Kokum, commonly known as Garcinia indica is a fruit bearing plant of mangosteen family. This purple coloured berry has number of uses including cooking, medicines, industrial and oil extracts are helpful for treating various health issues.
The refreshing and cooling juice of kokum is not only delicious but also has several health benefits. The dried out Garcinia skin is used as a spice and is regarded as the cool king of Indian fruits. It has a sour taste with slightly sweet smell.
Garcinol is the major active ingredient of Kokum and it has antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. Fresh Kokum fruit highly contains B-complex vitamins such as niacin, folates and thiamine which are co-factors of many biochemical reactions. The seed of kokum contains 23-30% oil and it is used in preparation of medicines, cosmetics and confectionery.
Let us now go through some of the health benefits of Kokum Juice:
Powerful Anti-Oxidant and Anti-Allergic
Kokum is an excellent source of anti-oxidants thus it minimises the risk of diseases and promote cell regeneration and repair. It helps to reduce fever and allergic reactions. Cold blend of Kokum is applied on allergic rashes on skin.
Healthy and Refreshing drink
Kokum juice is very popular in India especially during hot summer. It is delicious and has a cooling and refreshing effect on the body. It not only quenches your thirst, but also helps to prevent dehydration and sunstroke due to heat.
The extracts of Kokum enhances the health of our digestive system to a great extent. Digestive problems such as constipation, flatulence, excessive bloating and indigestion or dyspepsia, irritable bowel moments etc. can be treated by having Kokum juice.
Aids Weight Loss
Kokum contains an active ingredient called hydroxy citric acid. It promotes the burning of fat. It convertsexcess calories into fat. This aids in proper weight loss. Kokum also promotes the metabolism that aids weight loss.
The Garcinol in Kokum boost the immunity in the body. The anti-bacterial properties of this berry keeps you away from diseases, helps you stay healthy. It also reduces inflammation in the body due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Kokum is known to fight cholesterol and strengthens the cardio-vascular system. It is low in calories and is rich in dietary fibre. It controls the blood pressure and heart rate and thus protects the heart from coronary diseases.
Kokum is found to exert positive effects on the brain by helping in the neuronal growth process. It also prevents damage to the brain by nullifying the action of the free radicals and protects the brain health.
Kokum is used in cooking to add sour taste, its sweet smell and colour to the food. It is used as an alternative for tamarind in curries and dals. Kokum juice or squash I used to make sharbat in India during summers.
For Hair and Skin
Kokum can be directly applied over your face and body like a moisturizer. Cracked heels and lips can be cured. Also kokum is used to nourish hair from the roots, makes hair shiny, soft, smooth and easily manageable.
Kokum has certain agents that have the ability can not only prevent cancer but also have potential as a treatment for the disease. Studies prove that Garcinol in Kokum is an able cancer fighter like curcumin in Turmeric.
Kokum is a rich source of minerals like magnesium, manganese, potassium and also carbohydrates in sufficient amounts to fulfil the nutrient requirement of the body. It is been used to prepare Ayurvedic medicines since long time to treat piles, dysentery and other infections We may add that it is also anti-neuralgic, helpful for gum diseases as well as in glaucoma. As we see it has no. of health benefits we should start including it in our diet regularly in salads, dal, rasam and even sambhar and curries.