Garcinia cambogia Desr.
Family : Clusiaceae
Cambodge is a an evergreen tree commonly
found in the forests of Western Ghats, from Konkan to Kerala and
the Shola forests of Nilgiris.
Cambodge is a small or medium-sized
tree with rounded crown and horizontal or drooping branches. The
leaves are dark green, shining, elliptic obovate, 5 -12.5 cm long
and 2-8 cm broad. Its fruits are ovoid (5 cm dia), yellow or red
when ripe, with 6 - 8 grooves and contain 6-8 seeds surrounded by
a succulent aril. The tree flowers during the hot season and fruits
ripen during the rains.
Cambodge contains tartaric acid (10.6
%) , glucose (15%) and phosphoric acid (1.5%). The seeds of cambodge
yield 31 % of edible fat resembling kokum butter.
Aroma and Flavour
The dried rind of cambodge is used
as a condiment of flavouring curries in Kerala. In Sri Lanka, the
fruits are picked under-ripe, the thick pericarp cut into sections,
dried in the sun and preserved for future use.
Culinary, medicinal and other
It is used along with salt in the
curing of fish. It is rich in acids and possess marked antiseptic
properties. The dried rind is also used for polishing gold and silver
and as a substitute for acetic and formic acids in the coagulation
of latex. An yellow, translucent resin from the tree is soluble
in turpentine and gives an yellow varnish. A decoction of the fruit
rind is given in rheumatism and bowel complaints. It is also used
as a rinse for some veterinary diseases.