Garcinia atroviridis, known as Asam Gelugur, asam gelugo, or asam
keping in Malay, is a large rainforest tree native to peninsular
Malaysia. This species grows wild throughout peninsular Malaysia but
is also widely cultivated, especially in the northern states, owing
to its economic and medicinal value. Garcinia is a large perennial
plant commonly found in evergreen forests in the southern region of
Thailand and Malaysia.
The Asam Geluger tree grows to a height of more than 20m and has
a long trunk, smooth grey bark and drooping branches. The leaves are
dark green, shiny, long and narrow with a pointed tip and upturned
edges. The flowers are dark red. The round fruits are borne singly
on twig ends about 7 - 10 cm in diameter. The ripe fruits are bright
orange yellow, which are sliced, dried and used in curries or stewed
in plenty of sugar to be eaten.
The fruit contains citric acids, such as tartaric, malic and
ascorbic acids, hydroxycitric acid, and flavonoids. Sun-dried slices
of the fruits, locally known as "asam keping", are commercially
available and are popularly used as a vegetable salad and is
considered extremely sour.
Asam Gelugor is a perennial fruit tree native to the tropical
climate in Malaysia. The trees, which often grow up to 65 feet tall,
can also be found in other parts of South East Asia particularly
Thailand where demand for the Asam fruit is increasing.
Asam fruit contains various forms of fruiting acids-citric, malic,
and tartaric and has been used for centuries by the Malaysian
Kampung villages as both a cooking ingredient and weight loss agent.
Ripe Asam fruit is bright-yellow orange and tastes very sour
therefore it cannot be eaten fresh. Instead the fruit is sliced,
dried then stewed and used as a common ingredient in Asian dishes
such as curries and soups.
Not only is this super fruit loaded with antioxidants but
researchers at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia have stated
also that Asam assists in converting fat to energy, allowing those
who ingest it to burn off excess fat. Further studies have shown
that the fruits acidic nature is what enables it to have
anti-fungal, antimicrobial and weight reducing properties.
The Kampungs serve Asam fruit soup to individuals who want to
lose weight before consuming a big meal. The Asam fruit will work to
suppress appetite resulting in less food intake and weight loss over
Asam fruit, when encapsulated, can be taken two times a day prior
to meals as a natural appetite suppressant.