The mere mention of kokum brings to mind the small, round, red to purple-hued fruits, relished in curries for their sour flavour, besides being sipped on as a delightful sharbat and chilled juice. While the kokum fruits, scientifically termed Garcinia indica and native to the Western Ghats region of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, are extensively used in cooking traditional Indian dishes, the flattened, black, pliable seeds within yield a rather beneficial substance too. Yes indeed, an inherently oily element known as kokum butter and this plant-based matter derived from the kernels of kokum, a crop belonging to the same botanical family as mangosteen, confers astounding merits for glowing skin and silky hair.
What Is Kokum Butter?
Kokum butter is an oleaginous material isolated from the seeds of the kokum fruit. Each raw or ripe kokum fruit contains about 5 to 10 large black seeds, which are separated from the pulp. They are then wiped clean to remove all dirt and debris, squeezed under high pressure and subsequently processed as vegetable oil to obtain kokum butter, otherwise known as kokum oil. Much like shea butter, kokum butter also abounds in the saturated fats of stearic acid and oleic acid.
Kokum butter possesses a firm texture and usually appears in shades of light grey, pale white, creamy yellow. It is in fact a hard edible butter at room temperature, used as a substitute for cocoa butter in preparing confectioneries, as well as for topical use on skin and hair. Nevertheless, owing to its ease of melting upon touching the skin and umpteen valuable phytochemical compounds, kokum butter is widely incorporated into commercial personal care products - bar soaps, face creams, moisturisers, lip balms, ointments, shampoos, hair conditioners.
Incredible Beauty Benefits Of Kokum Butter:
Heals Dry Skin
Kokum butter comprises a wealth of skin-fortifying constituents, such as vitamin E and key polyunsaturated fats of omega-3, omega-6 essential fatty acids. These vital compounds infuse hydration to parched regions, repair damaged tissues and lock in moisture content to form an effective outer barrier and protect deeper layers of skin. Dabbing on some kokum butter on the face, neck and body after a shower significantly softens dry skin, to reveal a smooth and plump texture.
Reverses The Age Clock
Blessed with a plethora of plant-based antioxidants, kokum butter works wonders in eliminating detrimental free radicals and toxins from the surface of the skin. It also accelerates the regeneration of skin cells, supplies elasticity, moisture to the tissues and diminishes signs of ageing including wrinkles, creases, fine lines. Kokum butter shields the skin from pollutants, harmful UV rays of the sun, to prevent dark spots, discolouration, sagging and an uneven skin tone.
Banishes Acne And Pimples
Kokum butter houses potent phytonutrients that display spectacular anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. These aid in combatting acne, as well as soothing swelling, redness and irritation on the skin. Furthermore, kokum butter is non-comedogenic, which means it does not clog pores on the skin and also has a light-non-greasy consistency. It effectively remedies breakouts, pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and boils, by balancing the sebum/oil secretions, cleansing pores of impurities, germs, dust, dirt, grime, to reveal a blemish-free complexion.
Stimulates Hair Growth
The natural emulsifying texture of kokum butter, combined with the myriad nutrients like vitamin E, essential fatty acids promote hair growth with thick, long tresses and arrest excessive hair fall. Massaging kokum butter mixed with coconut oil on hair and scalp is known to boost the strength of hair roots or follicles, as well as infuse nutrients to the hair shafts and scalp, to foster the growth of a strong, dense, lustrous mane.
Kokum butter is laden with powerful plant-based substances, which comprise antifungal characteristics as well as nourishing qualities. These provide ample strength to the follicles, hair shafts, strands to avert breakage, split ends and also thwart scalp infections, dandruff and itching. Rubbing a mask of kokum butter and nutmeg essential oil onto scalp, hair from root to tip, then washing off with a shampoo remarkably resolves flaking, peeling, dandruff to bestow a clear, fresh, healthy scalp.