Ever since American television star and medical guru Dr. Oz suggested Garcinia Cambogia as potential weight loss supplement, stores have been stocking their shelves with the product. For decades now, many Malaysian villagers have been using the small, pumpkin-shaped fruit to make a cabbage soup.
The fruit is touted as a great appetite suppressant. It’s zesty flavor and spice to Asian and Indian dishes. Though the fruit contains an amount of sweetness, there is also a powerful sourness to the taste.
Although this tropical fruit tree is native to India, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and West and Central Africa, ingredients from the rind are extracted and sold in grocery and health food stores as well as online. Some villagers pickle the Garcinia Cambogia.
It can be used as a condiment and substituted for mango chutney. The juice of the fruit can also be used in lieu of lemon, lime and/or orange juices. The Garcinia Cambogia Extract is an herb added to several dietary supplements for fat burning and weight loss purposes and is purchased in pill form.
The smoked rind of the fruit has a sour, acidic, smoky taste and blends well with curries. The extract is also used to lower high cholesterol, along with helping to alleviate flu symptoms and liver disorder. In Ayurveda, the fruit is used to treat ailments such as rheumatism arthritis, digestive disorders, gum disease, worms, parasites, and dysentery. Because of its antibacterial properties, the fruit is often used as a food preserver. In Sri Lanka, fish is usually preserved by using Garcinia Cambogia. This practice is known as Colombo curing.
A 2009 research study published in the Nutritional Research found that animals given the Hydroxycitric Acid compound (HCA) from Garcinia Cambogia had a decreased body weight gain. The HCA extract is said to have fat-burning and metabolism-boosting capabilities.
Reportedly, HCA inhibits an enzyme (Citrate Lyase), converting carbohydrates into fat and compelling the body to burn carbs instead of storing them as fat. One study revealed that ingesting Garcinia Cambogia Extracts produces no harmful or adverse side effects. Another study reports that short-term HCA supplementation enhances athletic performance and endurance.
During his trip to Sri Lanka in 1835, Sir William Jackson Hooker made notes on how to prepare the fruit: “Prepare it by taking out the pulp and seeds, breaking it into pieces, and putting it into a heap, which is covered for two to three days, until it becomes soft. It is then smoked by burning cocoa-nut shells below the grating on which it’s spread. This operation is continued for many days, when it is tied up tight in a bag, and kept for use by being hung.”
While Garcinia Cambogia Extract is considered generally safe to use, consumers should beware of excessive consumption and follow directions accordingly. Persons wishing to grow their own Garcinia Cambogia tree must do so by using a large pot and using a mixture of garden soil and organic compost. The tree must be kept indoors for temperature control.