Caralluma fimbriata is a popular edible cactus from India. It grows abundantly throughout India’s interior, even along the roadsides. It’s part of the diet of several native Indian populations. It has been used for thousands of years in Indian culture for helping suppress appetite during long hunts and times of famine. Typically found in Africa, the Middle East, and Southern Europe especially the Canary Island. Recently people started using it to lose weight, build endurance and suppress thirst.
Some studies say it has little effect, and others say that it helps reduce hunger and helps people lose weight. No studies have shown any harmful effects from taking C. fimbriata at recommended dosages.
Some early research shows that taking an extract of Caralluma may decrease food intake, feelings of hunger, and waist size. However, other research suggests it does not affect these things. Also, it does not seem to decrease weight, body mass index (BMI), body fat, or hip size.
How to use it?
In India where C. fimbriata grows, people use it in a variety of ways. Despite its foul smell, many choose to eat it raw or simply boil it first. Others cook it as a vegetable with spices or add it to condiments like chutneys and pickles. In the United States, it is most often taken in extract form as a supplement.