Garcinia (Garcinia cambogia)
Garcinia cambogia is a tree native to India and some parts of Asia that produces a small pumpkin-shaped fruit. An extract from the fruit called hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is useful as a herbal supplement to assist in losing weight. HCA is supposed to suppress appetite and help the body to burn fat.
Key Medicinal Uses
Internally Garcinia is used to promote weight loss by inhibiting an enzyme that converts extra carbohydrates to fat. It stimulates the release of glycogen, a form of glucose that the body is storing for energy. It is also used for high blood pressure. In healthy adults, the herb is thought to curb cravings for sweets and carbohydrates. It is also sometimes prescribed for constipation, rheumatism and stomatosis.
Externally Not used externally
Other Uses Garcinia cambogia's fruit is also known as the Malabar tamarind. It is sometimes used as a condiment for curry dishes. The fruits are also steeped in sugar syrup to create a healthy soft drink that aids relief from sunstroke.
Fruit The fruit of the tree contains the compound known as HCA which is used as a weight loss supplement.
Garcinia has very few side effects, but it is not recommended for children, pregnant or lactating women, diabetics, or people suffering from Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. It is not recommended for dementia patients because it is thought that HCA may form acetylcholine in the brain. Diabetics may be affected by HCA's ability to lower blood sugars.
Allergic reactions to garcinia may result in hives, itching, swelling of the face or hands, chest tightening, swelling or tingling in the throat or mouth, difficulty breathing or rash. If you experience any of these symptoms you should stop the medication immediately. If you experience any other side effects that you think may be related to this medication, let your health professional know.
Preparation and Dosage
When taking garcinia, follow the instructions from your health professional. If they have not given you any instructions, follow the directions on the label carefully. Capsules should be taken a half hour to an hour before meals.