Last Updated October 11th, 2019
What is Caralluma Fimbriata?
Caralluma Fimbriata is a popular edible cactus plant and is largely present largely in India. It was used for thousands of years in Indian culture to reduce the appetite during long hunts and times of famine. It is commonly termed as the “famine food of India”. It typically blooms during the June – July period and the flowers can be brown, purple, tan, yellow, and red. It is a shrub that grows on the roadside. It is known to quench thirst due to its succulent nature. It has a foul smell.
How is Caralluma Fimbriata consumed?
- You can consume it raw or boil it and then consume.
- You can use it as a vegetable along with spices or even add it to food items such as pickles.
- The extract of Caralluma Fimbriata is often consumed as a supplement in the United States.
Is it safe for consumption?
Yes, it is safe to consume Caralluma Fimbriata. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has added this plant to the GRAS(Generally Recognized As Safe) list of food ingredients in 2014.
About 500 milligrams twice every day for 60 days is an advisable dosage. In general, for any supplement, it is always better to consult your doctor before taking it. The supplements are commercially available in the tablet or capsule form. These supplements contain the dried extract of Caralluma Fimbriata.
How does Caralluma Fimbriata benefit you?
Caralluma Fimbriata helps in weight loss
A study conducted on overweight patients (DB-RCT) was done with the intake of 1 gram of Caralluma Fimbriata extract per day for 60 days. The patients showed reduced waist perimeter and appetite. The water retaining nature of this plant not only provides satiety but also helps in fat reduction. This succulent contains glycosides that inactivate the enzyme that is involved in fat synthesis.
This plant is also very useful for Prader-Willi Syndrome (a hereditary disease causing excessive appetite, learning disability, and short height). There are studies to show that 1 gram of Caralluma Fimbriata extract per day for 4 weeks on Prader-Willi Syndrome patients reduced appetite and food intake. There are studies also proving that Caralluma Fimbriata extract impedes the absorption of fats and sugars.
Caralluma Fimbriata Boosts Energy
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy. You can derive energy from other nutrients as well. Fats also provide energy. 1 gram of fat provides 9 calories of energy. Consuming the extract of Caralluma Fimbriata helps in burning of fat. It enhances the activity of enzymes in the muscles thereby promoting better use of the energy.
It reduces the blood glucose levels
Caralluma Fimbriata reduces blood glucose synthesis by impeding the enzymes involved in glucose synthesis. It enhances the uptake of glucose by the cells. Caralluma Fimbriata increases the blood levels of insulin. There are many studies to highlight the following aspects of Caralluma Fimbriata:
- Blocked the enzyme that breaks starch into glucose (α-amylase)
- Enhanced the uptake of glucose by promoting its transport in the cells
- Enhanced the activity of those enzymes that are involved in breaking glucose to produce energy.
- Replenishes the glycogen levels (the storage form of glucose) in the liver and muscles.
It contains healthy amounts of antioxidants
Oxidative damage is because of the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). They damage the cells and the vital molecules in the body. An antioxidant counters the effect of an oxidant (ROS) and thus protects your body from damage. Caralluma Fimbriata showed:
- Prevented oxidation of cells and proteins
- Enhanced the activity of antioxidant enzymes
This plant has a luxurious amount of phenolic compound and flavonoids conferring to its antioxidant property.
It protects your kidney
Kidney failure is the inability of the kidney to remove waste products. The antioxidant property of Caralluma Fimbriata helps in the damage on the kidney will be prevented or minimized. This enhances the kidney’s ability to filter off the waste products from the blood and excrete it out via urine.
Consuming Caralluma Fimbriata can prevent fat build up, promote sperm formation, and protect the sperms from oxidative damage
It protects your liver
A high-fat diet increases cholesterol build up in the liver as well. Caralluma Fimbriata protects the liver via the following properties:
- It prevents high-fat buildup
- The protective antioxidant trait of this plant protects the liver cells
It enables the muscle to hold up
You know that it enhances the uptake of energy. This enables an individual to sustain the extensive exercise regimes for weight loss or for muscle build up. Also the three key minerals (calcium, potassium, and magnesium) in Caralluma Fimbriata useful in relaxing your muscles. They lower the intensity of muscle cramps and promote protein synthesis in muscles aiding in muscle recovery.
It is good for your digestive system
The fiber content in Caralluma Fimbriata (around 15%) helps in aiding digestion. Fiber increases the bulk of your stool enabling bowel. Fiber content also increases the thickness of the digested food. This will slow the carbohydrate metabolism and thus lowers the rise in blood sugar. Cell-based studies show that the contents of Caralluma Fimbriata cease the activity of the enzymes involved in carbohydrate digestion and promote glucose uptake by the cells.
It prevents cholesterol build up
Bile acids are digestive acids from the liver and are synthesized from cholesterol. The fiber in Caralluma Fimbriata also binds to the bile acids. This prevents the reuse of bile resulting in excretion of the bile acids.
Caralluma Fimbriata is known to possess antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. The phenols and flavonoids in Caralluma Fimbriata cease the protein synthesis in the bacteria and fungi.
Caralluma Fimbriata has a cardioprotective effect
Factors of Caralluma Fimbriata such as the production of energy from fats, the prevention of fat synthesis, promotion of cholesterol usage helps in arresting the fat build up on the walls of the heart. It also promotes better heart muscle health and better circulation of the blood.
Note: There is no substantial information available for the use of Caralluma Fimbriata in pregnant or breastfeeding women or even in children. So it is safer for them not to consume it.
What are the side effects?
Most of these side effects usually occur only when you overeat or consume it for a prolonged time period. They may occur otherwise as well.
- Your stomach might bloat.
- Constipation (inability to pass your bowels for more than 3 days)
- Stomach inflammation
- Tongue inflammation
- Sleep deprivation
- You tend to feel tired and weak
- Increased blood pressure
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