Caralluma fimbriata

Botanical Name : Caralluma fimbriata
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Caralluma
Species: C. fimbriata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Names: Caralluma

Habitat  :  Caralluma fimbriata is native to Asia, the Mediterranean, and Africa.

Description:
Caralluma fimbriata plants are shrubs that tend to grow in small groups to form clumps. The plant can be identified with its angular stems and its leaves are somewhat underdeveloped which look like spines. The flowers of this plant are star shaped and they grow in summer or fall. Its flowers are of many different colors like purple, black, red or yellow. Another distinguishable feature of this plant is that it has an unpleasant smell.
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Edible Uses:
Traditional Uses
In urban India, Caralluma fimbriata grows as a roadside shrub. Some people use this wild plant as boundary marker in their gardens. Traditionally, in rural India, various tribes used it as a vegetable for regular consumption. It is consumed in raw form or is cooked with salt and spices. It can also be preserved as pickles. Its unique qualities of appetite suppression and thirst quenching abilities have been known to many for centuries. For this reason, tribesmen used to pack this plant as a portable food and carry it along with them, when they went for hunting. They also referred to it as ‘famine food’ as this plant could help them to sustain for days together.

Constituents:  pregnane ester glycosides in the aerial parts and leaves of certain species. in addition to these compounds, fiber, proteins, lipids, fatty acids, and aromatic compounds.

Medicinal Uses:

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Properties: * Appetite Depressant/Obesity

Caralluma fimbriata has a number of traditional ethnobotanical uses that include: diabetes, leprosy, rheumatism, paralysis, joint pain, migraines, fever, malaria, and inflammation. The species C. fimbriata and C. adscendens var. fimbriata have been used in traditional Indian medicine in this manner. In addition, C. tuberculata has been used as a digestive aid and to treat diabetes. Today most interest is centered on caralluma’s use as an appetite suppressant. Caralluma works in much the same way as hoodia; both hoodia and caralluma contain preganane glycosides thought to aid in weight loss. 1

Caralluma Fimbriata Plant as a Weight Loss Supplement :
Today, one of the most popular uses of Caralluma herb is to prepare the extract, which is included in different weight loss diets. The extract contains concentrated form of the raw ingredients of the plant, which acts as an excellent appetite suppressant. Various research studies have been conducted to understand the mechanism of its weight loss properties. The active ingredients of this herb are pregnane glycosides, megastigmane glycosides, flavone glycosides and saponins. These phytochemicals play a major role controlling body weight. Pregnane glycosides have the ability to block the activities of a number of enzymes such as citrate lyase, etc. This kind of blockage affects formation of fat in the body. In this way, it ensures that no fat is accumulated in the body at all. In this condition, the body is forced to use up its fat reserves. Thus, lots of calories are burned in the process. On the other hand, the components of this herb have inhibitory effects over the hypothalamus in the brain. This part of the brain controls the feeling of thirst and hunger in the human body. When these sensations are suppressed, it facilitates in better appetite control. It has two other positive effects on the body. One is that it improves stamina and endurance really well. Secondly, it has the ability to decrease blood sugar level in the body.

Side Effects of Caralluma Fimbriata Extract:
Studies have found that this plant does not have any toxic component in it that can cause any harm to human health. Even its extract does not have any major side effects. Soon after starting consumption of the plant extract, some people may get minor gastrointestinal problems like upset stomach, flatulence, constipation, etc. Usually, these problems disappear after a few days once the body gets used to the supplement. However, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid using this plant extract.

After reading all these qualities of Caralluma fimbriata plant, if you are planning to utilize it for its weight loss properties, then you must keep two things in mind. Firstly, there are several weight loss products that claim to have Caralluma fimbriata extract in them as a component. The amount of extract present in various weight loss products often varies, which in turn can give you varied results. And the second and most important thing is, like in case of any other supplement, it is always advisable to consult your doctor before using this plant extract. The doctor will decide whether it is suitable for you or not and will also recommend the correct dosage for you.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/caralluma-fimbriata-plant.html
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail540.php
http://www.ask.com/wiki/Caralluma_fimbriata?o=3986&qsrc=999

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