Caralluma Side Effects

Updated April 13, 2018

A new "miracle" weight-loss supplement seems to arrive on the market every day. One of the newer natural appetite supplements is caralluma. Learn about its side effects before adding it to you pantry.

What Is Caralluma?

Caralluma fimbriata is a succulent plant often found along the roadsides of India. People in rural India have used it for centuries---spiced and served as a vegetable, made into chutney and pickles, or simply eaten raw. Hunters often carried it on long treks, believing that it increased stamina and suppressed appetite and thirst.


Caralluma is being touted as "the new hoodia" of natural weight-loss supplements. The claim is that caralluma affects the appetite control centre of the brain, though no clinical trial has proven this. However, a 2007 clinical study conducted in India did find that caralluma has a small effect on people trying to lose weight. The study involved 50 overweight men and women, who were either given 1g caralluma extract or a placebo every day.

None of the people taking the extract lost more total weight than the people given the placebo, but all of them reported that they had less appetite and they all lost more inches around their waist.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects

Reported gastrointestinal complaints from caralluma include mild constipation, acidic stomach and flatulence. These symptoms ease on their own after about a week.


As with all appetite suppressants, the danger is that users will reduce their food intake so much that they will not get necessary amounts of daily nutrients.


Because caralluma may also suppress thirst, dehydration is a danger. Make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water a day, and even more if you are exercising.

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About the Author

Emmy-award nominated screenwriter Brynne Chandler is a single mother of three who divides her time between professional research and varied cooking, fitness and home & gardening enterprises. A running enthusiast who regularly participates in San Francisco's Bay to Breakers run, Chandler works as an independent caterer, preparing healthy, nutritious meals for Phoenix area residents.