section shows a division into five segments by thin, white lines. Usually one to four of the segments contain a single, rather large, flattened green seed, attached near the apex of the fruit. It is cultivated in various parts of the world including India, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Florida and Hawaii.


The taste of Wampees are mix of sour with a bit of sweetness. The texture is gelatinous like a grape, fleshy and juicy.

How to check for ripeness of wampi?

Unripe wampees has  a lime green to pale gold exterior. When ripe, wampees have golden yellow to golden brown skin marked with light fuzz.  Light brown speckles on the fruit are perfectly acceptable. Avoid dark fruits with obvious bruising and cracks.

Wampi nutrition value and facts

A  100 gm of wampees has about 55 calories. It contains

84 % Moisture

0.9 g Protein

0.1 g Fat

14.1 g Carb

0.8 g Fiber

0.9 g Ash

19 mg Phosphorous

281 mg Potassium

15 mg Calcium

0.02 mg Thiamin

0.11 mg Riboflavin

3.3 mg Niacin

148 mg Vitamin C

Medicinal properties of wampi

• Bitter, pungent-tasting, slightly warming, anti-cold, antifebrile, improves circulation and analgesic.
• Considered stomachic, cooling and anthelmintic.

Parts used

Leaves, and fruits.
Collect leaves from August to October (early gathering of the leaves affects fruiting.)
Dry under shade.

Traditional folk health benefits and uses of wampee

• For influenza, cold, malaria: use 15 to 30 gms dried leaves in decoction.

•For gastric pains, abdominal colic pains: use drupe, 9-15 gms in decoction.

• In some countries, used for bronchitis, malaria, hepatitis, gastrointestinal inflammation.

• In China, used for bronchitis. Leaf decoction used as hair shampoo.

• In Tonkin, the dried fruit is used in bronchitis.

• Leaves have been used for cough, asthma and gastrointestinal diseases; fruit for digestive disorders and seeds for GI disorders and chronic gastrointestinal ulcers.

Scientific proven evidence based health benefits and uses of wampi

Stem Bark / Anti-trichomonal / Anti-diabetic / Anti-inflammatory / Hepatoprotective (protects liver) / Antioxidant

Study isolated compounds with various biologic activities: Imperatorin and 3-formylcarbazole showed anti-trichomonal activity; Imperatorin and chalepin were the active constituents responsible for insulin release and anti-diabetic activity. Results also exhibited antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective effects.

Antinociceptive (inhibit sensation of pain)/ Neuroleptic (inhibit nervous tension)

Study finds that ß-santalol, the main constituent of the essential oils of leaves, flowers and sarcocarps has antinociceptive CNS effects and can be considered a neuroleptic.

• Hepatoprotective (protect liver)

 Study showed the hepatoprotective actions of eight of nine compounds isolated from the leaves of C lansium, decreasing the hepatotoxicity of thioacetamide and acetaminophen in mice.

Antifungal / Antiproliferative / HIV Reverse Transcriptase-Inhibition:

Study isolated from the seeds of CL, a homodimeric trypsin inhibitor which exhibited antifungal, anti-HIV reverse transcriptase and antiproliferative activities.

Antioxidant / Anticancer

A study of various extracts and fractions showed the ethyl acetate fraction exhibited the highest antioxidant activity, reducing power and superoxide scavenging activity. Also, the EAF exhibited strong anticancer activities against human cancer cell lines – gastric carcinoma, hepatocellular liver carcinoma and lung adenocarcinoma, higher than cisplatin. Results suggest wampee peel as a potential source of natural antioxidants and possible pharmaceutical supplement.

Antioxidant / Anticancer / 8-Hydroxypsoralen

Study yielded a pure compound – 8-hydroxypsoralen from the wampee peel. It exhibited good scavenging activities against DPPH radical and superoxide anion and also showed potent proliferation inhibition against seceral human cancer cell lines (hepatocellular liver carcinoma, lung adenocarcinoma and cervical carcinoma).

Pharmacologic Properties / Biologic Activities

A study showed the superiority of the dichlormethane extract over the methanolic extract. Various activities showed were significant anti-hyperglycemic, hepatoprotective, antioxidant and anti-trichomonal activities. Its antidiabetic action was through stimulation of insulin release, mediated by imperatorin and chalepin.

• Coumarins / Cytotoxicity

Study isolated two new coumarins, clausenalansimin A and B, together with seven known coumarins from the twigs of C lansium. Some isolated showed cytotoxicity against human cancer cell lines (KB, MCF7, and NCI-Hi87).

• Anti-Allergic

Study showed extracts contained phenolic, flavones, alkaloid, organic acid, coumarins etc. Results showed the antiallergic components contained mainly phenolics and flavones. The inhibitory effects of aqueous and ethanol extracts on hyaluronidase was about 89 and 75% respectively.

Bu-7 / Protection Against Rotenone Injury / Parkinson’s Disease

Study investigated Bu-7. a flavonoid isolated from the leaves of C. lansium against rotenone-injury in PC12 cells. Results showed Bu-7 protects PC12 cells against rotenone injury, which may be attributed to MAP kinases cascade signaling pathway. Bu-7 may be a potential bioactive compound for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

How to Open or Cut wampi

After washing the wampi properly, consume like a lychee or longan fruit : peel the thin, pliable skin and slurp the insides. The one to five large greenish black seeds in the middle are not edible but easily removed. The mildly resinous skin is edible, for those who are impatient to get to the piquant flesh. In China, it’s common to smash the fruit using the knife blade before consumption, as it’s believed to release the flavors.

Storage tips

If possible, keep wampees on their branch until consumption. Wampees are quick to deteriorate once plucked, thus requiring instant storage once detached from the stem. Keep in the refrigerator between 2-4 Celsius in a perforated bag, where they will last for a week or two.

Wampi recipe ideas and uses

• Condiment: as substitute for Curry leaf tree.

• Fruit used to make juice and beverage.

• In China, a much esteemed fruit, made into delicious preserves.

• Wampee has high anethole oil content, because of which it is used to make anisado—an anise wine common in Spain and a few South American countries. Asian countries ferment the fruit and make a champagne-like beverage.

• Use the juice in salad dressings and marinades. The juice will also make a quality glaze when caramelized.

• Its tangy flavor lends itself well to sorbets and popsicle recipes

• Wampis may be heated, boiled, grilled, simmered and baked as well.

• The anise flavor of the leaves makes them viable curry leaf substitutes

• In China, the fruit is often simmered for preserves and dried, where the fruit’s shelf life is extended to a few years.

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