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Garcinia cambogia back  |  home
Latin Names English Names Sanskrit Names

Garcinia cambogia (Guttiferae) Desr. /
G. gummi gutta
(L.) Rob.

Garcinia Vrikshamla, Kankusta
Garcinia CambogiaHistory
The fruit was an article of commerce in the dry state. It was used as a substitute for 'Kokam' and was in use in the Bombay army as an antiscorbutic in 1799 along with 'Kokam'. It was valued for its dried rind, which was used in Travancore-Cochin and Malabar as a condiment for flavouring curries in place of tamarind or lime. In Ceylon, the fruits were picked under-ripe, the thick pericarp cut into sections, dried in the sun and preserved for future use. The dried material was used along with salt in the curing of fish.

It is commonly found in the evergreen and shola forests of Western Ghats in India up to 6,000 ft. high.

Morphology Description (Habit)
It is a small or medium-sized tree with a rounded crown and horizontal or drooping branches. The leaves are dark green, shining, elliptic to obovate. Fruits are ovoid, 2 inches in dia., yellow or red when ripe, with 6-8 grooves. Seeds are 6-8 surrounded by a succulent aril.

Principal Constituents
It contains 30% acid (calculated as Citric acid) essentially (-)-hydroxy-citric acid1. Camboginol and cambogin was also identified2.

Oral administration of (-)-hydroxy-citrate depressed significantly the weight, body lipid, and appetite in invivo lipogenic rats3.

Clinical Studies
It is a potent anti-obesity agent4.

There is no adverse effect was reported on the usage of this plant.

The decoction is given for rheumatism and bowel complaints. For cattle it is used to wash in mouth diseases. It is one of the main ingredients of south Indian food preparation.

  1. Singh, R. P. et. al., 1995, Biological Memories, Vol.21(1), pp. 27-33.
  2. Tetrahedron Lett. 1980, 21, pp.1975.
  3. Sullivan, A. C. et. al., Lipids, Vol. 9(2), pp. 121-128 and Ebid. pp. 129-134.
  4. Ramos, R.R. et. al., 1996, Garcinia cambogia in the control of obesity (in Spanish), Invest. Med. Intern. Vol. 22, pp. 97-100; Firenzuoli F and Gori, L., 1999, JAMA, 1999, Vol. 21(3), pp. 234.

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