Welcome to the next post in my blog series, Topic in Aromatherapy. Each week I am focusing on an aspect of aromatherapy such as an essential oil or carrier oil and discuss their healing properties. I also will discuss how to make some of your own natural products using essential oils. So far, we have talked about jojoba oil, tea tree oil, sweet almond oil, lavender, ylang ylang,shea butter and patchouli.
This week, we are going to talk about kokum butter.
What is kokum butter?
Kokum butter is obtained from the Indian tree Garcinia indica. (source). This tree is commonly known as kokum and has various names across India, including aamsol, aamsul, bindin, biran, bhirand, bhinda, bhrinda, brinda, bin’na, kokum (alternate spellings kokam and cocum), katambi, looikya, sour apple, panarpuli, ratamba (source)
The fruit is dried in the sun to get the spice aamsul or kokam which is a blackish-red color and used in dishes such as lentil soup (source).
What health benefits does it have?
According to Mountain Rose Herbs, a supplier of numerous natural products:
Kokum Butter is rich in essential fatty acids, which aid in cell oxygenation and make nutrients more readily available for use by skin tissues. Kokum Butter also contains antioxidant vitamin E. Kokum Butter is a non-comedogenic (non pore-clogging) material that aids quick absorption and adds a premium texture to your cream emulsions. Kokum Butter helps regenerate tired and worn skin cells and supports skin elasticity and general flexibility of the skin wall. It has been used traditionally in India to soften skin and restore elasticity and as a balm for dry, cracked, rough and calloused skin. It is also beneficial for the treatment of many different conditions, such as:
- Helps prevent dry skin and wrinkles
- Helps regenerate skin cells (Source)
I looked to see if I could find any scientific literature backing up these claims, but I couldn’t find anything.
How can I use it?
Also according to Mountain Rose Herbs:
With its relatively higher melt point, it melts slightly at skin temperatures making it ideal for lipsticks and balms; it‘s also a great addition to bar soaps and skin lotions and may be easily incorporated into Lotions, Creams, and Body Butters. It is also wonderful to use in the summer as a moisturizer before and after sun exposure to reduce possibility of the skin peeling or becoming dried out. Use as an addition to:
- Creams, lotions, balms
- Cosmetic foundations
I have been thinking about buying some kokum butter with which to make lotion. I currently use shea butter, but shea butter is not very conducive to adding essential oils to. Has anyone ever used kokum butter to make their own lotion?
Have you ever bought anything with kokum butter in it? If so, what?