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Garcinia indica

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Title: Garcinia indica  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Kokum oil, Biran, Berry, List of Pakistani spices, Tropical fruit
Collection: Flora of India, Garcinia, Indian Spices, Medicinal Plants of Africa, Medicinal Plants of Asia, Spices, Tropical Fruit
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Garcinia indica

Garcinia indica
Kokum fruits, seeds, pulp and rinds.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Clusiaceae
Subfamily: Clusioideae
Tribe: Garcinieae
Genus: Garcinia
Species: G. indica
Binomial name

Garcinia indica, a plant in the mangosteen family (Clusiaceae), commonly known as kokum, is a fruit-bearing tree that has culinary, pharmaceutical, and industrial uses.

The genus Garcinia, belonging to the family Clusiaceae, includes about 200 species found in the Old World tropics, mostly in Asia and Africa. Garcinia indica is indigenous to the Western Ghats region of India located along the western coast of the country. Of the 35 species found in India, 17 are endemic. Of these, seven are endemic to the Western Ghats, six in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and four in the northeastern region of India.

Garcinia indica also referred as Garcinia Cambogia[1] is found in forest lands, riversides and wastelands. These plants prefer evergreen forests, but sometimes they also thrive in areas with relatively low rainfall. It is also cultivated on a small scale. It does not require irrigation, spraying of pesticides or fertilizers.


  • Uses 1
    • Culinary uses 1.1
    • Industrial uses 1.2
    • Other uses 1.3
    • Pharmacological study 1.4
  • References 2
  • External links 3


Culinary uses

The dried skin of kokum fruits

The outer cover of fruit is dried in the sun to get aamsul or kokam. It is used as a slightly sour spice in recipes from Maharashtra. Kokum yields a peculiar flavour and blackish red colour. It is extensively used in Assamese cuisine in many dishes like " masor tenga " or sour fish curry and " tenga dali " or sour dal. It is used as a cure for upset stomach and cold.A few dry pieces are soaked in water for some time and then the pieces are mashed in the water itself and can be taken in whole.It gives relief within few minutes.It is a preferred substitute for tamarind in curries and other dishes from the Konkan region. It is also used in cuisine from Gujarat, where it is frequently used to add flavor and tartness to dal (lentil soup) for flavor balance, and parts of South India.

The vessel on the left contains syrup which is obtained from the vessel containing kokum rinds, on the right. The syrup is used to make kokum sherbet

Kokum squash or kokum concentrate is used in preparing a drink (sherbet) which is bright red in colour. Kokum sherbet improves digestion and cools the body during summers.

Further, the extract/ concentrate of this fruit is called aagal in Konkani and Marathi. It is to added during the preparation of solkadhi, along with coconut milk.

Industrial uses

The seed of Garcinia indica contains 23–26% oil, which remains solid at room temperature. It is used in the preparation of confectionery, medicines and cosmetics.

Recently, industries have started extracting hydroxycitric acid (HCA) from the rind of the fruit.

Other uses

The tree is ornamental, with a dense canopy of green leaves and red-tinged, tender, young leaves. The oily extract called kokum tel is used in foot massage.

Pharmacological study

Aqueous extracts of the dried fruits of Garcinia indica have an anxiolytic effect in mice.[2]


  1. ^ "Garcinia Cambogia: An Awesome Superfruit for Healthcare". Journal of Pharmaceutical Biomedical Analysis Letters. 2(1)80-84. p. 80. 
  2. ^ M.S. Patel, B.V. Antala, C.C. Barua and M. Lahkar (2013). in mice"Garcinia indica"Anxiolytic activity of aqueous extract of . International Journal of Green Pharmacy 7 (4): 332–335.  

External links

  • Plant database
  • kokumArticle about culinary use of
  • Celtnet Spice Guide entry for Kokam
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