Also known as the Garcinia Indica plant, kokum is generally found in the Western Ghats of India and is often used as a spice as well as a medicine. From sherberts to Sol Kadhi which is a popular drink in the Western region, the sweet, tangy taste of Kokum makes the drinks refreshing especially during the hot summers.
More often than not, kokum is also a staple part of the cuisines of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and other Western regions of India. Due to its round and tiny shape along with its salty, tangy taste, kokum is often compared to cranberries.
Apart from its culinary characteristics, kokum has a plethora of benefits that can help you to maintain a healthy lifestyle for a great deal of time.
Here are some of the exciting health benefits of kokum that will never fail you.
Top 8 health benefits of Kokum
- Escalates your weight-loss journey
One of the best perks of consuming kokum is that it is low in calories. Apart from that, kokum is a storehouse of a plethora of nutrients such as anthocyanins, garcinol, and hydroxy citric acid. All these nutrients aid in the suppression of your appetite boosts your energy levels and metabolism and thereby increase the process of weight loss.
In addition to that, kokum is also rich in flavonoids which help in fighting off the free radicals and rejuvenate your skin.
- Good for the health of your heart
More often than not, people suffering from heart problems have significantly increased today’s generation. Be it from plague in the arteries to arrhythmia, angina, or stroke, heart diseases have become one of the major reasons for the increasing death tolls in the world today.
One of the primary kokum uses is its relation with reduced coronary heart disease in individuals. It is considered to be cardiotonic which helps in the reduction of triglyceride levels and ameliorates the health of your heart.
Not only that, ingredients like polyphenols and garcinol also help in strengthening the health of your heart due to the anti-inflammatory properties. Apart from improving your heart health, kokum also helps in reducing other degenerative diseases such as dementia and cancer.
- Reduces the ulcers
Stomach ulcers, more often than not, are caused by the presence of Helicobacter pylori which are present in ant-inflammatory drugs, alcohol, and spicy food.
Due to the anti-inflammatory and cooling properties of garcinol present in kokum, the bacteria which cause inflammation and ulcers are reduced.
In addition to that, consuming kokum juice renders a cooling and calming effect in the stomach especially during the summer season when ulceration is most common.
Kokum juice also renders a rejuvenating and revitalizing effect in those who consume it. It helps in preventing dehydration and keeps you energized throughout the day.
- Anti-fungal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties:
The anti-fungal properties of kokum help in preventing the spread of infection inside the body of an individual. The anti-oxidant properties present in kokum help in rejuvenating and ameliorating the quality of your hair and skin. It helps you look young and radiant throughout your life.
Apart from the anti-fungal and antioxidant properties of kokum which help in rejuvenating and revitalizing the health of your body, it also contains some of the anti-inflammatory properties which can help treat sores, rashes, and burns.
- Useful in Ayurveda
Kokum is extremely useful in Ayurveda, especially when it comes to the treatment of cracked heels. It also helps in reducing rheumatoid pain which is the inflammation of joints especially the hands, knees, and ankles. It is often aggravated by a weakened immune system.
Apart from that, the kokum is also beneficial in treating various problems related to digestion such as dysentery, constipation, diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), etc.
Kokum is also beneficial in treating ear infections, sores, menstruation, inflammatory problems, intestinal problems, etc.
- Helps in the regulation of blood sugar levels
As mentioned earlier, kokum is a storehouse of some of the most essential nutrients and vitamins that are needed for maintaining the health of your body. Kokum contains the essential carbohydrate, malic acid, and citric acid along with B-vitamins, manganese, dietary fibers, and potassium which help in the growth and development of the individual.
These nutrients and vitamins help in the regulation and management of blood sugar levels and also reduce oxidation rates. Kokum is one of the essential fruits one can eat if one is suffering from diabetes.
- Helps in fighting off cancer
Cancer is generally the result of abnormal cell growth which continues to divide and spread throughout the body of an individual. These unhealthy cancerous cells continue to grow inside the individual and destroy the healthy tissues.
However, this process can be put to a stop by consuming kokum sherbet. Kokum contains garcinol which acts as an anti-carcinogen. Anti-carcinogenic qualities in an ingredient help in preventing the spread of malignant tissues and abnormal cells.
This anti-carcinogenic garcinol helps in reducing the symptoms of prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, etc.
- Helps in reducing anxiety and depression
With the advancement of age, people have become more and more stressed about their jobs, lives, and their relationships which cause mental fatigue, emotional exhaustion and encumber them with unnecessary burdens.
When certain aspects of your life are going downhill, people experience low levels of serotonin which is generally associated with your mood levels and socialization skills. These low levels of serotonin in your body cause depression and anxiety, thereby increasing your stress levels.
Be that as it may, the consumption of kokum leads to an increase in serotonin levels as it contains hydroxyl-citric acids which escalate the production of it in your body.
Are there any side effects of Kokum?
No matter how healthy and beneficial kokum sounds, it has some side effects which cannot be ignored. Although kokum is known to rejuvenate and revitalize the radiance of your skin, one should avoid using kokum butter as it can aggravate skin problems and cause irritation in your skin.
If consumed in large proportion, kokum can also cause metabolic acidosis which can cause a spike in your blood pressure. You should also avoid consuming kokum if you are suffering from any comorbidities and you are on external medications.