Garcinia Indica (Kokum) Seed ButterUsed in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, this kiwi-sized fruit is prized for it's healing properties. Indigenous to India and other old world tropical regions of Asia and Africa, the ornamental fruit-bearing tree, garcinia indica (a plant in the mangosteen family, clusiaceae) thrives in forest lands, riversides and areas with relatively low rainfall. The tree's heartiness makes it low maintenance in small scale cultivation as it requires little water. It also naturally repels pests and disease making pesticides and fertilizers unnecessary and yielding a beautifully pure, natural resource. The fruit turns from red to deep purple as it ripens, and is harvested in springtime. The "goa butter" as it is known as in India, comes from 23-26% of the seed, while the fruit and skin have many culinary uses. The butter, although dry and flaky (and often overlooked in it's raw form as a skin moisturizer) is prized for it's emollient properties that aid in restoring elasticity to particularly dry, damaged or aged skin. Like cocoa butter it remains solid at room temperature until it comes in contact with the body. For this reason, it must be used correctly in formulations to render it non-comodegenic (non pore-clogging). Research has shown that kokum's antioxidant activities are stronger than those of many other spices, fruits and vegetables. It's major active ingredient is garcinol, a substance that has anti-bacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally it is prized for the antioxidant vitamin E and it's essential fatty acid content aids in making nutrients more readily available for use by the skin wall.
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