Lately, a magical fruit called Kudampuli in Tamil (Garcinia Cambogia and Malabar Tamarind in English) is getting very popular as a weight loss remedy after it was mentioned in a popular T. V show that it aids in quick weight loss. The principal constituent of kudampuli is HCA (Hydroxycitric Acid). HCA is popularly believed to have loads of heath benefits which includes preventing fat accumulation, suppressing appetite, increasing muscle mass, reducing LDL cholesterol and also improving overall health!
What was once sold as a black, unattractive looking dried fruit for adding in certain curries (especially fish curries) is now sold as a supplement in attractive bottles all over the world. I was first introduced to kudampuli by a friend from Kerala, in Kerala they use kudampuli instead of regular tamarind in some recipes, especially fish curries.
What is Kudampuli (Garcinia Cambogia)?
Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit of a tree. Usually the fruits are dried and then used in cooking, when dried they look almost black like in the picture above. The fresh fruit looks like a small beautiful pumpkin and the color of the fruits vary considerably from light green to yellow or red depending on the ripeness.
The fruits fall off the tree once ripe and the fruit once opened has seeds covered with flesh, though the flesh can be eaten, it is usually not as it is too sour. The fresh fruits are rich in vitamin C but it is almost unpalatable due to it’s sharp sour taste. Many confuse kokum (Garcinia Indica) with kudampuli, though they belong to the same genus, they are different.
How Is Kudampuli Dried?
The thick outer rind is sun dried to bring the moisture level down and then smoked till it turns black spread under coconut husk. Then the fruits are rubbed with salt and oil and then stored in earthen pots. Like our regular tamarind, kudumpuli also lasts longer at room temperature but since it is smoked, always make sure to wash it well to remove any dirt before using.
Kudampuli (Garcinia Cambogia) Tree:
Garcinia cambogia trees are commonly found in the evergreen forests in the western ghats. The botanical name of kudampuli is Garcinia Cambogia (old name), the new name is Garcinia Gummi Gutta. The trees grow to a height of 20 meters, they have soft branches, dark green leaves and ovoid shaped fruits.
This fruit has been in use for thousands of years but not many know of it. Actually in olden days, only kudampuli was used instead of regular tamarind for imparting sour taste to certain dishes. Though both tamarind and kudampuli are sour, kudampuli has a unique sharp sour taste.
Since kudampuli has health benefits, it is considered best to use than normal tamarind and in Kerala they still continue to use kudampuli following the old traditions. Apart from India, few other countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia also use kudampuli in their cuisine. Kudampuli is also used in Ayurvedic medicine to promote digestion and also as a remedy for arthritis and ulcers.
Garcinia Cambogia Chemical Constituents:
The main chemical constituents found in garcinia cambogia are xanthones, benzophenones, organic acids and amino acids. Out of these, HCA which stands for hydroxy citric acid is reported to be present only in Garcinia and Hibsicus species and it is significant. It is said to be the ingredient that is responsible for inhibiting adenosine triphosphate-citrate lyase which plays a key role in cholesterol and fat accumulation.
Garcinia Cambogia Common Names:
Kudampuli Health Benefits:
1. Anti Inflammatory Properties:
2. Kudampuli Benefits For Gastric Ulcer:
3. Anthelmintic & Anti Bacterial Properties:
4. Anti Diabetic Properties:
5. Kudampuli Benefits For Weight Loss:
It has been popularly believed to reduce body fat by inhibiting an enzyme called citric acid lyase. Though this claim was found to be true in the clinical research done in rats, it failed to produce the same results in humans. You can read the research that proves it here.
Many companies sell pure garcinia cambogia extract for weight loss and it is generally advised to be taken before meals for suppressing appetite. I would kindly suggest researching well before taking garcinia cambogia extract as a weight loss supplement.
Where To Buy Garcinia Cambogia?
Kudampuli (Garcinia Cambogia) Side Effects:
Kudampuli (Garcinia Cambogia) Dosage:
How To Make Garcinia Cambogia (Kudampuli Drink) At Home?
1. Wash kudampuli well in water to remove any dirt.
2. Soak it in water for an hour or two, the color of the water would have changed.
3. Dried kudampuli which is hard also will turn soft.
4. Boil jaggery in water till it is dissolved and then strain to remove any dirt. Add the required amount of soaked kudampuli water to it and boil for a few seconds.
5. Pound cardamom and dried ginger in a mortar and pestle coarsely. You can also grate in nutmeg if you like, I usually don’t add nutmeg.
5. Add the pounded mixture along with a pinch of salt and switch off.
6. Strain and enjoy your drink.
- Kudampuli is very sour, don’t add too much of the soaked water, you won’t be able to drink it.
- Diabetic patients should monitor their blood sugar levels if consuming this drink.
- Try to incorporate kudampuli in regular day to day cooking to avail it’s health benefits.
- I have not given any exact measurements as the amount of sourness and sweetness to be added will vary greatly from person to person. Try with very little amount of kudampuli soaked water, you can always add it later if the sourness is not enough.