It has been rightly said that Mother Nature has a cure for all the challenges of life. Indeed, there has not been a single malice till date that cannot be cured by natural means. Any random plant that we pick has tonnes of medicinal benefits to its credit.
Garcinia indica, which is popularly known by the common name of kokum is no exception and has a number of health benefits to its credit. This fruit can be consumed in different forms and all of it ensures that the medicinal benefits of the same remain unhindered.
This article explores the medical benefits of kokum. However, before we talk about the same, it is important for us to have an idea on what the plant is all about.
The very basic definition of kokum would be the fact that it is a fruit-bearing plant that is found in the western region of India. It is mostly seen in the coastal states of South India and plays a major role in the local cuisines of these areas.
Having 5 to 8 seeds in it, the diameter of the fruit is about one-and-a-half inches in size. When the fruit is ripe, it is picked and its skin is removed. The same is then soaked in the juice that is extracted from the pulp. If you want to make this fruit last longer, you can sun dry the same and preserve it for months.
Here are the amazing health benefits of kokum:
1. Nutritional Value
It is a well-established fact that kokum is loaded with a lot of nutrients. It has citric acid, malic acid, acetic acid, hydro citric acid as well as ascorbic acid. It also has a lot of carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Consumption of kokum boosts the immunity in an individual and is particularly useful for pregnant women, as it helps in fetal development.
2. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Kokum has excellent anti-allergic properties and can be applied directly to the allergies and rashes. Some doctors even recommend the consumption of kokum for treatment of sores and sunburns. Since this is organic in nature, it can also be used in small children and is not known to have any side effects as such. It is the anti-inflammatory properties of this magical plant that make it suitable for the treatment of burns.
3. Good For Digestion
There are a number of people who cannot consume citric products because they have gastric issues. Such people can easily opt for kokum, as this is easy on the stomach. In fact, kokum is known to stimulate the appetite and can improve the overall digestive abilities of an adult. This is highly recommended for people who frequently suffer from constipation and dysentery.
4. Keeps Infections At Bay
As human beings, the infections that one suffers from may be of one of the two probable types. It may be fungal or otherwise. Kokum is one of those few naturally occurring products that have both antioxidant as well as antifungal properties. Thus, it is able to protect us from all types of infections. Since it also wards off afla toxins, another possible use of kokum is as a food preservative.
5. Anti-ageing Properties
Kokum is particularly suitable for people above the age of 35 who are prone to ageing. With the stress and tension of modern life and the rising pollution level in our cities, repair and regeneration of dead skin cells becomes all the way more difficult. In such a situation like this, the anti-ageing properties of kokum that may be attributed to the rich antioxidant reserve that it carries are highly beneficial.
6. Ayurvedic Uses
Kokum finds exclusive menstruation in the vedic science of Ayurveda. Ayurveda prescribes the use of Kokum for rheumatoid pain, ear infections, dermatitis, and also for people with bowel problems and menstruation delays. In fact, it was in Ayurvedic texts that the concept of storing kokum by sun drying the same was first mentioned. Ayurveda also recommends the application of kokum for the treatment of cracked heels.
7. Is A Guard Against Diseases
The Japanese have proven that there are certain chemicals that are present in Kokum that make it suitable for use as an anti-ulcer drug. Kokum alleviates pain and helps in removing the tumors. It is a well-established fact that kokum protects the liver and helps to keep a number of neurological disorders at arm's length. Certain type of cancer may also be prevented by the regular consumption of kokum. Kokum is a good dietary option for people suffering from diabetes, as it helps keep the sugar in check.
8. Anti-paralysis Properties
As it is a cardio tonic, consumption of kokum in the summer months helps to reduce the chance of heart diseases. This is particularly true in the case of older men who are above 50 years of age. The anti-paralysis properties of kokum are also well known.
9. Weight Loss
Kokum is one fruit that is not just good to taste but it is low in calories as well. The acid that is present in the fruit stabilizes the levels of cholesterol and thus aids us in our fight against cholesterol. The icing on the cake is the fact that it does not have saturated fats as well. It is these properties of kokum that make it a vital tool in achieving weight loss by decreasing the production of excessive fats.
10. Skin And Hair Care Properties
The beauty properties of kokum butter cannot be undermined. It is multi-dimensional and can be applied to the hair, skin and lips as well. That is why kokum butter forms an essential component of skin lotions, soaps, balms and lipsticks. Kokum butter moisturizes and hydrates the skin and hair and is particularly suitable for the summer months. The oil that is rich in vitamin E is also edible. Consumption of that oil (in moderate quantities) gives the skin a fresh glow and makes one look younger than the actual age.
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