There are a wide variety of plants which aid weight loss, but in my opinion, the humble cactus named Caralluma Fimbriata is the most interesting and dependable.
A member of the extensive Apocynaceae plant family, this cactus grows freely all over India and certain regions of Africa. Africans and Indians grow the cacti along property lines to make a living fence. Caralluma’s fleshy stems have also been eaten regularly for centuries. It can be eaten raw, pickled or steamed to make a tasty side dish. Two special reasons make Caralluma Fimbriata valuable in Africa and India. The first is that like other cacti, the Caralluma stores water in its spine covered stem. During droughts, these cacti provide water for both men and animals. Secondly, Caralluma satisfies the appetite and improves endurance for significant periods of time. Hunters habitually consumed it on their long treks.
Caralluma enabled them to survive on little food and still have the stamina necessary to chase down their game. Even today impoverished people eat Caralluma to decrease hunger pangs.
Three thousand years ago a healthcare system called Ayurveda was established in India. Ayurveda means “the science of life”. This medical system continues today. Within Ayurvedic medicine, Caralluma is considered beneficial for heart complaints and diabetes.
Caralluma requires further testing, but initial results suggest that Caralluma decreases atheroma plaque. Deposits of cholesterol, fatty acids, calcium and cellular waste form this type of plaque along the inner lining of the heart’s arteries. Over time atheroma plaque causes a variety of coronary problems. Caralluma Fimbriata benefits diabetics by decreasing blood sugar. When we eat carbohydrates, the Citrate lyase enzyme breaks them down into sugar which enters the blood stream. Caralluma suppresses the Citrate lyase. As a result fewer carbohydrates are turned into sugar and the blood glucose level drops. Any diabetic interested in taking a Caralluma extract should talk with their doctor before starting the supplement, because their medications may need to be adjusted.
By inhibiting Citrate lyase, Caralluma also enhances weight loss. Citrate lyase transforms carbohydrates into sugar, which cells burn for energy. Any leftover sugar is stored as fat. As Caralluma suppresses Citrate lyase blood sugar decreases, and this triggers our bodies to begin burning fat for energy. Caralluma is not a miracle weight loss product. Research does show, though, that it increases weight loss and specifically reduces stored fat, which means a decrease in body measurements.
Another important benefit Caralluma provides is appetite suppression. Some folks crave snacks all day long. Others do not snack, but at mealtime they find it difficult to stop after moderate servings. In both cases, Caralluma can be of help by suppressing the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus controls hunger by releasing and receiving hormones which increase or decrease appetite, while at the same time speeding up or slowing down metabolism. Phytochemicals from Caralluma effectively suppress the hypothalamus, so that it speeds up metabolism and decreases appetite.
Caralluma’s Side Effects
Caralluma Fimbriata has outstanding benefits, but does it have any serious side effects? Not really. As we already noticed, Caralluma is eaten regularly in Africa and India and no unpleasant side effects have been recorded over the years. Taking Caralluma as a supplement sometimes causes mild stomach complaints, but these generally disappear as the body adjusts to the changes in enzymes.
Although Caralluma is completely natural and poses no serious health risks, pregnant women, nursing mothers and any one being treated for a chronic condition should consult their doctor before beginning to take the supplement.