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Garcinia gummi-gutta (syn. G. cambogia, G. quaesita) is a subtropical species of Garcinia native to Indonesia also commonly known as gambooge’,ಕಾಚುಪುಳಿUppage huli’ (kannada/karnataka) brindleberry, brindall berry, Malabar tamarind, kodumpuli (Malayalam/Kerala), or goraka (Sinhala). The yellowish fruit, sometimes called assam fruit is pumpkin-shaped.

Cultivation

Gambooge is grown for its fruit in southeast Asia, and west and central Africa. It thrives in moist forests.

Gambooge is one of several closely related Garcinia species from the plant family Guttiferae.[1] With thin skin and deep vertical lobes, the fruit of G. cambogia and related species range from about the size of an orange to that of a grapefruit; G. cambogia looks more like a small yellowish, greenish or sometimes reddish pumpkin.[2] The color can vary considerably. When the rinds are dried and cured in preparation for storage and extraction, they are dark brown or black in color.

Along the west coast of South India, G. cambogia is popularly termed “Malabar Tamarind,” which is actually a quite different species (Tamarindis indica). The latter is a small and the former a quite large evergreen tree. The two have the same culinary uses. G. cambogia is also called “Goraka” or, in some areas, simply “Kattcha puli” (souring fruit).

Uses

Cooking

G. cambogia is used primarily in cooking, including in the preparation of curries. The fruit rind and extracts of Garcinia species are called for in many traditional recipes. In the Indian Ayurvedic medicine, “sour” flavors are said to activate digestion.[3]

G. cambogia is employed commercially in fish curing, especially in Ceylon (Colombo curing), and various species of Garcinia are used similarly in food preparation in Assam (India), Thailand, Malaysia, Burma and other Southeast Asian countries. The trees can be found in forested areas and also are protected in plantations otherwise given over to pepper, spice and coffee production.

In the areas in which it is consumed, G. cambogia is considered to be effective in making meals more “filling.” The “Colombo curing” of fish is a commercial enterprise of fish preservation typical of South India which makes use of the antibacterial qualities of the fruit. (“Colombo curing” is especially associated with the island nation of Ceylon/Sri Lanka.)

Assam fruit is an essential souring ingredient in the Southern Thai variant of kaeng som, a sour curry.

The extract and rind of Garcinia cambogia is a curry condiment in India.

Traditional medicine

Aside from its use in food preparation and preservation, extracts of G. cambogia are sometimes used in traditional medicine as purgatives.

Gambooge extracts are an ingredient in some herbal appetite suppressant and energy products, though there is no formal evidence to support its effectiveness. It is used in weight-loss supplements.[4]

Hepatotoxicity

Hepatotoxicity (liver toxicity) from weight-loss supplements which contain extracts of Garcinia cambogia has been reported.[4]

 

Written on September 4th, 2012 , Fruits Tags:

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