Well­ness from Within

Hair - - Flavour Of The Month -

Na­tive to the Western Ghats—both coastal and in­land— kokum is a slen­der ever­green tree, with branches thick with leaves. The tree bears flow­ers from No­vem­ber to Fe­bru­ary, and come sum­mer it bears round green fruit that ripens to a deep pink-pur­ple colour, sour taste and a bun­dle of good­ness, spe­cially vi­ta­min C. Kokum has cool­ing prop­er­ties, which makes it an ideal in­gre­di­ent for sol kadi, a pink soup-like prepa­ra­tion of co­conut milk and kokum; kokum sher­bet; and adding it to cur­ries es­pe­cially in the hot months. Kokum has many health ben­e­fits as it con­tains vi­ta­min C. It con­tains the ac­tive in­gre­di­ent gar­ci­nol that has an­tiox­i­dant and an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties, is high on fi­bre, is low on su­gar and has no choles­terol. “Cen­turies be­fore the spice be­came a sta­ple in Konkani cui­sine, Ayurvedic physi­cians used it to treat sores and pre­vent in­fec­tions, im­prove di­ges­tion, stop di­ar­rhea and con­sti­pa­tion, soothe the sore joints of rheuma­toid arthri­tis, cure ear in­fec­tions, and heal ul­cers. It is also a folk rem­edy for fever and skin rashes,” writes Dr. Bharat B. Ag­gar­wal, in Heal­ing Spices. Re­cent re­search in­di­cates that kokum aids weight loss.

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