Garcinia gummi-gutta (formally scientifically known as Garcinia Cambogia) is a species of garnica tree native to Indonesia, and also found in Asia, Africa, and India. The fruit itself resembles a small pumpkin that can range in size from that of a small orange to a larger grapefruit, and is generally green when unripe, and varies in color once ripened from red, orange, yellow to brown.
And this is no sweet treat! Sour and acidic, this fleshy fruit has long been used as a digestive aid in Ayurveda. The bitter rind and extracts of garcinia are most often used in cooking, as an ingredient in curries, or used as a condiment. It is also thought that the consumption of garnica can act as an appetite suppressant, making meals more filling and satisfying. The natural extract in the rind of the fruit, called hydroxycitric acid or HCA is thought to block levels of citrate lyase in the body, an important enzyme that helps with the creation of fat cells from carbs. Hence why back in 2012, Dr. Oz touted the fruit as a miracle weight loss aid, and there has been a massive increase in consumer demand for it. Although there aren’t a ton of clinical studies to support the idea of using garnica in this way, it has still garnered a boat load of media attention regardless and the idea does hold exciting potential.
Not looking to drop pounds? Me neither. But there are a few other reasons you may want to give garnica a go:
- It is believed it can help manage cortisol (stress) hormone levels
- It may assist in increasing serotonin levels, which can help level out mood swings
As always, consult your health care provider before adding any new supplement to your diet. Some experience nausea, digestive tract discomfort, or headaches with garnica use.