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Healing Benefits Of Kokum For Indigestion

Kokum is a sour and sweet spice that Ayurveda highly recommends in treating a range of conditions such as bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, ulcers, IBS, worm infestations etc. Kokum's cooling and healing properties balances pitta helping treat stomach ulcers, fight indigestion-causing bacteria, protect your liver and easing symptoms of anxiety.

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Noni-Ingredient-Kapiva

We’ve all experienced that bloated feeling or rumbling stomach which comes with indigestion. A healthy digestive system is vital to our well being and consists of the gallbladder, digestive tract, pancreas, and liver. It breaks down food and nutrients so that your body can use it for cell repair, growth, and energy.[1][Your Digestive System & How it Works](https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/digestive-system-how-it-works“Your Digestive System & How it Works”). National … Continue reading And if you have indigestion you might experience discomfort or pain in your upper abdomen, a feeling of being too full after a meal, bloating, gas, or heartburn.

What you eat and drink has a significant impact on your digestion. So fatty, spicy, acidic, or greasy foods as well as alcohol, caffeine, and fizzy drinks can be problematic in excess. As can smoking and stress. Health problems like

  • gallbladder inflammation,
  • gastritis,
  • irritable bowel syndrome,
  • lactose intolerance,
  • peptic ulcers,
  • stomach cancer and
  • infections can also cause indigestion.[2][Symptoms & Causes of Indigestion](https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/indigestion-dyspepsia/symptoms-causes“Symptoms & Causes of Indigestion”). National … Continue reading

What Is Digestion According To Ayurveda?

Ayurveda describes the force of metabolism and digestion as “Agni”. Agni is responsible for the digestion and absorption of food. It converts food into energy which conducts all the important functions in our body. It is, therefore, considered the cause of strength, oja (vitality), health, prana (life energy), nourishment, teja (energy) and luster. It is the very base (mool) of life. If agni doesn’t function properly and metabolism is disturbed it can result in ill health.

Indigestion or “Ajirna” is thought to lead to the formation of “Ama” – a toxin that builds up due to improper digestion – and circulates through the body causing disease.[3]Agrawal, Akash Kumar, C. R. Yadav, and M. S. Meena. “Physiological aspects of Agni.” Ayu 31, no. 3 (2010): 395. [4]Shriwas, Rashmi, Sanjay Shukla, Rupendra Kumar Chandrakar, and Harikrishna Shrivas. “ETIOPATHOLOGICAL STUDY OF MOST COMMON DIGESTIVE DISORDER AJIRNA (INDIGESTION).” International Journal … Continue reading

What Are The Causes Of Indigestion?

Various factors such as

  • drinking too much water after your meals,
  • having an unhealthy diet,
  • overeating,
  • improper sleep,
  • emotional disturbances, and
  • the suppression of natural urges such as vata (flatus), nidra (sleep), and purisha (stool)
  • are thought to cause indigestion.[5][Ajirna (Indigestion)](https://www.nhp.gov.in/ajirna-indigestion_mtl“Ajirna (Indigestion)”). National Health Portal.

The science of Ayurveda recommends healthy habits like having a wholesome and fiber rich diet, avoiding irregular food habits, overeating and irregular sleep etc. to keep your digestive system healthy. Keeping your mind free from anxiety and worries is also considered to be beneficial.

Medicinal spices such as pepper and ginger as well as formulations such as hingwastaka churna, lavanaabhaskara churna, gandharvahastadi kashaya etc. are also used in ayurveda to treat indigestion.[6][Ajirna (Indigestion)](https://www.nhp.gov.in/ajirna-indigestion_mtl“Ajirna (Indigestion)”). National Health Portal.

How Does Kokum Help Fight Indigestion?

Kokum (Gracinia Indica), a spice which has traditionally been used to improve digestion, can be helpful. According to Ayurveda, kokum is amla (sour) and madhur (sweet) in taste and has the quality of being ruksha (dry) and guru (heavy to digest). Due to its sour taste, it is also considered to be ushna (hot). But when it is made into a juice by adding sugar or jaggery, this property changes and it functions as a cooling juice. Ayurveda uses this spice for treating a range of conditions such as bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, ulcers, IBS, worm infestations etc.

1. Kokum Can Protect Against Stomach Ulcers

Stomach ulcers can result in indigestion as well as significant abdominal pain and heartburn. Infection by – Helicobacter pylori – a bacteria is the most frequent cause of this condition. But factors like the frequent use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, smoking, radiation treatment, drinking excessive alcohol, and stress can increase your risk of getting ulcers.[7][Peptic ulcer](https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000206.htm“Peptic ulcer”).National Institutes of Health.

Garcinol, a compound present in kokum, is effective against Helicobacter pylori.[8]Chatterjee, Archana, Taharat Yasmin, Debasis Bagchi, and Sidney J. Stohs. “Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori in vitro by various berry extracts, with enhanced susceptibility to … Continue reading But that’s not all. When rats were exposed to other ulcer causing agents such as a common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, alcohol, and HCL it was observed that the administration of kokum extracts reduced the development of ulcers.[9]Deore, Amol Bhalchandra, Vinayak Dnyandev Sapakal, Neelam Laxman Dashputre, and Nilofer S. Naikwade. “Antiulcer activity of Garcinia indica linn fruit rinds.” Journal of Applied … Continue reading

So, kokum may help prevent indigestion by tackling one of its root causes – stomach ulcers.

2. Kokum Can Act Against Indigestion-Causing Bacteria

Helicobacter pylori doesn’t just cause stomach ulcers. It can also lead to gastritis (inflammation in the stomach lining) and even stomach cancer. These diseases can throw your digestive system off. But the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial kokum works against this germ.[10]Panda, Vandana Sanjeev, and Prashant Dhondiraj Khambat. “In vivo anti-inflammatory activity of Garcinia indica fruit rind (Kokum) in rats.” Biomedicine and Aging Pathology 2, no. 5 … Continue reading [11][Symptoms & Causes of Indigestion](https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/indigestion-dyspepsia/symptoms-causes“Symptoms & Causes of Indigestion”). National … Continue reading [12]Chatterjee, Archana, Taharat Yasmin, Debasis Bagchi, and Sidney J. Stohs. “The bactericidal effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus, garcinol and Protykin® compared to clarithromycin, on … Continue reading

3. Kokum Can Protect Your Liver

Liver is an important part of your digestive system. It produces bile, the digestive juice that helps break down fats.[13][Your Digestive System & How it Works](https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/digestive-system-how-it-works“ Your Digestive System & How it Works”).National … Continue reading
It’s well known that alcohol consumption can harm your liver. Did you know that kokum offers protection against the effects of alcohol? According to a study, it not only reduced levels of enzymes that are markers of liver damage but also increased antioxidants depleted due to alcohol. The antioxidant properties of kokum are thought to be responsible for its protective effect.[14]Panda, Vandana, Hardik Ashar, and Sudhamani Srinath. “Antioxidant and hepatoprotective effect of Garcinia indica fruit rind in ethanol-induced hepatic damage in rodents.” … Continue reading No wonder then, that kokum syrup has traditionally been used as a protective tonic for the liver against damage caused by alcohol!

4. Kokum Can Ease Anxiety

Both modern medicine and ayurveda recognize anxiety and stress as a contributory factor with respect to indigestion. Research indicates that kokum can be helpful in easing anxiety. It has been found that mice exhibit behaviors that signal a lessening of anxiety when they’re administered kokum extracts. It is thought that a compound known as hydroxycitric acid is responsible for this anti-anxiety property. This compound improves the release of a neurotransmitter called serotonin. And low levels of serotonin are linked to anxiety.[15]Patel, Manish, Bhavesh Antala, Chandana Barua, and Mangala Lahkar. “Anxiolytic activity of aqueous extract of Garcinia indica in mice.” International Journal of Green Pharmacy (IJGP) 7, … Continue reading So when you feel a stomach churning bout of anxiety coming on, reach for a glass of cool kokum sherbat!

How To Use Kokum?

Kokum can be used in food preparations in a variety of ways:

1. Use It In Curries
  • The dried kokum peel has a sour taste and is often used in curries. It’s also known as the Malabar tamarind.
2. Make A Refreshing Sherbat (Juice)
  • Soak dry kokum in water and strain it.
  • Cook the pre-soaked kokum with roasted cumin powder, sugar, black salt, cardamon, and regular salt. Then, add the kokum water back in and bring it to a boil.
  • Once the mixture cools you can strain it and use this concentrate to make a sherbat.

According to Ayurveda, kokum juice balances pitta (associated with the element of fire) and has a cooling effect. So serve chilled on hot summer days!

3. Make Kokum Syrup
  • In a clean glass jar, add cut and de-seeded fresh kokum fruit and sugar in equal measure.
  • Close the jar and keep it under sunlight for 4-5 days, the sugar will melt and be syrupy.
  • Strain the syrup. The leftover pulp can be eaten as is or used in curries. Note that it is mildly laxative in nature, so, use discretion and do not over consume.
  • A tablespoon can be had daily as is or mixed with water and roasted cumin seed powder.
  • Cumin powder helps digest kokum.
4. Make An After-Meal Drink
  • Add coconut milk, kokum water and spices like garlic, mustard seeds, salt, cumin, asafoetida etc. to prepare a tasty drink that can be had after meals to support digestion.

Go ahead, get creative with this amazing spice!

Precautions While Using Kokum

Here are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind while using kokum

  • While there is insufficient information on whether kokum is safe for pregnant or lactating women, it is best to consult your doctor before consuming kokum in any form.
  • While kokum has been used in food safely for ages, herbal supplements derived from a closely related tree known as Garcinia Cambogia have been linked to cases of liver damage. Consult your doctor before using any herbal supplements.[16][Garcinia Cambogia](https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/garcinia-cambogia“Garcinia Cambogia”).National Institutes of Health.

References

References
1 [Your Digestive System & How it Works](https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/digestive-system-how-it-works“Your Digestive System & How it Works”). National Institutes of Health.
2, 11 [Symptoms & Causes of Indigestion](https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/indigestion-dyspepsia/symptoms-causes“Symptoms & Causes of Indigestion”). National Institutes of Health.
3 Agrawal, Akash Kumar, C. R. Yadav, and M. S. Meena. “Physiological aspects of Agni.” Ayu 31, no. 3 (2010): 395.
4 Shriwas, Rashmi, Sanjay Shukla, Rupendra Kumar Chandrakar, and Harikrishna Shrivas. “ETIOPATHOLOGICAL STUDY OF MOST COMMON DIGESTIVE DISORDER AJIRNA (INDIGESTION).” International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research (2018).
5, 6 [Ajirna (Indigestion)](https://www.nhp.gov.in/ajirna-indigestion_mtl“Ajirna (Indigestion)”). National Health Portal.
7 [Peptic ulcer](https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000206.htm“Peptic ulcer”).National Institutes of Health.
8 Chatterjee, Archana, Taharat Yasmin, Debasis Bagchi, and Sidney J. Stohs. “Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori in vitro by various berry extracts, with enhanced susceptibility to clarithromycin.” Molecular and cellular biochemistry 265, no. 1 (2004): 19-26.
9 Deore, Amol Bhalchandra, Vinayak Dnyandev Sapakal, Neelam Laxman Dashputre, and Nilofer S. Naikwade. “Antiulcer activity of Garcinia indica linn fruit rinds.” Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 1, no. 5 (2011): 151.
10 Panda, Vandana Sanjeev, and Prashant Dhondiraj Khambat. “In vivo anti-inflammatory activity of Garcinia indica fruit rind (Kokum) in rats.” Biomedicine and Aging Pathology 2, no. 5 (2013): 8-14.
12 Chatterjee, Archana, Taharat Yasmin, Debasis Bagchi, and Sidney J. Stohs. “The bactericidal effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus, garcinol and Protykin® compared to clarithromycin, on Helicobacter pylori.” Molecular and cellular biochemistry 243, no. 1 (2003): 29-35.
13 [Your Digestive System & How it Works](https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/digestive-system-how-it-works“ Your Digestive System & How it Works”).National Institutes of Health.
14 Panda, Vandana, Hardik Ashar, and Sudhamani Srinath. “Antioxidant and hepatoprotective effect of Garcinia indica fruit rind in ethanol-induced hepatic damage in rodents.” Interdisciplinary toxicology 5, no. 4 (2012): 207.
15 Patel, Manish, Bhavesh Antala, Chandana Barua, and Mangala Lahkar. “Anxiolytic activity of aqueous extract of Garcinia indica in mice.” International Journal of Green Pharmacy (IJGP) 7, no. 4 (2013).
16 [Garcinia Cambogia](https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/garcinia-cambogia“Garcinia Cambogia”).National Institutes of Health.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. For more information pertaining to your personal needs please see a qualified health practitioner.

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