Caralluma fimbriata is a cactus plant indigenous to many parts of India. Used in a variety of forms, this plant is known for its appetite- and thirst-suppressant capabilities. Increasingly considered as a weight loss supplement, extensive research has been done to identify short-term and long-term side effects associated with its consumption.
What is Caralluma Fimbriata?
Caralluma fimbriata grows wild in urban centers in India and is often planted as roadside shrubbery or boundary markers. It is also consumed as a vegetable in the daily diets of several native populations. It is traditionally prepared with spices and salt or eaten raw and can is also used in Indian preserves like chutneys. In its extract form, caralluma fimbriata is used as a diet aid and appetite suppressant.
Side Effects as a Food
Tribal hunters often consume a handful of caralluma fimbriata chunks before hunting to avoid packing food and suffering from hunger of thirst on longer hunting trips. In extensive research, Indian university professors, botanists and holistic health practitioners attest to its lack of toxicity as a food with no negative or adverse effects reported among populations with large caralluma fimbriata consumption.
Side Effects as an Extract
Additional research has been conducted to identify caralluma fimbriata’s safety as an extract taken orally. The Department of Pharmacology at St. Johns’s Medical College in Bangalore, India, reports extensive research on rats to identify oral toxicity. Rats were given daily doses of caralluma fimbriata comparable to their body weight for a study period of 14 days. Tissue and organ examination research later revealed no abnormalities in organ health or function to further indicate no long-term physical health effects from consumption as an extract.
Clinical Case Study Results
At the Western Geriatric Research Institute, studies were conducted to identify side effects or issues associated with using caralluma fimbriata as a weight-loss supplement in its extract form. In a study including 26 overweight patients, more than 60 percent of participants who received the active compound experienced weight loss while taking the supplement with no participants reporting any adverse reactions to the extract.
Caralluma Supplement Side Effects
As a weight-loss supplement, any side effects from usage appear to minimal. Caralluma is considered safe for most people when taken for up to 60 days. The only side effects that have been reported on WebMD, a health and medical information Internet resource, are mild stomach upset, flatulence, constipation and gastritis. Any reported disturbance reportedly disappears with a week of use. However, you should not take caralluma if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.