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Kokum

Kokum
Kokum is also known as the “Indian Butter Tree” and is a fruit-bearing tree. All parts of Kokum i.e., (fruits, peels and seeds) have plenty of health benefits. The dried peel of the fruit is used as a flavoring agent in curries.
Kokum helps in weight loss by reducing the production of fatty acids as well as increasing the secretion of a hormone (serotonin) which suppresses appetite. Kokum, when taken orally, might also be useful in managing gastric ulcers due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Drinking Kokum juice helps to expel heat, reduce acidity and relieve sunstroke. Kokum juice also helps manage the blood sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion due to its anti-diabetic and antioxidant properties.
Kokum oil is considered to be good for the skin due to its antioxidant property that helps reduce wrinkles and delays the signs of aging. It can be used to manage skin allergies and burns[7][8].

What are the synonyms of Kokum?

Garcinia indica, Birondd, Birondi, Kokummara, Dhupadamara, Kokan, Murgalmera, Murgal, Ratamba, Amsole, Amasul, Punampuli, Brindonia tallow tree, Mangosteen oil tree, Wild mangosteen [1].

What is the source of Kokum?

Plant Based

Benefits of Kokum

1. Indigestion
Kokum helps to manage indigestion. According to Ayurveda, indigestion means the state of an incomplete process of digestion. The main reason for indigestion is aggravated Kapha that causes Agnimandya (weak digestive fire). Taking Kokum helps to improve Agni (digestive fire) and digests the food easily. This is due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties respectively.
Tips:
a. Take 1/2-1 cup of Kokum juice.
b. Add the same quantity of water and drink it on an empty stomach once a day.
c. Repeat till you do not get relief from indigestion.

2. Inflammatory bowel disease
Kokum is useful to manage the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). According to Ayurveda, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is caused due to an imbalance of Pachak Agni (digestive fire). Taking Kokum helps to improve the Pachak Agni (digestive fire) and reduces the symptoms of IBD.
Tips:
a. Take 1/2-1 cup of Kokum juice.
b. Add the same quantity of water and drink it on an empty stomach once a day.
c. Repeat daily to control the symptoms of IBD.

3. Diarrhea
Diarrhea is known as Atisar in Ayurveda. It is due to improper food, impure water, toxins, mental stress and Agnimandya (weak digestive fire). All these factors are responsible for aggravating Vata. This aggravated Vata brings fluid in the intestine from various tissues from the body and mixes with the stool. This leads to loose, watery motions or diarrhea. Kokum helps to control diarrhea. This is because of its Kashaya (astringent) and Grahi (absorbent) properties. It helps to thicken loose stool and control the frequency of loose motion or diarrhea.
Tips:
a. Take 1/2-1 cup of Kokum juice.
b. Add the same quantity of water and drink it on an empty stomach once a day.
c. Repeat till you do not get relief from the symptoms of diarrhea.

Precautions when using Kokum

Breastfeeding
scientific
Modern Science View
Not enough scientific evidence is available on the use of Kokum during breastfeeding. So it is advisable to avoid Kokum or use only under medical supervision during breastfeeding.
Pregnancy
scientific
Modern Science View
Not enough scientific evidence is available on the use of Kokum during pregnancy. So it is advisable to avoid Kokum or use only under medical supervision during pregnancy.

Recommended Dosage of Kokum

  • Kokum Syrup - 1-2 teaspoon once or twice a day.

How to use Kokum

1. Kokum Syrup
a. Take 1-2 teaspoon Kokum syrup.
b. Mix with the same quantity of water.
c. Have it once or twice a day after taking food.

2. Kokum Juice
a. Take ½-1 cup of Kokum juice.
b. Add the same quantity of water and drink it on an empty stomach once a day.
c. You can also add jaggery for a sweet flavor.

Benefits of Kokum

1. Wound healing
Kokum helps in quick healing of the wound, decreases swelling and brings back the normal texture of the skin. Kokum butter helps in quick healing and reduces inflammation. This is due to its Ropan (healing) and Pitta balancing properties.
Tips:
a. Take 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of melted Kokum butter or as per your requirement.
b. Add Almond oil and apply to the affected area once or twice a day.
c. Repeat for quick healing of wound.

2. Crack heels
Crack heels are a common problem. It is also known as Padadari in Ayurveda and is caused due to vitiation of Vata. It reduces moisture in the skin which makes the skin dry and patchy. Kokum butter helps in case of cracked heels and reduces pain associated with it. This is due to its Vata balancing and Ropan (healing) properties.
Tips:
a. Take 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of melted Kokum butter or as per your requirement.
b. Mix with beeswax and apply to the affected area once or twice a day for quick healing of crack heels.

3. Urticaria
Urticaria is a type of allergic reaction which is also known as Sheetpitta in Ayurveda. This is due to an imbalance of Vata and Kapha as well as when Pitta gets impaired. Kokum gives relief in case of urticaria. This is due to its Vata and Kapha balancing properties.
Tips:
a. Take 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of melted Kokum butter or as per your requirement.
b. Add Almond oil and apply to the affected area once or twice a day to manage the symptoms of urticaria.

How to use Kokum

1. Kokum Butter
a. Take 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of melted Kokum butter or as per your requirement.
b. Add Almond oil and apply to the affected area once or twice a day.
c. Repeat to manage the symptoms of urticaria and for quick healing of wound.

2. Kokum fruit paste
a. Take 1-2 Kokum fruit or as per your requirement.
b. Make a paste and add some rose water to it.
c. Apply to the skin once a day for controlling itching due to skin allergy.

Frequently asked questions

Q. What is black Kokum?

scientific
Modern Science View
Kokum sold in the market is the halved and dried rind that is dark purple or black in colour. The rind is sticky and with curled edges. It adds a sweet and sour flavour to the dish along with a pinkish-purple colour.

Q. Where does Kokum butter come from?

scientific
Modern Science View
Kokum butter is pressed and refined from the fruit of the Kokum tree. It is used in creams and lotions due to its thickening property. Kokum butter is also used in other cosmetics like soaps, body butter and lip balms.

Q. What does Kokum taste like?

scientific
Modern Science View
Dried Kokum has a tangy taste which is why it is usually used in dishes in place of tamarind. It imparts a sweet-tangy flavour.

Q. What is the best time to drink Kokum juice?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although there is no definite time to drink Kokum juice, it is more commonly used in hot summer season as a cool and refreshing drink to protect the body against dehydration and sunstroke[17].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kokum juice, prepared from Kokum fruit, can be consumed in any season as it is good for digestion. It helps to enhance the digestive fire (Agni) and improve digestion due to its Ushna (hot), Deepana (appetizer) and Pachan (digestion) properties.

Q. How to prepare Kokum water at home?

scientific
Modern Science View
You can prepare Kokum water/ juice at home as follows:
-Take 2-3 Kokum fruits and rinse them properly. Chop the fruits and remove the seeds.
-Use the pulp and outer covering.
-Grind the pulp along with some water.
-Strain and separate the mixture.
-You can add some more water to the Kokum pulp to prepare Kokum water.
-You can also make a sherbet with it by mixing in sugar syrup and adding cold water.

Q. Is Kokum good for cough?

scientific
Modern Science View
Not enough scientific evidence is available to support the role of Kokum in cough.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, the ripe fruit of Kokum helps to control cough because of its Kapha balancing property. It also helps to expel excess mucus from the lungs due to its Ushna (hot) nature.

Q. Is Kokum good for weight loss?

scientific
Modern Science View
Kokum contains a product of citric acid which may have anti-obesity effect. Kokum functions in different ways to promote weight loss. It may reduce the production of fatty acids or increase the secretion of the hormone serotonin which leads to suppression of appetite. Kokum may also reduce carbohydrate metabolism. Due to these functions, Kokum may be useful in weight loss[5][6].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kokum is useful in managing weight. Kokum gives a feeling of satiety and reduces craving. This is because it takes time to digest due to its Guru (heavy) nature. It also helps to improve metabolism and reduce Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion) which is one of the causes of overweight due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties.

Q. Is Kokum good for Pitta nature?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kokum is good for someone with a Pitta nature. According to Ayurveda, Pitta nature means one who is hypersensitive to heat. It helps in reducing heat and inflammation. This is due to its Ushna (hot) nature. Drinking Kokum juice or Kokum infused water helps to expel heat, reduce acidity and relieve sunstroke.

Kokum having Ushna(hot) in nature but when making its juice with cooling ingredients and sugar candy. It is perfect for reducing heat and inflammation, it is an ideal antidote for the Pitta dosha. Drinking kokum infused water helps expel heat, counter acidity and relieve sunstroke in the summer season.

Q. Is Kokum good for diabetic patients?

scientific
Modern Science View
Kokum has antioxidant and anti-diabetic properties. The level of certain enzymes that get reduced in case of type 2 diabetes is restored by Kokum. Certain components of Kokum are also involved in carbohydrate metabolism. Therefore, Kokum may be useful in managing diabetes as well as its related complications[7][8].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kokum is useful in managing normal blood sugar level. According to Ayurveda, diabetes is known as Madhumeha which is due to an aggravation of Vata and impaired digestion. Impaired digestion leads to an accumulation of Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion) in the pancreatic cells and impairs the function of insulin. Kokum helps to correct impaired digestion and improve metabolism due to its Deepan (appetizer) and Pachan (digestive) properties. This reduces Ama and improves the function of insulin, thus managing the normal blood sugar level.

Q. Is Kokum good for acidity?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kokum may be useful in managing acidity due to the presence of certain active compounds[9][10].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kokum is good for improving the digestive system. Taking Kokum juice corrects the digestive fire and helps in easy digestion of food because of its Ushna (hot) nature. This helps in managing acidity due to indigestion.

Q. Does Kokum cause constipation?

scientific
Modern Science View
No, Kokum does not cause constipation. In fact, in traditional medicine, Kokum has been used to manage various digestive problems including constipation[9][11].

Q. Is Kokum bad for the liver?

scientific
Modern Science View
No, Kokum is not bad for the liver. Kokum is rich in antioxidants and inhibits lipid peroxidation. Due to these properties, Kokum has hepatoprotective or liver-protecting activity[12-14].

Q. Does Kokum protect against gastric ulcers?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kokum might show protective action against gastric ulcers. It contains a certain constituent (known as garcinol) that has antioxidant activity. It protects the gastric (stomach) cells against damage caused by free radicals and shows gastroprotective activity leading to prevention of formation of gastric ulcers[18].

Q. Does Kokum help ease anxiety and depression?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kokum might help in managing anxiety and depression. Kokum fruit helps to improve serotonin levels (also known as the happy chemical) in the body that is mainly responsible for transmission of signals in the brain. An increased amount of serotonin results in improved brain function and eases the symptoms of depression and anxiety[3].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Vata governs all movements in the body and every action of the nervous system. Anxiety and depression are nervous disorders that generally occur due to an imbalance of Vata dosha. Kokum relaxes the nerves and calms the mind, thereby providing relief from anxiety and depression due to its Vata balancing property.

Q. Is Kokum good for the heart?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kokum might be good for the heart as it shows cardioprotective activity. It contains certain constituents (known as flavonoids) that protect the heart cells against damage caused by free radicals due to its antioxidant property leading to improved heart health[19].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Yes, Kokum is helpful in keeping the heart strong by strengthening the heart muscles and enhancing its functioning due to its Hrdya (heart tonic) property. This helps keep the heart healthy and reduce the risk of cardiac problems.

Q. What are the benefits of Kokum juice?

scientific
Modern Science View
Kokum juice is cool and refreshing in nature and helps protect the body against dehydration and sunstroke. It also improves the digestive system and is used as a natural remedy for various stomach and liver disorders[17][20].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kokum juice is prepared from Kokum fruit and can be consumed in any season as it is good for your digestion. It helps to enhance the digestive fire (Agni) and improve digestion due to its Ushna (hot), Deepana (appetizer) and Pachan (digestion) properties.

Q. Is Kokum good for the skin?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Kokum oil is good for the skin. Kokum is rich in antioxidants due to which it reduces degeneration of skin cells. It also restores skin elasticity thereby reducing wrinkles and prolonging the effects of ageing. In traditional medicine, Kokum has been used to manage rashes due to skin allergies and also manages burns and chaffed skin[12][15][16].

Q. Is Kokum butter good for hair?

scientific
Modern Science View
Not enough scientific evidence is available to support the benefits of Kokum butter for hair.
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kokum butter is useful for managing hair problems. It is used for hair related problems especially hair fall. Kokum butter helps to remove dirt and excess oil from the scalp as well as promote hair growth. This is because of its Kashaya (astringent) property.

Q. How can Kokum oil be used?

scientific
Modern Science View
Kokum oil is extracted from its seeds and is also known as Kokum butter. It has both cosmetic and medicinal applications apart from its use in cooking for making juices and sherbet. Kokum butter contains certain constituents that have antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Kokum butter also has moisturizing, soothing, astringent and demulcent (soothes irritation) properties, making it useful in the preparation of face creams, skin lotions and lipsticks. It is also used as a base in ointments and suppositories[20].
ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
Kokum oil can be used as a local applicant on dry hands and legs in the rainy or winter season. Dryness of skin generally occurs due to an aggravation of Vata dosha. Komum oil helps to manage dryness due to its Vata balancing, Snigdha (oily) and Ropan (healing) properties.

References

  1. Balkrishnan A.Vrikshaml.Ayurved Jadi Buti Rehsya. Danik Bhaskar.2017.
  2. Panda V, Ashar H, Srinath S.Antioxidant and hepatoprotective effect of Garcinia indica fruit rind in ethanol-induced hepatic damage in rodents.Interdiscip Toxicol. 2012;5(4):207–213.
  3. Dhamija I,Parle M,Kumar S.Antidepressant and anxiolytic effects of Garcinia indica fruit rind via monoaminergic pathway.3 Biotech.2017; 7(2): 131.
  4. Nayak CA, Rastogi NK,Raghavarao KSMS.Bioactive Constituents present in Garcinia Indica Choisy and its potential food applications: A review.International Journal of Food Properties.2010;13(3):441-453.
  5. Onakpoya I, Hung SK, Perry R et al.The Use of Garcinia extract (hydroxycitric acid) as a weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials.J Obes.2011;2011:509038.
  6. Baliga MS, Bhat HP, Pai RJ et al.The chemistry and medicinal uses of the underutilized Indian fruit tree Garcinia indica Choisy (kokum): a review.Food Research International.2011;44(7):1790-1799.
  7. Kirana H, Srinivasan B.Aqueous extract of garcinia indica choisy restores glutathione in type 2 diabetic rats.J Young Pharm.2010;2(3):265-268.
  8. Swathi P, Jagadeesh Kumar T, Eswar Kumar K.Methanolic fruit extract of Garcinia indica ameliorates progression of diabetic nephropathy in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. International Journal of Biological & Pharmaceutical Research.2015;6(1):12-18.
  9. Jagtap P, Bhise K, Prakya V.A phytopharmacological review on Garcinia indica.International Journal of Herbal Medicine.2015;3(4):2-7.
  10. Swami SB, Thakor NJ, Patil SC.Kokum (Garcinia indica) and its many functional components as related to the human health: a review.Journal of Food Research and Technology.2014;2(4):130-142.
  11. Patel M, Antala B, Barua C et al.Anxiolytic activity of aqueous extract of Garcinia indica in mice.International Journal of Green Pharmacy.2013;7(4):332-335.
  12. Panda V, Ashar H, Srinath S.Antioxidant and hepatoprotective effect of Garcinia indica fruit rind in ethanol-induced hepatic damage in rodents.Interdiscip Toxicol.2012 Dec;5(4):207-213.
  13. Panda VS, Ashar HD.Antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects of Garcinia indica choisy fruits in carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury in rats.Journal of food biochemistry.2012;36(2):240-247.
  14. Kshirsagar AD, Mohite R, Aggrawal AS et al.Hepatoprotective medicinal plants of ayurveda– a review.Asian J Pharm Clin Res.2011;4(3):1-­8.
  15. Padhye S, Ahmad A, Oswal N et al.Emerging role of garcinol, the antioxidant chalcone from Garcinia indica Choisy and its synthetic analogs.J Hematol Oncol.2009;2:38.
  16. Sahasrabudhe A, Deodhar M.Anti-hyaluronidase, anti-elastase activity of Garcinia indica.International journal of botany.2010;6(3):299-303.
  17. Parle M, Dhimija I. Golden benefits of drinking Kokum-cola. Int. Res.J. Pharm.2013;4(5):5-9. External Link
  18. Yamaguchi F, Saito M, Ariga T, et al.Free radical scavenging activity and antiulcer activity of garcinol from Garcinia indica fruit rind. J Agric Food Chem.2000;48(6):2320-2325.External Link
  19. Patel K, Panchasara A, Barvaliya M, et al. Evaluation of cardioprotective effect of aqueous extract of Garcinia indica Linn. fruit rinds on isoprenaline-induced myocardial injury in Wistar albino rats. Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences.2015; 10:388-396.External Link
  20. Swami SB, Thakor NJ, Patil SC.Kokum (Garcinia Indica) and its Many Functional Components as Related to Human Health: A Review. Journal of Food Research and Technology. 2014; 2(4): 130-142.External Link
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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