Caralluma fimbriata is a wonderful plant which helps curb your appetite and promotes weight loss. Does the plant exhibit any side effects? Is it safe to consume the extract of this plant? Find answers to these questions and more, in this article…
The succulent plant caralluma fimbriata belongs to the family Apocynaceae. Indians have been consuming this plant for centuries. The center which controls your appetite is located in the hypothalamus in your brain, and the plant is supposed to have a wonderful effect on this center. Various studies have shown that the plant acts as an appetite suppressant, and thus helps control weight. Extract of the caralluma fimbriata plant is used to manufacture diet pills which act as appetite suppressants. So far, no serious side effects have been reported. Here is an overview on the benefits and side effects of caralluma fimbriata.
Caralluma Fimbriata Benefits
Caralluma fimbriata is found in abundance in India. It is an easily available plant as it grows wildly. It is referred to as the ‘famine plant’ in India. It is also common in certain parts of Africa. Small leaves on its stem look like spines. The plant grows in small groups and is classified as a shrub. The plant produces purple, black, red or yellow flowers. Centuries before, people used to carry this plant with them because of its thirst quenching quality. It was used as a portable food; as they knew about its medicinal properties.
These days, extract made from this plant is included in various weight loss diets, and it is also used to manufacture diet pills. Pregnane glycosides present in this plant inhibit the functions of certain enzymes like citrate lyase, which in turn helps reduce formation of fat in the body. So the body starts using its fat reserves. Thus the person can enjoy weight loss and a perfect body shape. Consumptions of caralluma fimbriata helps boost your energy levels and improve your stamina significantly. Moreover, it helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
Certain studies were conducted to find out how caralluma fimbriata controls our appetite. Reports showed that the plant carries not only appetite suppressant properties but also anti-obesogenic (preventing obesity) and anti-atherogenic (preventing atherosclerosis) properties. It was noticed that the plant extract effectively reduced the formation of plaque in arteries. This suggests that the plant can be useful in preventing atherosclerosis (build up of plaque in the arteries leads to obstruction in blood flow and hardening of the arteries). As it helps suppress the appetite, it helps prevent weight gain, obesity, and related health complications.
The plant contains flavone glycosides, saponins, and pregnane glycosides, which exhibit several health benefits. Regular consumption of this plant helps reduce the waist circumference, and helps lower the chances of cardiovascular diseases and strokes. The plant can be used as a vegetable and can also be eaten in raw, pickled and cooked forms.
Caralluma Fimbriata Side Effects
Caralluma fimbriata has been used in India for centuries. It has never exhibited adverse side effects. In Ayurveda, it is recognized as an effective medicine. Well, there are certain side effects of caralluma fimbriata, but they are mild and rare. The plant has an unpleasant smell which can cause nausea and vomiting. But the plant does not contain any toxic or harmful elements. Minor gastrointestinal problems like indigestion and an upset stomach can be experienced after consumption of this plant.
Some people may even suffer from bloating, flatulence and constipation. But once your body gets adjusted to this food, you won’t face any digestion problem. Depending upon the overall health, the time period taken to adjust to low food intake may vary from person to person. In India, certain studies were conducted to check the side effects of caralluma fimbriata, and the study reports showed no major side effects. Study reports also showed that people did not complain about any side effects even when they consumed the caralluma extract for six months at a stretch, and even when they consumed higher doses (1,000 mg per kilogram of body weight).
Since no scientific study reports regarding the side effects of caralluma fimbriata on pregnant and lactating women, and breastfed infants are available, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not opt for the supplement. Others should check the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) mark on the label which indicates that the effects of the supplement have been studied for the safety of human beings. It is better to consult your doctor for correct dosage, and it should be kept in mind that excessive consumption of any nutritional supplement can prove to be harmful. Always buy an authentic product, manufactured by a reliable brand, and follow the instructions of your doctor religiously.