Kokum – Garcinia indica is an anti oxidant rich fruit used in the name of Vrikshamla in Ayurveda. Kokum butter juice, prepared from its fruits is a famous coolant summer juice widely used in South India.
Botanical name – Garcinia indica Lin
Its fruits are green when unripe. Only ripe dark red coloured fruit is useful for medicinal purposes.
Table of Contents
Names in different languages:
Hindi name- Kokum, Kokam, Komal , Amlaveta, Vishambila
English name – Kokum butter tree, Wild mangosteem, Kokam Butter tree, Red mango, Mate mongosteen, Kokam batten tree, Mangosteen oil tree, Brindonia tallow tree
Bengali : Mahada
Bombay : Kokam, Amsul, Katambi, Bhirand
Kannada name – Dhupadamara, Murgala, Tittidika, Murgmahali, Murgala, Huli, Punarpuli.
Deccan name – kokam, Ratambi
Goa name – Brindao, Amsel. Ratainbasal, Brindoesiro
Gujarati name – Kokam, Ratamba ,Kokambel ,Birandel
Kashmiri name – Titidika
Konkani : Birondd, Ratambi, Birondi
Malayalam name – Punampuli
Marathi name – Amosole, Bhirand, Chirand, Katambi, Ratamba, Kokam
Portuguese name – Brindall
Tamil name – Murgal, Puli
Telugu name – Chinta
Tulu name – Punarpuli.
Amlashaka, Amlavrikshaka, Chukramla, Amlapoora, Chudamla, Beejamla, Phalamla,Shreshtamla – sour tasting fruit
Raktapooraka – The dried fruit is red in colour and makes the water red when mixed
Tittidi phala, Tintideeka, Tittideeka – Salivation occurs immediately after seeing this fruit
Division – Angiospermae
Sub division – Dicotylydonae
Class – Polypetalae
Sub class – Thalamiflorae
Order – Guttiferales
Family – Guttiferae
Charaka- Phala varga (Charaka Sutrasthana 27 ) Hrdya (Charaka Sutrasthana 4)
Raja Nighantu – Pippalyadi Varga, Panchamla Phala,
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Aushadhi Varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu – Shatapushpadi Varga
Bhava Prakasha – Chaturamla, Panchamla, Amradi Phalavarga
Parushakadi varga – Sushrutha Samhitha
Pippalyadi varga – Raja Nighantu.
Habitat and distribution
It is reported to flourish well on the lower slopes of Niligiri hills, Singapore, China, Malabar, Malayasia, Maharastra, Kerala. Tropical rain forests of Western ghats from Konkan southwards in Mysore, Coorg, Wynaad, North Kanara, Goa. It is often planted in the districts of Bombay state distributed in tropical Asia, Africa and Polynesia.
Found in western Ghats of India, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Leaves – Simple, opposite, oblong lanceolate
red when young, entire margin, glabrous
Flowers – Axillary or Terminal, Solitary or i spreading fascicles, Female flowers are sessile
Fruits – Globose not furrowed Purple coloured
Seeds – 5 – 8 in number and compressed
Garcinia indica chemical composition:
Heartwood- Cuxanthone, Volkensiflovone, Morelloflavone, Comboginol
Fruit – Garcinol, Isogarcinol, Comboginol.
Seed – Neutral lipids, glycolipids
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna VIjnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)
Polyphenols have anti bacterial activity.
Kokum butter medicinal properties
Rasa (taste) – Amla (sour), Madhura – sweet
Guna (qualities) – Rooksha(dryness), Guru (heavy to digest)
Vipaka (taste conversion after digestion) – Amla (sour)
Veerya (potency) – Ushna (hot).
Because of its sourness, it is considered hot in potency. But when it is made into a juice with sugar candy powder and other coolant ingredients such as jaggery, it is useful as a coolant juice.
Pharmacological actions – CNS depressant, Anti hyper lipidemic, Seman coagulant
unripe fruit – Vatahara, Kaphapittakara
Ripe fruit – Kapha vatahara
It is unctuous, penetrating in nature, stimulates the digestive fire. Cures sever colicky pain, flatulence, constipation, It can even destroy the firmly established diseases and treats disorders caused due to vitiation of vata and kapha doshas.
Effect on Tridosha
Ripe fruit balances Vata and Kapha Dosha.
unripe fruit pacifies Vata dosha but increases Kapha and Pitta dosha.
Part used, dosage
Part used- Fruit, root bark, seed oil, tender leaves
Root bark decoction 40-80ml,
Fruit syrup 10-20ml,
Seed oil 3-5 drops.
Vrikshamla Swarasa – Juice extract – 5-10 ml.
Garcinia indica uses:
Ruchikrut, Rochana – improves taste, relieves anorexia
Deepana – improves digestion strength
Sangrahi – absorbent, useful in diarrhoea, IBS
Grahi – absorbent, useful in diarrhoea, IBS
It is indicated in –
Kapha Arsha – Haemorrhoids of Kapha origin
Trushna – excessive thirst
Vataja Udara – Bloating, Flatulence
Hrudgada – Cardiac disorders – It is a very good cardiac tonic
Gulma – Tumours of the abdomen
Atisara – diarrhoea, dysentery
Vrana Dosha – Ulcers, infected wounds
Grahani – IBS, sprue, altering diarrhoea and constipation
Shoola – abdominal colic pain
Jantu – worm infestation
It is used in the preparation of fermented fruit wine product called as Raaga.
Ayurvedic medicines with Garcinia indica as ingredient:
Hingvadi Churna – used in Ayurvedic treatment of indigestion, bloating and abdominal pain.
Yavanyadi Choornam – used in Ayurvedic treatment of respiratory diseases.
How to use kokum?
Its fruits are dried, soaked in water to prepare its juice – administered in a dose of 100 ml, 2 – 3 times a day.
Its fruit powder is also dried and consumed.
Its root bark is made into decoction and administered.
It is also available in Capsule form. Regular dose is – 1 capsule 2 times a day after food.
Its tender leaves are used in preparing Chutney (paste used along with dishes), which is administered for the treatment of gastritis and headache arising due to gastritis (bilious headache). Dose – 3 – 5 grams once or twice a day, before food.
Its tender leaves are crushed and administered along with buttermilk for headache and gastritis.
Kokum for throat infection and pain –
Kokum juice – 50 ml is mixed with quarter a teaspoon of ginger and a teaspoon of honey is added to it. This combination is consumed two times a day preferably before food to treat throat infection and voice hoarseness.
Its sour fruits are not healthy for people with Kapha and Pitta imbalance.
There are no other side effects.
Kokum juice is generally considered as safe during pregnancy, lactation and for children.
Interaction with medicines, supplements
Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.
this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets,
Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.
Literary review of the plant Vriksamla
Since the earliest times fruits are the common and important items of a mans diet. In earlier times when man lived in forests he had to fill his belly with fruits and tubers. The Indus valley civilization shows that those people at Harappa & Mohenjudharo used some fruits. when we come to vedic period we see considerable increase in the number & variety of fruit.
The Vedas are regarded as the oldest books on the Earth. In yajurveda we find the use of fruits but vrikshamla is not mentioned there.
In Maurya Sanga Period one finds authentic data about fruits in Koutilyas Arthashastra he mentioned Vrikshamla in Phalamla varga.
In samhita kala Caraka mentioned Vruksamla hradya varga later sushrutha included vrikshamla Parushakadi varga. Vagbhata also mentioned vrikshamla in several context . After the samhita kala in Nighantu kala Bhava Prakasha Nighantu mentionedVrikshmla under Aamradi phala varga and Vrikshamla is also mentioned under Panchamla and chaturamla by Haritakyadi varga.
Later in 19th century cocum butter is mentioned under rochana varga by P.V.Sharma in Dravya Guna Vijnana.
In Astanga Hridaya kosha this vrikshamla word used for Garcinia indica. The comentory on Dhanvanthri Nighantu Bhava Prakasha Nighantu as well as treatise like dravya guna vijnan same reference is seen.In Kerala Garcinia Cambogea used for vrikshamla. Since both have same property it is used depending on its availability. It is mentioned in Indian Medicinal plant by orient longum.The tuber of amlika is beneficial in grahani, arsha, madatyaya is laghu not very ushna , kapha vatagna so acc to its above property instead vrikshamla amlika used. This is found only in Charaka. Chakrapani interprets it as a small plant found in Assam. It seems to be the plant mentioned as mahardraka by Bengali commentators in reference to vrikshamla. Tinthidika is found in all the 3 great samhithas of Ayurveda. It is mentioned in amlaskanda of (cha vi 8/140) also along with other sour fruits (cha su 26/84) hence there is no doubt about its being one of the amlaphala. In charaka samhitha in phalavarga vrikshamla is described not thinthidika . in Sushrutha samhitha thinthidika is mentioned. On this basis it may be presumed that thinthidika vrikshamla are one Dalhan supported this But Amarakosha given both these as synonyms. Chakrapani interpreted vrikshamla as brahadamla or mahardraka Dalhana interpreted thinthidika of phalavarga as vrikshamla Chakrapani has not described vrikshamla in his Dravyaguna samgraha. Shivadas sen while commenting on thinthidika has interpreted it as mahardraka which comes to vrikshamla.
At last thinthidika – Rhus parviflora belongs to the family anacardiaceae. Vrikshamla – Garcinia indica belongs to the family Guttiferae so there is no doubt in their different identity.