About Kodampuli
Kodampuli (scientific name: Garcinia cambogia) also known as Gambooge, Malabar Tamarind, Fish Tamarind etc is an essential ingredient in all the seafood loving kitchens in Central Kerala, the coastal South Indian state. As the name suggests (Puli = sour in Malayalam), the dried fruit is used as a souring agent in Kerala’s famous fish curries and other seafood preparations.

Kodampuli is known for its medicinal values in Ayurveda. It helps to promote digestion, and a decoction (kashayam) made out of it is used against Arthritis and some uterine deceases. It is also known to cure ulcers.

The green fruit shown in the first picture is a young version, it will turn yellow when ripe. Once fully ripe, fruits are collected, cut in half, deseeded and are sun-dried for a day. The sun-dried fruit halves are smoked till black, and are rubbed with a mixture of salt and oil before transferring to earthenware pots and tightly sealed. These will stay fresh for years. Before use, wash the pieces under running water quickly to remove any dust accumulated from the drying and smoking process, then soak these for 10 minutes in water. Kodampuli pieces are added along with the water in which it was soaked in to curries and it gives a delicious sour taste that is so unique.

Kodampuli is sometimes referred to as "Kokum" in some of the cookbooks from Kerala, and many people misunderstood that Kokum and Kodampuli are the same. But Kokum (Garcinia indica) used in Marathi and Konkani cuisines is a different fruit, these two and are not interchangeable in recipes.

Obesity is a chronic disease characterized by an accumulation of excess adipose tissue and is associated with an increased risk of multiple morbidities and mortality. Unfortunately, once adipose tissue accumulates, a system of overlapping neuroendocrine responses prevents it from diminishing. When food intake is limited, counter-regulatory mechanisms cause an increase in appetite and a decrease in energy expenditure as protective measures against starvation and make volitional weight loss through dieting difficult to achieve.

Pharmacological intervention is considered necessary in overweight and obese patients with a body mass index greater than 27 kg/m2, particularly in the presence of other risk factors such as type 2 diabetes, or hypertension when conservative measures such as behavioral therapy, diet and exercise have not resulted in achieving the desired weight loss. Most cardiovascular risk factors improve even at modest weight reduction because loss of visceral fat leads to disproportionate improvement in risk of developing complications. The National Institute of Health (USA) guidelines recommend that if a chosen medication dies not lead to a 2-kg weight loss in the first month of treatment, the dose should be adjusted or the medication stopped.

Weight-loss without Tears

Hydroxycitric acid (HCA), the active ingredient in the herbal compound Garcinia cambogia, competitively inhibits the extramitochondrial enzyme adenosine triphosphate-citrate (pro-3S)-lyase, which is needed for the conversion of carbohydrate into fat.. As a citrate cleavage enzyme that may play an essential role in de novo lipogenesis inhibition, G cambogia has been shown to lower body weight and reduce fat mass in experimental animals and humans. Since excess carbohydrates cannot be stored, especially if the consumption of carbohydrate is high, this results in a loss of appetite and suppression of hunger and hence reduced food intake and weight loss. One study in mice suggest that chronic administration of HCA promotes lipid oxidation and spares carbohydrate utilization in mice at rest and during running.