The Clusiaceae family is endemic to a region which embraces South India, Polynesia, Japan, Australia and tropical Africa. These are evergreen shrubs or trees which can reach a height of 20-82 ft. Many of the members of this family are cultivated for their fruit, which often differs from species to species.
Some of these fruits have a resemblance to tangerines with very thin skin, others look similar to wrinkled lemons, while others have very thick skin. What they all have in common is that they are endocarp and those which are cultivated, are generally delicious.
Another reason why they are cultivated is for their lumber, because it is termite resistant and not splintery, therefore it is utilized in the production of posts and tool handles.
The most popular of the Garcinia trees for its fruit is the purple mangosteen (garcinia mangostana). It is a tropical tree which does not tolerate temperatures below 32 °F. It is widely grown in Columbia, and was introduced from the Sunda Islands. The reddish color, rather thick hard rind of its fruit is not edible, but the flesh inside the rind is delicious. It can be compared to the tangerine, as it is about the same size and shape, but it is white in color.
Less known, nevertheless widely cultivated in its native environment is the Garcinia Prainiana. The fruit resembles the khaki when ripe and its skin is rather thin. Others are, the Garcinia Forbesii which produces fruits resembling huge cherries, the Garcinia Atroviridis with fruits which resemble a small pumpkin and is very pale green-white in color.
The fresh fruits are not readily available in the western hemisphere as the ripening process takes place over a period of only ten days. After that, the fruit inside the rind may begin to rot, while not showing any external indications. Canned mangosteens are no alternative, as much of the fruit's flavor is lost during the canning process.
The number of Garcinia species have not yet been exactly established, but they could easily exceed 300. The only species which is best known in the USA is the Garcinia Cambogia.
How remarkable that one TV Show sheds such light on just one species of Garcinia and of this species, on one single property - its appetite suppressant potential found in one ingredient in its rind - the Hydroxycitric Acid, short HCA. This shows the huge interest of the public in this single property, which is due to the ever rampant obesity problem in the United States.
In India the acidity of the rind has been added to spices like curry for centuries. Healers use it to heal edema, delayed menstruation, for strengthening the immune system, for more energy and more.
Recent studies have discovered that Garcinia Cambogia Extract is extremely antioxidant (means it acts as an anti aging substance), that it is an excellent antibiotic which it is antifungal and a carbohydrate blocker.
Therefore, it is much more than just an appetite suppressant for which it is mainly known in western countries. It is safe. It is an all-natural substance. It has been used for centuries by locals. It is a valuable health improvement product, which can be used even without the need to suppress hunger.
You should not consume more than 1500 mg HCA per day (an ideal dose is 500 mg 3 times per day) and after about two months discontinue use for a while. Take a break from using it for about one month before resuming consumption again.
Non-stop continued usage of high doses can result in severe lactic acidosis (increased acidity in the blood and other body tissue). One incident was reported by Wong & Klemmer in May 2008 associated with the juice of the mangosteen fruit Garcinia.
So beware of promotion which tries to impress with high doses of 750 mg or even 1000 mg of HCA per capsule. Stay at the safe dosage of 500 mg per capsule.