Garcinia (Garcinia cambogia) is a diminutive purple fruit native to India and Southeast Asia. It is used as a weight loss aid, but the evidence is inconclusive. The rind is rich in hydroxycitric acid (HCA) and has been used for centuries throughout Southeast Asia as a food preservative, flavoring agent, and carminative (induces expulsion of gas from stomach or intestines). According to Indian folk tradition, Garcinia cambogia is used for rheumatism and bowel complaints.
Neither acute nor chronic toxicity is reported with regular consumption of garcinia products as either food or tonics. These products have been used routinely in the coastal areas of South Asia for centuries and they continue to be consumed in large amounts. There is preliminary evidence for the use of garcinia in exercise performance and weight loss, although current, available evidence is mixed.
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