Feast logo

Everyone, Meet Kokum.

Get to know the "Indian Butter Tree"

By Ashley TerrellPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Photo credit: HealthifyMe

One day, I was searching for new spices and stumbled across kokum. I've never seen or heard of the food and never seen kokum in the grocery store.

The small cherry-like summer fruit captivated me with its red color and deep purple when ripe.

Known as the "Indian Butter Tree", kokum is predominantly grown in the tropical regions of Asia, Africa, the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, and Goa in South India. Kokum is used as a spice, similar to tamarind, in Gujarat, Goa, and other coastal and southern Indian areas.

Recognized botanically as Garcinia indica, the tropical evergreen tree is native to India's West coast. Kokum fruit-bearing tree from the mangosteen family and produces purple fruits that resemble small plums or passionfruits.

Kokum is packed with antioxidant properties!

I was astounded to learn about the numerous health benefits that low-calorie food can add to your life!

The fruit-producing tree is packed with anthocyanins, polyphenols, anti-carcinogenic, flavonoids, ascorbic acid, anti-bacterial, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants are essential to boost immunity and reduce cell damage causing blemishes and aging. Kokum contains anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties for skin reactions, sores, and wrinkles. Kokum butter can be mixed with soaps and creams to replenish skin and increase elastically.

Kokum peels are packed with anthocyanins, garcinol, and hydroxy citric acid. The rind of the kokum is high in flavonoids, such as anthocyanins. Ascorbic acid can increase immunity and antioxidant properties. Garcinol acts as an antioxidant and gastroprotective agent that protects the stomach cells against any harm from free radicals.

Photo credit: Moksha Mantra

Kokum aids gut health.

Gut health is just as important as overall immunity.

Kokum can improve digestion with its stomach-related properties.

Kokum contains anti-bacterial properties that ward off constipation, ulcers, bloating, and nausea.

Kokum helps reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases.

With heart stroke and diabetes on the rise, eating the right foods to counter cardiovascular ailments and reduce risks. Manganese found in the tree fruit helps regulate blood sugar and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. The acetic acid found in kokum can also help regulate blood sugar levels.

Cardiotonic found in kokum can help reduce levels of triglycerides and risks of cardiovascular diseases. Garcinol found in kokum possesses anti-carcinogenic properties which prevent pancreatic, prostate, and breast cancer.

The hydroxy citric acid and garcinol found in kokum act as anti-inflammatory agents to prevent the spread of cancerous cells.

Studies insist garcinol can help decrease pro-inflammatory enzymes, preventing dementia, cancer, and heart disease.

Curb your appetite and attitude with kokum!

Overeating is the leading cause of obesity. Eating the wrong foods at the most inconvenient times can make it difficult to lose and manage body weight.

Hydroxy citric acid found in kokum is known as an appetite curber.

Studies showed that hydroxy citric acid, or HCA, can curb hunger, and boost energy, and metabolism.

Additionally, the hydroxy citric acid found in kokum acts as a mood booster offering emotional balance.

Choosing your kokum.

Grocery shopping for kokum is foreign to me. Here are a few key points to help you pick your kokum!

Kokum is commonly used as a souring agent. The fruit adds a pinkish-purple color to any dish!

The most common [dried] kokum is black kokum. White kokum takes longer to dry out prior to use.

The best kokum is picked when ripe. The fruit is halved and the pulp is removed. The rinds can be semi-dried or sundried with salt during the drying process.

Try kokum added to curries, legumes, and vegetable dishes. Kokum milk commonly drank in India, pairs well with coconut. Kokum sherbet and juice are popular in southern Indian dishes.

Kokum oil and butter are extracted from its seeds and used to make chocolates, sweets, and hair products.


About the Creator

Ashley Terrell

Bestselling author. Entrepreneur. Seasonings and spices saved my life. Where sheep and angels share the same color. Newport News, VA. Conqueror and lover of all things Fine Arts.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.