Garcinia cambogia — a tropical fruit in the mangosteen family — is a common ingredient in commercial weight loss products, including Xenedrine and Hydroxycut. Hydroxycitric acid, the active constituent in garcinia, reduces body weight and insulin output in animal studies, presenting possible applications for the treatment of obesity and diabetes. Preliminary research on garcinia’s abilities to cause weight loss in humans has shown promising results, but clinical trials are limited; more study is needed. Consult your doctor before taking garcinia cambogia.
Garcinia cambogia, also called Malabar tamarind, is a tropical evergreen tree indigenous to India, Malaysia and Africa. The tree features drooping branches and glossy oval leaves, with pumpkin-like yellow, orange or red fruit that ripens during the rainy season. Dried garcinia rinds have been used for centuries in Southeast Asia as a condiment and seasoning for curries and meats; garcinia extracts are also used to flavor beverages. Garcinia is prized in the Ayurvedic healing system, where it is considered a rasayana, or herb that benefits all body systems. It has been traditionally used to treat rheumatism and bowel disorders, as well as being employed as a carminative after meals to reduce gas and bloating.