Coccum is the dried and smoked and rinds of ripened fruits of the tree Garcinia gummi-gutta. This is a graceful tree with dense crown and almost horizontal branches, common along the sides of water courses in the openings of moist deciduous forests. He tree flowers during March to May and the fruits ripens by June-July.
Forest dependant people, who are members of the Vana Samrakshana Samithies (VSS) and Eco-development committees (EDC), collect the ripes fruits from the forests and the vicinity of their settlements within and along the fringes of forests. The rinse are separated in hygienic conditions and dried specially in smoke in the house holds. It is an age old indeguious practice in the state of kerala.
As a part of sustainable forest management initiatives, the VSS and EDC members have been given extensive training in known non-destructive collection of ripened fruits from the trees.
Apart from its medicinal value, it is used as a condiment in the traditional Kerala Cuisine for making fish curries, mostly in the Travancore area.