Ayurveda – kokam and its medical importance
Kokam – Garcinia indica is found in forest lands, riversides and wastelands. These plants prefer evergreen forests, but sometimes they also thrive in areas with relatively low rainfall. It is also cultivated on a small scale. It does not require irrigation, spraying of pesticides or fertilizers.
In India it is used as food ingredient or for cooking purpose only in the regional cuisines of Gujarat, Maharashrta and several southern states where large glasses of kokam sherbet are downed during parched summer months. In this region the sweltering heat demands refrigerant (cooling) ingredients in food and drink. Kokam is well known to counteract the heat.
It is dark purple to black, sticky and with curled edges. The fruit is often halved and dried, so that the dried seeds are visible in their chambers like a citrus fruit. It is usually available as a dried rind, resembling a thick plum skin. When added to food it imparts a pink to purple color and sweet/sour taste.
Kokam’s refrigerant properties are well known. It is useful as an infusion, or by direct application, in skin ailments such as rashes caused by allergies. Kokam butter is an emollient helpful in the treatment of burns, scalds and chaffed skin. The fruits are steeped in sugar syrup to make amrut kokam which is drunk to relieve sunstroke.
Kokam (Gracinia indica) has multiple health and medicinal benefits. The fruits of Gracinia indica(Botanical name of kokam) is an excellent source of anti-oxidants that prevents to free radicals thereby helps from different diseases. Kokam is used in case of piles, flatulence, constipation, heatstroke, pain , tumor etc. The dried outer cover of Gracinia indica is used as spice. It is also known as ‘cool king’ of Indian fruits.
kokam is an excellent source of anti-oxidants, thus helps to minimise the impacts of many diseases. It also promote cell regeneration and repair.
Allergy: Cold blend of Kokam is used as local application in urticarial and allergic rashes on the skin. The infusion is highly effective and suggested for these purposes.
Constipation: When a person is suffering from constipation, peel of dried fruits are given in the dose of 500 mg at night. It helps to ease constipation.
Hyper acidity: Having acidity or hyper acidity, the cold mix of Gracinia indica, sugar and little amount of salt is given to overcome from the problems of acidity and hyper acidity.
Flatulence: Kokam is effective in case of flatulence, stomach pain and gaseous distension. The patient may take sip of the mix of Gracinia indica, ginger, honey, sugar and salt.
Kokam with its cooling property it is used as healthy and refreshing drink and Syrup.
Cracked Heels: The application of Gracinia indica butter is quite useful for cracked heels.
Indigestion: Suffering from indigestion, one should take the mix of Kokam should be taken along with black pepper and salt.
Kokum is also welcome in diseases and conditions such as hyper acidity, piles, fistula, heatstroke, infection, dysentery, etc.
When allergy take the chronic form, the cool infusion may be also be used internally.
The fruits of Gracinia indica shouldn’t be used in excess. Milk and milk products should be used after one hour.