Everything about kokum butter and Its benefits

By Nikhil Ambatkar | 14th Dec 2022

Everything about kokum butter and Its benefits

About Kokum butter 

Kokum butter is an oil derived from the seeds of the kokum tree or Indian mangosteen (Garcinia Indica), a native of the western coastal region of India. Fruits of the kokum tree are spherical and have edible pulp. Each fruit contains 5 to 7 seeds rich in antioxidants, fats, and essential fatty acids. Kokum butter is the fat inside the seeds that remains solid at room temperature.

Kokum butter varies in colour in its raw stage from greyish white to yellowish white, which needs refinement for the colour to become standard white. It turns brown on ageing or when becoming rancid. It is mildly flavoured with a light or no scent with a shelf life of one year.

How is kokum butter made?

The process of making kokum butter is complicated. Seeds obtained from kokum fruits are first dried in the sunlight and then chopped and boiled in water. The oily layer obtained during the boiling of seeds is separated into different containers. Once the layer is cooled at room temperature, it becomes solid and is further cleaned by remelting and filtering.

The high fatty acid content of kokum butter makes it more applicable. Because of its moisturising property, it finds application in cosmetics majorly.

Composition of kokum butter 

Fatty AcidPercentage (%) Content 
Stearic acid 49.33
Oleic acid34.42
Linoleic acid 5.25
Palmitic acid 3.25
Elaidic acid3.00
Eicosenoic acid2.25
Arachidic acid1.20
Other fatty acids2.30

Benefits of Kokum butter 

1) Skin Moisturiser 

Presence of palmitic acid makes kokum butter a suitable skin moisturiser. Other fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin E improve the skin’s moisture barrier, keeping it healthy and hydrated. It is also reported to prevent cell damage and elasticity; hence it is used in various cosmetics products like lotions, lip balms, and soaps.

2) Healing Wounds 

Kokum butter has been reported to have wound-healing properties. Hence, it is used in healing ulcers, eczema, chapped skin, sores, and fissured lips. A recent study mentioned that kokum butter is effective in managing cracked heels.

3) Reduce Inflammation

Kokum butter is a reported demulcent, relieving irritation and inflammation. According to research, antioxidants and antimicrobial compounds in kokum butter are responsible for reducing inflammation or irritation.

4) Soothes The Skin 

Kokum butter gives a radiant glow to the skin because of its elasticity-restoring properties. It prevents acne by preventing clogging of pores on application. It has a light texture and does not clog pores on application, preventing acne.

5) As a substitute 

It can be used as a substitute for cocoa butter in many recipes as well as in many dark and milk chocolates. Because of its high fatty acid content, the hardness of chocolates increases at room temperature.

6) As a medicine 

Although it is reported in the management of dysentery and diarrhoea, more research needs to be conducted on the medicinal properties of kokum butter. It finds its maximum application in cosmetics as a skin moisturiser and hair rejuvenator.

How to apply kokum butter 

1) For Hair 

  • Hair Mask: After sectioning your hair, massage your scalp with a small amount of kokum butter.
  • Pre-shampoo: Brush your hair with a small amount of kokum butter and leave for an hour before shampooing.

The application of kokum butter on hair is reported to have strengthened hair follicles and encouraged healthy hair growth.

2) For Skin

  • Face Mask: Mix 2 tablespoons of melted and whipped kokum butter in aloe vera gel and any oil of your choice. Apply it on the face for 15 mins and wash afterwards.
  • Chapped lips: Apply a small dab of kokum butter on the butter daily to keep your lips smooth and soft.

Side effects of Kokum butter 

There are no reported side effects of kokum butter so far, but it is recommended to opt for a patch test or consult your doctor before applying it to your hair or skin or before using it in food or curries.


Kokum butter is an extract from the seeds of kokum trees. Because of its healing and hydrating properties, it finds application in medicine and cosmetics. It is a good substitute for cocoa butter and shea butter. Although kokum butter is safe for most people, please consult your healthcare professional before using it. You can get free teleconsultation from our expert doctors once you order medicine on our online pharmacy – Truemeds, or you can also download our Truemeds app. You can avail of branded and generic medicines by uploading your prescription on Truemeds. When placing an order for medicines online, you may save more money by selecting an alternative or generic medicine advised by Truemed’s expert doctors. You can also save up to 72% on your purchase and get free home delivery* pan India.

Disclaimer: Although it is safe to use for most people, please consult your health care professional before using it.

Frequently asked questions

Is kokum butter good for eczema?

Reports suggest that kokum butter has anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, it may relieve eczema symptoms.

Is kokum butter edible?

Yes, kokum butter is edible. It is used as a substitute for cocoa butter and added to many curries and candies.

Are there any side effects of kokum butter?

There are no reported side effects of kokum butter, but it is recommended that people with severe allergies should opt for a patch test before using it.

Is kokum butter edible?

Yes, kokum butter can be a substitute for cocoa butter in many chocolates and curries.

Does kokum butter help in hair growth?

Essential fatty acids in kokum butter help in hair growth and nourish the scalp on application.


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