G. Gummi-Gutta (Garcinia Cambogia) – An Ancient Indian Curry Condiment

Since Dr. Oz, a popular American TV host mentioned the benefits of Garcinia Cambogia, attention and demand for the fruit has increased exponentially around the world. Although this fruit has been pushed to the limelight worldwide, it is still one of the least known crops of coastal India, Southeast Asia and Central Africa. This new weight loss hype of western countries has been an integral part of Asian kitchens since a long time. 

Garcinia Cambogia Fruit
So, what really made this low cost fruit enter the world market? Where did this fruit come from? What are its benefits? Our research team has collected all the information about Garcinia Gummi-Gutta to let the weight watchers learn about their miracle fruit in its entirety.
Garcinia Cambogia – Origin and History
GC used in cookingGarcinia Cambogia is a member of Garcinia Genus family that contains about 500 species with some unique health benefits. Originally from Indonesia, this pumpkin-shaped yellow fruit has its roots in several regions of India, Southeast Asia and also Central Africa. Historically, the use of this fruit was limited to cooking and also as natural colorant. 
Formerly, this fruit was given several names that differed from region to region. As mentioned in the book “The Diet and Health Benefits of HCA” by Dallas and Michael E. Rosenbaum, Garcinia Cambogia is known as “Kattcha Puli” (sour fruit) and “Goroka” along the western coast of Southern India. Other names given to this fruit are Malabar Tamarind, Kudam Puli and brindleberry.
There are many studies recorded about the use, taste, benefits and color of this fruit from the year 1835 that suggests the deep-rooted history of this yellow fruit. In 1835, Sir William Jackson Hooker visited Sri Lanka to explore the uses and preparation of this fruit. His observations stated that the fruit was smoked to perfection before being used in Sri Lanka. 
According to another study published in “The Useful Plants of India” by William H Allen & Co in 1873, the acid rinds of ripe Garcinia Cambogia were consumed directly, while they were dried and used in Ceylon as curry condiment. 
Curries of southern India are until today getting their rich tangy taste by adding a spice made of Garcinia Cambogia. Years of culinary research and experiments have proven that rind and extract of G. Gummi-gutta have a major use as curry condiment in India. It is also used in drinks because of its cooling effect. 
Countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar have used this fruit for years in condiments and pickles made from rinds that are actually acidic in nature.
Present day outlook to Garcinia Cambogia
The history of Garcinia Cambogia is more related to its use in cooking but its current perception has changed. After a fifteen-year extensive research, there was clear indication that Garcinia Cambogia has some compounds leading to steady weight loss. Some studies proposed different conclusions and indicated only partial evidence of weight loss whereas a number of others confirmed significant evidence of weight loss .
The main reason for these weight loss properties of G. Gummi-Gutta is Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA). HCA is found in the rinds of this fruit and you may expect from 10% to 30% (though rare) of HCA in the dried rinds of Garcinia Cambogia.
There is lot of buzz in the health and weight loss industry about HCA considered to be quite effective in weight loss. This compound is known to have significant effect on the body as fat burner, appetite suppressor and metabolism booster. It checks the production of enzyme called citrate lyase which is responsible for converting the excess carbohydrates into fat. This would convert the carbs into energy and reduce the unnecessary fat deposition on the problem areas of the body.
The studies and findings support the HCA theory to some extent but the results are mixed. 
  • According to one study published in The Journal of American Medical Association (one of the reputed medical journals), after 12 weeks of clinical trials on two groups, one receiving Garcinia Cambogia and other receiving placebo, the group taking Garcinia Cambogia lost lesser weight compared to placebo treatment. Though this conclusion was considered to be such because of other parameters. More studies on same lines and for 12 weeks suggested more weight loss with Garcinia Cambogia. The conclusion was that the weight loss induced by Garcinia Cambogia was good for short term goals but the long term results were not that satisfactory.
  • Another study in 2004 published in journal of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, the group of 60 obese people in India were divided into two groups and different weight loss methods were administered to both. One of the methods was Garcinia Cambogia supplement and the results of GC supplement showed about 1% more weight loss. The food intake was also reduced for this group.
  • A study was carried out to find its effectiveness in cancer. In this study conducted in 2013 by Investigational New Drugs journal, the reduced tumor growth was found in mice that were administered Garcinia Cambogia extract.
What are the possible side-effects of Garcinia Cambogia that one should note?
Side-Effects of Garcinia Cambogia
One thing that everyone should know is that the supplements are not regulated by Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA only standardizes the product labels and the ingredients. There is no approval required by the dietary supplement makers. The language used for advertising the product is governed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As per these regulations, any supplement can be advertised as health enhancer but not as cure. The supplement can also be marked as natural if made from the natural products but that would not mean that it is 100% safe. There are even the poisonous plants in nature but those are not safe!
Garcinia Cambogia supplements are also considered natural and with no side effect because they are produced from the fruit rind.  Still, the supplement is not the fruit itself and its composition may differ from one maker to another. Hence, one should not blindly use any supplement even if it says pure Garcinia Cambogia or having attractive packaging. A medical practitioner's advice or scientific research about its purity are sufficient guarantees for safe consumption. 
Garcinia Cambogia supplements are also considered natural and with no side effect because they are produced from the fruit rind. 
In conclusion, it is clear from research data, findings and conclusions available to date, that Garcinia Cambogia (G. Gummi-Gutta) has much more on offer for the mankind. The right use of this fruit would prevent many health conditions like diabetes and cancer and would also show satisfactory weight loss results. It also shows promising results in weight maintenance, fat reduction and stamina built up during weight loss regime.