Traditionally, Kokum has been used as herbal suppressant to treat edema, delayed menstruation, constipation, rheumatism, etc. Other health benefits: improves digestive and immune system, treats allergies, weight loss, heals cracked heels, boosts brain health, treats sores, alleviates diarrhea, lessens arthritis pain, cures ear infections and heals stomach ulcers.Image Source
Among all the native fruits that are found in the Indian sub-continent, Kokum (Gracinia indica) has off late been taken quite seriously due to its health benefits. Especially used by the people in the western Ghat region of India this fruit has been gradually becoming quite popular. The ornamental fruit is used as both spice and medicine.
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Research on Kokum
According to the researchers at the Institute of Science and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai, India, kokum’s antioxidant activities are stronger than those of many other spices, fruits and vegetables. One of the articles published in the “Journal of Hematology & Oncology” further suggests that kokum could be a useful anticancer agent. However, research in humans is still yet to proceed.
Major active ingredient in Kokum is garcinol, a substance that has antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is said to be potential enough to kill the H. pylori bacteria that cause ulcers, promote brain health by aiding the growth of neurons while stopping damage from substances that can oxidize them, and suppress production of reactive oxygen species which play a role in cardiovascular disease and cancer. Apart from that, it also contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA) an appetite suppressant.
Kokum is rich in dietary fibre and low in calories. It is packed with B-complex vitamins namely niacin, thiamin, folic acid, magnesium, potassium and manganese that offer protection against heart diseases and also aids in control of blood pressure.
Health Benefits of Kokum
Mostly found in Maharashtra, Kokum has a wide range of health benefits packed in its pulp, seeds, bark, rind and root. Traditionally, Kokum was used as herbal suppressant and to treat edema, delayed menstruation, constipation, rheumatism, etc.
Kokum is widely used to combat a myriad range of digestive problems like constipation, acidity and flatulence. It contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA) that acts as an appetite suppressant. Its anti-helmintic properties help in removal of worms like ascaris from the stomach.
Helps Reduce Weight
Kokum contains HCA that acts as a hypocholesterolaemic agent. It suppresses the activity of the enzymes responsible for conversion of calories into fat. It induces weight loss by hindering with the process of lipogenesis (fatty acid synthesis).
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.
Kokum enahnces your immune function by acting as a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Garcinol, an active constituent present in kokum is found to possess anti-carcinogenic properties that helps in suppressing the production of reactive oxygen species responsible for the cancer.
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Kokum for Allergy
Kokum is also used as local application in urticarial and allergic rashes on the skin.
Kokum for Cracked Heels
The application of Gracinia indica butter is quite useful for cracked heels.