Ever heard of Kokum or mangosteen fruit? Its botanical name is Gracinia indica. It is a fruit, almost like a berry, very Indian though. These are tiny fruits that turn into deep purple from red as they ripen. It is harvested and dried. People of the western ghats have been using it as a spice and as a medicine. The taste of this fruit is slightly sour with a faintly sweet aroma.
Ayurvedic physicians have long used kokum to treat sores, prevent infection, improve digestion, alleviate diarrhea and constipation, lessen arthritis pain, cure ear infections and heal stomach ulcers. Kokum butter is non-greasy and gets absorbed into the skin once it is applied. It is often used as a substitute for cocoa butter due to its triglyceride composition. Kokum butter also contains antioxidants and vitamin E. Kokum butter exhibits excellent emollient properties and high oxidative stability, which can assist emulsion integrity. With its relatively higher melt point, it melts slightly at skin temperatures, making it ideal for lipsticks and balms. It is also added in the making of bar soaps and skin lotions. Kokum butter is also used to treat dry lips, chapped hands and soles of the feet.
I do not drink alchohol. Well, more by choice. I do love my kokum sherbat though :)
I do make this on my Ayurvedic day retreats and my Marigold weekends for my guests and it is quite a favourite!