Beat the Indian summer with the konkan queen kokum

Are you ready to face the soaring mercury levels? I am sure kokum fruit with all its medicinal properties and healing powers to its credit will help you remain refreshed this summer.

                      Native to Western coastal regions of southern India, its scientific name is “Gracinia indica”. Being a part of our country’s history for centuries, this fruit is rarely seen beyond the Western Ghats.

How can it be used in your dish?
Dried kokum can be used as a substitute for tamarind, vinegar or lemon juice. The dried kokum, which is seen in most of the food stores, can be soaked in hot water for a few hours and the extract can be used in your dish.

How to select the perfect kokum:
 Usually available as dried rind, look for those purple angels, which are deeper in color. You can also smell them to detect spoilage.

Health benefits:
Digestion:  Your stomach will simply love the kokum juice as it aids in combating many stomach problems like flatulence (accumulation of gas in the alimentary canal), acidity and constipation. If you are suffering from piles or anal fissures then kokum fruit could be your best solution. It not only helps in stimulating appetite, but also in removing worms from the digestive tract. Thanks to the antioxidant Gracinol present in this nutritious fruit which helps in improving digestion. Adding to all its umpteen digestive benefits it also increases the red blood cell count.
Combats Breast Cancer: The antioxidants (gracinol) present in kokum come to the rescue in the fight against breast cancer. It inhibits the growth of cancerous cells without affecting the normal cells. Not only this, it has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties which help to fight against liver cancer, tongue cancer, and leukemia.
Fights Depression: This berry is also rich in the powerful anti-oxidant xanthone which is a mood enhancing agent and helps in fighting depression and mood swings.
Combats allergies: Kokum’s pulp has certain healing and soothing properties which can help to combat skin allergies.  
Kokum and Obesity: The hydrooxycitric acid present in kokum help in thwarting fat production in the body by suppressing the enzymes which convert excess calories from food into fat. This helps in slimming down and maintaining a fit and healthy body.
Skin and hair: Kokum butter extracted from Kokum kernel is excellent when applied for dry skin. It works wonders on chapped or dry lips. It even wards off wrinkles and makes you look younger. It also serves as a remedy for cracked heels. Its medicinal properties also cure cuts and wounds.                             Kokum butter also comes to the rescue for damaged hair. When applied it not only strengthens your hair but also boosts hair growth.
Sunstroke: Kokum juice is an excellent summer drink. It helps to keep the body hydrated and reduces sunstroke in the scorching heat of the summer months.  Also, the kokum fruit fights paralysis, diabetes etc.
                    What stops you from consuming this miraculous fruit which does wonders on your body?  Three cheers to this purple angel!!!