Have you heard about the kokum plant? This is a tree native to the Western Ghats region in India. It produces kokum fruits with a bright red color and with the size of a small plum. This juicy fruit has a sweet fleshy peel and an acidic pulpy meat.
It is commonly used in Indian cuisine as a souring agent. Moreover, kokum sherbet is a traditional beverage consumed in the tropical region of Goa to help decrease the heat and keep the skin safe from the negative effects of the sun.
Kokum fruit is a very popular in Ayurvedic medicine because of its rich nutritional profile. Below, you can read about its 5 best health benefits and tips on how to use it in cooking!
The 5 Best Health Advantages of Kokum Plant
- Encourages weight loss
The kokum rind is rich in HCA, a derivative of citric acid that can help with weight loss when consumed in combination with a healthy diet and a workout plan. HCA was found to impede the buildup of visceral, subcutaneous, and total fat in 2003. This is why HCA is a regular ingredient in supplements because of no known negative effects and no yo-yo effects. Some studies also suggest its capacity to boost your energy, reduce the appetite, and better your metabolism.
- Alleviates depression and anxiety
HCA is also potent enough to elevate the serotonin levels in the brain. In a study done with animals, the kokum fruit extract made the mice less fearful, increased their activity, and boosted their willingness to explore new environment which did not happen in the control group.
- Reduces inflammation
Chronic inflammation, as you may know, is the root of numerous diseases, including dementia, cancer, and diabetes. The kokum fruit can help lower inflammation because of the garcinol presence. This substance was found to suppress the pro-inflammatory enzymes.
- Helps with ulcers
Gastric ulcers, i.e. painful sores in the stomach and small intestines can be caused by H. pylori infection, long-term usage of aspirin, stress, or other NSAIDs. Garcinol can help with the treatment of H. pylori because it is a potent antioxidant and avert the ulcer formation as free radicals can contribute to the formation of stomach ulcers.
- It may help in the fight against cancer
Garcinol possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities that may play an important role in the prevention of and fight against cancer. Namely, in an animal study, it was able to significantly decrease the growth of human colon cancer cells and it also lead to apoptosis- cell death in leukemia cells. It was also found effective against liver and breast cancer.
How to Use Kokum?
- You can use it to prepare kokum body butter
- You can use it to prepare kokum butter soap
- You can use it to make lip balm
- You can use kokum supplements or kokum fruit extract
- Eat it fresh or dried