With the growing interest in an ethnomedicinal approach to health, diseases, and sicknesses, plants such as Garcinia gummi-gutta has attracted wide attention. This post sheds light on the nutritional values, benefits and uses of Garcinia gummi-gutta that could be of interest to you. But before delving into the aforementioned, let's have a little bit of introduction on what this amazing plant is all about.
Garcinia gummi-gutta is an evergreen tropical tree species of Garcinia, which belongs to the Clusiaceae (Guttiferae) family. It is originally from Indonesia where it thrives mainly in the forests, riversides, wastelands and farmlands. The slender sturdy Garcinia tree is distinguished by its greenish or yellowish juices. Garcinia gummi-gutta is also known as brindleberry, kattcha puli (souring fruit), Garcinia cambogia, uppage, Malabar tamarind, Kudampuli, goraka or pot tamarind (kudam puli).
The plant is grown mainly for its fruits and the tree can bear hundreds of fruits of which each fruit weighs between 21 to 85 grams. The green or pale yellow fruit has a similar appearance with a small pumpkin. Unripe Garcinia gummi-gutta fruits are greenish in colour while the ripe ones are yellowish with crimson red tinges. The fruit comprises of three to eight oval, pale brown seeds that are enveloped with whitish sweet pulp.
Nutritional Values of Garcinia gummi-gutta
Rasha et al., (2015) reported that the rind of Garcinia gummi-gutta comprises of tannin (1.7%), pectin (0.9%), fat (1.4%), moisture (80.0 g/100 g), protein (1%) and sugars (4.1%). The seed is an excellent source of stearic triglycerides, stearic and oleic acid.
The leaves contain fiber (1.24 g), carbohydrates (17.2 g), moisture (75%), calcium (250 mg), protein (2.3 g), ascorbic acid (10 mg), fat (0.5 g), iron (15.14 mg), and oxalic acid (18.10 mg). Also, the plant contains a minimal amount of citric and hydroxycitric acid lactone.
Chemical Compositions of Garcinia gummi-gutta
George et al., (2015) reported that the chemical compositions of the Garcinia gummi-gutta fruit extract are reducing sugar, tartaric acid, euxanthone, camogin, fats and glucinol. The leaves of Garcinia gummi-gutta in methanol, ethanol and acetone extracts exhibited the presence of alkaloids, steroids, cardiac glycosides, hydroxycitric acid (HCA), phenolic flavonoid, phlobatannin, protein, tannins and terpenoid. The root comprises of the xanthone known as garbogiol while the bark of the stem contains benzophenones such as hydroxycitric acid(HCA), garcinol and isogarcinol. The flower extract contains terpenoids, alkaloid, steroids, carbohydrate, phytosteroids, flavonoids, coumarins, phenol and proteins.
Medicinal Uses of Garcinia gummi-gutta
According to George et al., (2015), the fruit, bark, root and leaf extracts of Garcinia gummi-gutta are considered suitable for treating several ailments such as gastrointestinal discomfort, rheumatism, obesity, uterine diseases, arthritis, diuresis, ulcers and indigestion. The fruit extract can also be used as a laxative and astringent.
Furthermore, Garcinia gummi-gutta contains antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-cancerous, anti-fungal, anticatarrhal and anthelmintic properties. It can also be used for treating constipation, oedema, ulcers, haemorrhoids, dysentery, intestinal parasites, irregular menstruation, open sores, diarrhoea and fever.
Sahasrabudhe and Deodhar (2010) reported that the fruit can be used as a cardiotonic (increases the contracting mechanism of the heart) and as an anthelmintic for destroying parasitic worms.
The juice extract of Garcinia gummi-gutta rinds (sherbet) can be used for treating an ear infection, colic issues, inflammations, diarrhoea, rheumatism, piles, sores, dysentery, haemorrhoids, dermatitis and ulcers.
Rasha et al., (2015) reported that Garcinia can be used for treating gastric ulcers due to its constituents of garcinol.
Garcinol is considered effective for reducing acidity in the stomach thereby protecting the gastric mucosa. Garcinia cambogia can be used for reducing the cholesterol and blood lipid levels. It is also effective for inhibiting cell damage caused by high blood lipid levels as well as prevents liver cells from becoming fibrotic.
Benefits of Garcinia gummi-gutta
Garcinia gummi-gutta rinds can be blended together with cardamom and sugar and consumed as a soft drink. The pulp can be used for preparing chutneys, drinks, wines, smoothie, curries, pickles while the seeds are an excellent source of butter. The edible butter from Garcinia seeds can serve as ghee for baking or for cooking any food of choice that requires butter.
Supports Weight loss
An essential active component of Garcinia gummi-gutta is Hydroxycitric acid HCA (a derivative of citric acid), which has been considered effective for aiding weight loss. This is achieved through appetite suppression and through the body’s ability to form fatty adipose tissue when overeating.
Onakpoya et al., (2011) investigated the efficacy of Garcinia extract, hydroxycitric acid (HCA) as a weight loss agent using data from randomised clinical trials (RCTs). The result suggests that Hydroxycitric acid from Garcinia extracts can cause a short-term weight loss.
Jacob et al., (2015) examined the antioxidant properties of the Garcinia gummi-gutta. The dried fruit extract of G. gummi-gutta was evaluated using Ferric chloride reducing power assay and compared with Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) solution. The result showed that G. gummi-gutta extract contains more antioxidant properties than an Ascorbic acid solution.
Dhanya and Benny (2013) carried out an in vitro test on the methanolic extract of Garcinia gummi-gutta leaves. The experiment was done in other to determine the antifungal effects of this extract against three plant pathogenic fungi. These researchers adopted the well-diffusion method. The results showed that the plant's extracts possess strong antifungal effects with strong inhibition on the growth of the 3 tested fungi namely; Corynespora sp., Phytophthora sp. and Curvularia sp.
Among these fungi, the Phytophthora sp., showed a maximum zone of inhibition while the Corynespora sp. showed the least zone of inhibition. The inhibitory effect of this plant extracts is attributed to the antifungal principles and compounds found in them.
Based on the results of the experiment, Garcinia gummi-gutta plant extracts are considered effective for use as natural fungicides for controlling pathogenic fungi. Using natural fungicides is essential for minimising the high dependency on synthetic fungicides, which could be harmful to the environment.
Varghese et al., (2016) examined the larvicidal effects of the bioactive compounds in the crude aqueous extract of Garcinia gummi-gutta leaves against the late III or early IV instar mosquito larvae. The aqueous extract was used at varying concentrations of 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100% of the crude extract, containing 45, 90, 133, 180 and 225 mg/ml of the extract.
The experiment showed a 50% larvicidal effect among all the concentrations, except at the lowest concentration of 45 mg/ml. Furthermore, a 100 % mortality rate was recorded at concentrations of 180 and 225 mg/ml of the extract. However, the larvicidal effect of the aqueous extract of leaves of G. gummi-gutta has not been reported. The results of the study portrayed the efficacy of Garcinia gummi-gutta as a potent larvicidal agent thus can be suitable for tackling mosquito-borne diseases.
Biodiesels are the mono alkyl ester of long chain fatty acids of animal fats or vegetable oil either from animals or plants, which meet up to the standard of ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) D6735. Bujari and Godiganur (2014) reported that Garcinia can be grown as a biodiesel alternative source of fuel.
Both the leaves, fruit and rinds can be fed to livestock. The leaves and rinds extracts can be used for rinsing cattle's mouth during a disease outbreak.
Side-Effects of Garcinia gummi-gutta
According to Rasha et al., (2015), there are no serious effects recorded in the use of Garcinia gummi-gutta. Considering the safety of hydroxycitric acid (HCA) on human health, the authors attested that the HCA is safe under the experimental conditions implemented. However, care should be taken when using Garcinia cambogia extracts.
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DISCLAIMER This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnosis and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
1] Bujari, R. S. and Godiganur, S. (2014), Sour Garcinia (Garcinia Gummi-gutta) as a Source of Biodiesel in India, International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 5, Issue 8, pp.364-368.
2] Dhanya P. and Benny P. J. (2013), Antifungal Effect of Methanolic Extracts of Leaves of Garcinia Gummi-Gutta.L., International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research, 21(2), pp.330-333.
3] George, M., Joseph, L. and Ashitha, K. S. (2015), Garcinia Gummi-Gutta; A pharmacological update, International Journal of Universal Pharmacy and Bio Sciences 4(6): pp. 1-14.
4] Jacob, K. M. P., Ali, M. A., Vishnu, H., Shylaja, G., Mythili, S. and Sathiavelu, A. (2015), Evaluation of Antibacterial and Antioxidant Activity of Garcinia gummi-gutta, International Journal of Drug Development and Research, Volume 7(3): 057-059.
5] Onakpoya, I., Hung, S. K., Perry, R., Wider, B., and Ernst, E. (2011). The Use of Garcinia Extract (Hydroxycitric Acid) as a Weight loss Supplement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Clinical Trials. Journal of Obesity, 2011, 509038. http://doi.org/10.1155/2011/509038
6] Pixabay (2016) Images from Pixabay
7] Rasha H. M., Salha A., Thanai A. and Zahar A. (2015), The Biological Importance Of Garcinia Cambogia: A review, Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences, pp.1-5.
8] Sahasrabudhe A. and Deodhar M. (2010) Anti-hyaluronidase, anti-elastase activity of Garcinia indica. International Journal of Botany 6: pp.1-10
9] Varghese, L. S., Shukkoor, S., James, J. P., Habel, B., Tom, A. and Josph, S. (2016), In vitro larvicidal activity of leaf extract of Garcinia gummi-gutta linn. Against mosquito larvae, International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Research, Volume 1; Issue 6, pp. 1-4.