Few years ago I had a serendipitous encounter with an amazing fruit kudampuli while I was looking for a gut-friendly substitute for tamarind used in south Indian cuisine. Kudampuli (Garcinia Cambogia or malabar tamarind) is a rich source of an interesting chemical compound hydroxycitric acid (HCA). HCA is well known to western medicine for its astounding property to convert food into energy and also hinder the accumulation of fat in our body. Thus HCA extracted from Garcinia Cambogia is mostly used in the manufacture of weight loss supplements and they are recommended to treat obese particularly diabetics.
So I grew curious to experiment with kudampuli, initially I used 1 or 2 rinds of tangy yet less-acidic kudampuli in sambar or kuzhambu in place of tamarind extract for a month and I could not notice any significant effects of HCA. But when I started taking kudampuli juice, my heart jumped with joy as I began to feel as if fat in my body just melting away in a couple of days, furthermore I found my clothes dropping one size down within 2 weeks. Though I was tempted to continue for a longer period, I stopped taking it in 2 weeks as there is a saying in Tamil, “alavukku minjinaal amirthamum nanju” meaning “even elixir of life turns poisonous if taken excessively”.
Since traditional Indian system of medicines like Siddha or Ayurveda repeatedly beats the drum for moderating the intake of herbs & spices, I do follow the same with strong conviction. Ayurveda recommends to take kudampuli juice during summer as it helps to keep our body cool. So I never missed to take this miraculous fat-burning drink every summer, and I prefer to take it an hour before the large meal of a day, because it also acts as a fantastic appetite suppressor. I find taking kudampuli juice as a safe and healthy way to shed some unwanted weight for a normal person compared to over-the-counter weight loss supplements manufactured by extracting HCA from kudampuli, because it is fresh & home-made and hence does not have any side effects unlike those supplements.
Health benefits of kudampuli:
- Improves metabolism – Kudampuli helps to convert food into energy rather than depositing as fat.
- Suppresses appetite – it helps to increase the production of serotinin, which in turn suppresses appetite & reduces craving.
- Promotes weight loss – because of improved metabolism.
- Treats gastric ulcer – by increasing the mucosal defence and also by decreasing acidity in gastric areas.
- Lowers cholesterol – by raising HDL (good cholesterol) & also by lowering LDL (bad cholesterol)
- Reduces blood sugar – due to improved metabolism.
To enjoy these benefits all through the year it is preferred to include kudampuli in our diet as frequent as possible. We can add 1 or 2 pieces of kudampuli into the boiling curry, leave those pieces until its tartness is fully absorbed, and remove them before serving. I feel this method is safer than taking kudampuli juice for a long term.
Now lets see how kudampuli juice is prepared:
Yields : 250 ml, serves: 1 adult
Time taken: 5 min
- Kudampuli – 1 No.
- Any sweetener like palm sugar (panang karkandu), powdered palm jaggery/ cane jaggery (vellam/ karuppatti) – as desired
- Water – 250 ml
- A pinch of powdered cardamom seeds/ cumin seeds for flavor (optional)
- A pinch of crushed pepper/ dried ginger to balance the tartness (optional)
Kudampuli juice preparation:
- Wash kudampuli and microwave for 1 min (or until soft & tender*) after adding 20 ml water. (alternatively you can soak in warm water for 3 hours)
- Grind kudampuli & sweetener into a smooth paste.
- Add water and pulse for few seconds.
- Now pour kudampuli juice through a fine mesh.
- Dilute it with required water so that it does not taste sour.
- Now kudampuli juice is ready to drink.
*If kudampuli is tough & hard nor fully soaked, it may cause an irritation to your throat.
Please Note: I am not an expert in the field of health & nutrition, I am just sharing my personal experience here. If you are keen to reduce your body weight safely, you may approach any Siddha or Ayurveda practitioner to consult the dosage or duration before taking these supplements. I have been taking kudampuli juice moderately, ie., once a day (250 ml) just for 2 weeks every year.