Kokum fruit whose botanical name is Garcinia indica has amazing health benefits and medicinal uses. Kokum juice, kokum butter and kokum sharbat all made from kokum fruit has amazing uses. From aiding weight loss, to treating constipation, acidity and skin rashes, it does have wide uses. In Ayurveda, kokum juice is used to balance pitta dosha. We use it as a body cooling drink in summer, since kokum fruit is full of antioxidants, consuming kokum juice is amazing for skin and hair too.
What Is Kokum?
Kokum fruits are red in color and they are used to make the famous kokum sharbat (kokum juice) which is very popular in India as a body coolant drink. The ripe fruits are more commonly available in North India and we get only the dried fruits here in South India. Fresh fruits have a shelf life of about 5 days whereas the dried rind can be stored for about 6 months at room temperature.
To dry the rind, the ripe fruits are collected from the tree and cut in half. The inner flesh and the seeds are removed and the outer covering of the fruit alone is spread on a sheet and sun dried to remove the moisture content, packaged and sold. When it is dried, it turns black and it is called amsul or kokum. It has a sour taste and sweet aroma and is usually added to curries for sourness. Kokum is mainly used in Goan and Konkan cuisine.
Kokum Common Names:
Kokum Traditional Uses:
Kokum Chemical Constituents:
The unique flavor and tart taste of kokum is due to the presence of high amounts of malic acid and small amounts of tartaric acid and citric acid. The fresh fruit contains small amounts of pectin, fat, tannins and anthocyanins and sugars. Fatty acid present in kokum butter are stearic acid, olein, palmitic acid and linolein. The major active compounds present in kokum that is responsible for it’s many medicinal uses are garcinol (which is present mainly in the rind), hydroxy citric acid and anthocyanins.
Kokum Fruit Nutrition:
100 grams of kokum fruit has 6.24 grams carbohydrates, 0.63 grams of sugars, 4.78 grams protein, 0.12 grams of fat, 1.55 grams of sodium, 44.5 grams of potassium, 13.21 grams of calcium, 33.45 grams of magnesium, 12.66 grams of iron and 4.51 grams of phosphorus.
Kokum Medicinal Uses:
1. Anti Depressant Properties:
2. Antioxidant Properties:
3. For Parkinson’s Disease:
4. For Type 2 Diabetes:
5. Anti Cancer:
6. As a Body Coolant:
7. Anti Ulcer:
8. For Weight Loss:
Kokum Side Effects:
Where to Buy Kokum?
4 Top Ways To Use Kokum Fruit For Skin, Hair & Health:
1. Kokum Oil:
a. How Is Kokum Oil Made?
2. Kokum Butter:
a. How Is Kokum Butter Made?
b. Kokum Butter Vs Shea Butter & Cocoa Butter:
Kokum butter is rich in stearic and oleic acids so it softens the skin well. It is perfect for dry and damaged skin and does not make the skin greasy. Kokum butter can be interchangeable used with cocoa butter, they both have same melting points. Though nice, cocoa butter does have a cocoa smell that is hard to hide when you are planning to make an unscented cream, in those situations use kokum butter instead. Also though shea butter is good for skin, it can be a bit grainy so if you want a super smooth cream, you can use kokum butter instead.
c. Kokum Butter Skin & Hair Benefits:
3. Fresh Kokum Juice:
If you have access to fresh kokum fruits, I would suggest making fresh kokum juice. It is full of antioxidants and also tastes amazing. The fresh juice can be applied on heat boils which is common during hot summer months and it is also a good remedy for constipation.
To make fresh kokum fruit juice, cut the fresh kokum fruits into two, kokum fruit has two layers, the outer red rind and the inner white fleshy part with the seeds. Remove the inner seeds and discard. Now grind the kokum rind, pulp to a smooth paste in a blender, strain and refrigerate.
To make the juice, add a tbsp of this fresh extract to a cup of water along with little honey to taste and tiny pinch of salt and enjoy. Make sure to refrigerate the fresh kokum extract else it will spoil very quickly. You can also freeze the fresh kokum fruit extract in ice cube trays and use when necessary.
4. Kokum Sharbat:
a. Kokum Sharbat Benefits:
Kokum sharbat is a sweet drink made by boiling the kokum rind in water along with sugar. I have given the recipe with sugar but you can make it without the sugar too. It acts as a body coolant and is full of antioxidants. It improves digestion and is also a good remedy for flatulence and indigestion. It is also a perfect weight loss drink, if made without the sugar. It is also a good remedy for stomach ulcers and has a soothing effect on our nervous system.
b.Kokkum Sharbat Recipe:
1. Take 1/2 cup of kokum, wash and soak in 1 cup of water for 3 to 4 hours. Strain the water and take kokum alone (reserve the water).
3. Add little bit of the reserved liquid to kokum and grind to a fine paste.
4. Now take 1 cup raw unprocessed sugar and the reserved liquid in a pan and boil till thick. Once thick, switch off and add in the ground kokum paste. Add 2 pinches of salt to it, mix well, cool, strain and store in a glass bottle in the refrigerator.
6. To make kokum juice, take 2 tbsp of the sherbet in a cup, add in a cup of chilled water and serve…