You may know of shea and cocoa butter, but have you heard of kokum butter? Also known as wild mangosteen, kokum is a plant in the mangosteen family and primarily cultivated in the evergreen forests of India.
The fallen fruits are collected and the seeds are dried, ground and pressed to release their oils. The oil is then filtered of impurities and churned into solid butter form.
Ayurvedic doctors use kokum butter to treat a wide array of issues ranging from infections, sores and bites to curing arthritic pain and alleviating a host of digestive disorders. The ripe fruits are also said in Ayurvedic medicine to balance both vata and kapha doshas.
Our co-founder Tejal grew up drinking the juice of the dark red fruit during the summertime in India, where it is known for its cooling properties, and her mother used to rub the fruit on any heat rash.
Here are 6 key benefits of kokum butter:
1. It helps repair damaged skin.
Kokum butter is well-known for its ability to regenerate skin cells and is used to heal sores and bites as well as cracked lips, hands, and heels. It also prevents the degeneration of skin cells, so you are fighting skin damage before it even starts!
2. It promotes healthy, hydrated skin.
Kokum butter contains nearly 60-65% saturated fatty acids, made up of stearic acid (up to 45% vs 35% in cocoa butter), palmitic acid (up to 8%), oleic acid (up to 50%), and linoleic acid (around 4%). Chock-full of essential fatty acids, it keeps your skin hydrated and maintains elasticity,
3. It is full of antioxidants.
Kokum butter is rich in vitamin E. This fat-soluble, essential nutrient is bursting with antioxidants, benefiting your immune system, skin health and cell functioning. It protects against free radicals that can cause discoloration and other skin damage caused by environmental toxins.
4. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.
Kokum butter contains potent compounds including Garcinol, HCA (hydroxycitric acid), polyphenols and anthocyanin pigments. It can help reduce inflamed skin and its healing properties mean it is especially gentle for sensitive and reactive skin.
5. It is non-comedogenic and anti-bacterial.
Kokum butter is non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores or cause breakouts. This also makes it perfect for hotter and more humid climates. Add on its natural anti-bacterial properties and it is perfect for use in skincare!
6. It is shelf-stable.
Whether you’re making your own product or buying something with kokum butter in it, it will last you at least 1-2 years (if stored somewhere cool and dark) because of its oxidative stability, one of the highest amongst vegetable oils.
At Malavara we love kokum butter so much that we have incorporated it as the one of the main ingredients for our Lime Vetiver Body & Hand Wash Lotion, a deeply hydrating and fragrant lotion that combines Kokum butter with aloe vera juice to heal, hydrate and soften your skin naturally.
P/S: Combine it with our De-Stress and Calm Body Lotion Massage (found in the Rituals tab!) to help you calm and ground the mind, delivering the mind-body connection that is Ayurveda!