What Is Caralluma Extract?
Caralluma fimbriata is part of the Apocynaceae family and, otherwise known simply as Caralluma, is a fibrous cactus that grows wildly throughout India and African regions. (x) It also functions as a boundary marker for homes and as a roadside shrub. (x)
People of India discovered its edible qualities during a time of extreme famine in their country. The exotic looking cactus definitely caught their eye. Now, people consume it raw, cooked and pickled as part of Indian cuisine. Though it tastes best pickled since some believe it has a foul taste.
History of Caralluma
A Scottish surgeon and botanist, Dr. William Roxburgh (June 1751 to February 1815), was the founding father of Indian botany. Among his many works published on this subject, he used detailed drawings by Indian artists that accompanied his descriptions of many Indian plant species. (x)
In 1795, Roxburgh introduced Caralluma to the Western culture in his published works, naming it Stapella adscendens. In his writings, he mentioned the Indian language called Telugu calls the plant Car-allum. He noted its edible, bitter and salty. In 1811, Robert Brown, a fellow Scottish botanist, named the plant Caralluma in his published works.
Helmut Genaust, in 1996, published his studies on the plant. He wrote about the plant in North Africa, and its generic name comes from the Arabic words “qahr-al-luhum,” translated to mean “wound in the flesh” or “abscess.” He referred to the plant’s odor. He was not familiar with Roxburgh’s work and excluded its existence in India. (x)
Caralluma is more than just food, though. In its complete form or as an extract, practitioners of India’s ancient healing medicine called Ayurveda have used it for its therapeutic effects. (x) Specifically, Caralluma can suppress the appetite and aid in weight loss. The plant has many other medicinal purposes. Any time you start a new supplement, make sure you check with your physician first.
People have been taking advantage of this botanical’s benefits for a very long time. Modern scientific research is only recently emerging. Still, Caralluma can help reduce appetite, stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce oxidative damage and improve digestion. It even has antimicrobial effects.
Caralluma’s health benefits are mostly thanks to its unique phytochemical profile — a bioactive substance with health benefits such as flavonoid and carotenoid. It contains relatively high amounts of dietary fiber, amino acids (especially proline, isoleucine and valine) and several types of phenols. Phenols are compounds that act as antioxidants in the body and neutralize damaging free-radicals. Free-radicals cause oxidation, leading to many health concerns such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. (x)
- Reduces Appetite
People discovered the appetite suppressing effect of Caralluma a long time ago. Science is now validating this and shedding light on how it works. As a “slimming food,” the plant’s high levels of compounds called pregnane glycosides handle this. These compounds seem to affect specific aspects of your body’s system that play a role in appetite. (x)
A scientific study of 50 adult men and women took a placebo or Caralluma. Both groups received standard advice on losing weight through diet and exercise. After 30 and 60 days, the group who took the extract suppressed their appetite and lost inches on their waistline. (x)
- Aids in Weight Loss
Caralluma’s appetite-suppressing effects were probably helpful during the famine when India discovered the plant to be edible. Today, it can help one lose weight as a health benefit. Suppressing the appetite goes a long way in assisting people in losing the extra pounds, leading to other health problems.
As mentioned above, research backs this up. In the same study of 50 overweight adults, those who took 1 gram of Caralluma extract per day for 60 days experienced a reduction of appetite than those who took a placebo. Food didn’t seem as appealing. The Caralluma group also saw significant changes in the decrease in waist circumference. (x)
Reducing waist circumference is an essential factor in lowering the risk for metabolic syndrome, which associates with high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and high cholesterol. Another study found that not only did 1 gram of Caralluma extract per day for 12 weeks reduce their waist circumference, but it also improved other metabolic markers. Participants had lower blood pressure, triglycerides, body weight, BMI and overall fat intake. (x) Triglycerides are the principal elements of natural oils and fats. High concentrations in the blood show a risk of a stroke.
- May Reduce Blood Sugar
Consumption of this edible cactus may help lower blood sugar levels. Animal studies show that intake of the extract can promote the activity of enzymes that break down glucose and stabilize its uptake. It also can reduce glucose production. These studies suggest Caralluma might minimize the effects of dysfunctional glucose metabolism and promote lower blood insulin levels, causing diabetes. As a result, it can also prevent tissue damage to the kidneys and liver. (x) (x)
As a traditional medicine in India, Caralluma extract may help treat your diabetes if taken as capsules. (x) A scientific study performed on rats showed the plant has antidiabetic agents based on the fact the group given the plant extract gained more weight compared to those given a drug to increase insulin. Thus, Caralluma worked better against the pharmaceutical drug. (x)
- Excellent Source of Antioxidants
Caralluma contains several types of phenols. Phenols are compounds that interact with — and ultimately neutralize — free radicals that can cause cell damage and oxidative stress. (x) Many things can create free radicals in the body, including diets that are high in calories. According to preliminary animal research, Caralluma extract can prevent protein oxidation, stop fat breakdown and promote additional antioxidant activity despite a high-calorie diet. A couple of scientific studies performed on male rats proved the effectiveness of Caralluma as an excellent source of antioxidants. (x) (x)
- Anti-Cancer Properties
Like vegetables, fruit, spices, and herbal medicinal plants with phytochemical, Caralluma may play a decisive role in treating chronic diseases such as cancer. An extensive research publication report, Caralluma, is useful in treating lung cancer in Spain. Seven of the pregnane glycosides in the plant exhibit anti-lung cancer activity. A methanolic extract of the Caralluma wall proved to decrease cancer cell activity. (x)
Other scientific studies substantiate the plant’s effectiveness as a traditional treatment for cancer. (x)
- Improved Digestion
Caralluma could improve digestive functioning thanks to its high fiber content. It is beneficial when consumed as a vegetable rather than extract since it’s composed of about 15 percent crude fiber. (x) The fiber normalizes bowel movements, maintains intestinal health, lowers cholesterol and even prevents certain diseases. (x)
- Antimicrobial and Antiparasitic
Caralluma consumed as a food or extract kills bacteria, including Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, and the worm Pheretima posthuma fungi, Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans. Several traditional uses for the plant are to ease many health concerns such as intestinal tract, diarrhea, ear, throat infections, fever and skin diseases. As a natural product may prove as an effective and safe remedy. (x) Check with your physician before trying any new supplement.
Caralluma Extract Dosage
The most common dosage found to be safe and effective in human studies is anywhere between 250 mg to1,000 mg per day. It depends on your health concern, your doctor’s suggestions.
Where to Buy Caralluma Extract?
You can purchase Caralluma at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor for pure dietary supplements. BulkSupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other food and supplement brands to make their products. All products at BulkSupplements.com are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices.
Are you interested in trying Caralluma? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order.
Caralluma Extract Side Effects
In 2014, the FDA recognized Caralluma as GRAS, or “Generally Recognized As Safe.”
The Bottom Line
Little did Dr. William Roxburgh understand his profound effect on Eastern and Western medicines when he documented India’s plants as the founding father of Indian botany. His work carried forward centuries of traditional medicine of the East. Today, biotechnology professors and practitioners of Ayurveda write supportive studies of the effectiveness of Caralluma based on extensive clinical research.
Caralluma extract is not a weight-loss miracle. Alas, nothing is. Those that lost weight in studies also had to improve their diet and increase their activity levels. However, the freedom from food cravings that Caralluma offers can undoubtedly help. Since many weight loss aids are over-stimulating or cause unwanted side effects, Caralluma can be a gentler, safer alternative.
As a bonus, it can even reduce oxidative stress and improve digestion. If you have a severe health concern such as cancer and diabetes, investigate the use of Caralluma. Traditional medicine from Indian used it as an extract for hundreds of years with success. The success continues today with adequate scientific studies backing up its validity.
The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.