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Scientific Name(s): Garcinia spp., Garcinia indica.
Common Name(s): Camboginol, Garcinol

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 1, 2022.

Clinical Overview


Numerous in vitro and scientific animal studies on garcinol document anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, and antibacterial activity. Clinical data are lacking.


Garcinol is used as an active ingredient in various topical products for its antioxidant activity. It is also used as an additive ingredient in hydroxycitric acid, purported by some commercial manufacturers to improve lean body mass.


Avoid use if allergy or hypersensitivity to any of the components of garcinol exist.


Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.


None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

No clinical data are available.


No clinical data are available.

Scientific Family

  • Clusiaceae (Guttiferae)


Garcinol is primarily present in family Clusiaceae and genus Garcinia. Although Garcinia indica is commonly referenced in the scientific literaturePadhye 2009 it is found in other plant species.Yamaguchi 2000 The genus Garcinia includes 200 species located throughout Asia and Africa. G. indica, also known as kokum, is a slow-growing, mid-sized dioecious tree.Deodhar 2008 Its leaves are elliptic, oblong, and deep green. The flowers are dark pink, and the dried fruit rind contains the medicinal component of garcinol. The fruit is about the size of an orange and usually contains 6 to 8 seeds. The tree has the potential of bearing hundreds of fruits during the summer.


G. indica is used in culinary, pharmaceutical, and industrial applications.Padhye 2009 The dried fruit rind of G. indica is used as a garnish in Indian curries.Deodhar 2008, Sang 2001, Sang 2002 The oils from the seeds are used in preparing chocolates, medicines, and cosmetics. Kokum butter is extracted from the seeds and used in the cosmetic industry for preparing lotions, creams, lip balms, and soaps.Padhye 2009 Garcinol is claimed to inhibit skin glycation, thus reducing inflammation and injury to the extracellular matrix.Lodén 2007 The fruit rind has also been utilized as a pink and purple food coloring agent and as a culinary spice to provide a sour and sweet taste to foods.Hong 2007 In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, the extract of the fruit rind is used to treat inflammatory and infectious disease.Hong 2007, Koeberle 2009Garcinia is also used in central African traditional medicine for infectious disease.Khanum 2005


Analytical studies on the chemical constituents of Garcinia species are available.Xu 2008, Masullo 2008, Ciochina 2006

Garcinol is also known as camboginol and is commonly found in the dried fruit rind of G. indica as a yellow oil or pigment.Ciochina 2006 Mass spectral analysis of garcinol has been performed.Padhye 2009 Garcinol is an example of a prenylated chalcone, which has many beneficial effects in human health and disease.Padhye 2009

Uses and Pharmacology

Alzheimer disease

Inhibition of cholinesterase activity increases acetylcholine availability for nerve cell communication. Garcinol has anticholinesterase activity toward acetyl cholinesterase (AChE) and butylcholinesterase. The IC50 value of garcinol (0.66 mcM) versus the reference compound galanthamine (0.50 mcM) against AChE was comparable.Lenta 2007


In vitro

Aberrant arachidonic acid metabolism and nitric oxide synthesis are involved with inflammatory and carcinogenic processes. Garcinol and its derivatives inhibited release of arachidonic acid metabolites in human colon adenocarcinoma cells. Several key proteins involved in inflammation were inhibited, and the inhibitory effect on nitric oxide synthesis was concentration dependent. The proposed molecular mechanism of action of garcinol affects inflammatory processes associated with phosphorylation, inflammatory cytokines, and membrane phospholipids.Hong 2006 Garcinol is a direct and potent inhibitor of the catalytic activity of 2 crucial enzymes involved with inflammation, 5-lipoxygenase, and microsomal prostaglandin PGE2 synthase.Koeberle 2009 These 2 enzymes are often overexpressed in many tumors. Cigarette smoke extract leads to airway inflammation, which may be regulated by cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) synthesis.Yang 2009 Pretreatment of tracheal smooth muscle cells with garcinol markedly inhibited COX-2 expression stimulated by the cigarette smoke extract.

Animal data

Topical application or oral administration of garcinol inhibited TPA-induced ear inflammation in a dose-dependent manner in CD-1 mice. TPA-induced expression of proinflammatory cytokine IL-6 protein was inhibited by topical application of garcinol to the ears of CD-1 mice. UVB-induced ear inflammation and proinflammatory cytokines IL-1 beta and IL-6 were inhibited in mice after oral administration of garcinol. Topical application of garcinol strongly inhibited TPA-induced skin tumor promotion in mice.Huang 2008


In vitro

Garcinol has free radical scavenging activity against the hypoxanthine/xanthine oxidase system, superoxide anion, hydroxyl radical, and methyl radical.Yamaguchi 2000 The activity of emulsified garcinol was almost comparable with that of DL-alpha–tocopherol by weight but less than that of ascorbic acid. However, garcinol suppressed hydroxyl radical more strongly than that of DL-alpha–tocopherol.

The mechanism of action may be associated with garcinol reacting with peroxyl radicals followed by deprotonation of the hydroxyl group.Sang 2001, Sang 2002 Garcinol has chelating and antiglycation activity (glycation plays a role in diabetic complications) and is a lipid-soluble superoxide anion scavenger.Yamaguchi 2000

Garcinol provided a neuroprotective effect by decreasing nitric oxide production and expression of lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory mediators, iNOS and COX-2, in rat cortical astrocyte cultures.Liao 2005


Animal data

Reviews of studies have been published.(Behera, Liu, Semwal) Garcinol showed potent inhibitory growth activity against HT-29 and HCT-116 colon cancer cells.Hong 2007 Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is involved in protecting against apoptosis. Garcinol inhibited cell invasion by inhibiting the downstream signaling of FAK.Liao 2005 Elevation of the detoxifying enzyme glutathione S-transferase and quinine reductase in the liver, reduction of free radicals, and arachidonic acid metabolites by dietary garcinol in rats may suppress chemically induced colon carcinogenesis.Tanaka 2000 In human leukemia HL-60 cells, garcinol inhibited activity in a dose- and time-dependent manner by inducing DNA fragmentation and apoptotic cell death.Pan 2001 A similar study with human leukemia HL-60 cells documented the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential by garcinol-induced apoptosis.Matsumoto 2003 Dietary administration of garcinol in rats inhibited development of 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide–induced tongue carcinogenesis and preneoplasms when compared with the control diet.Yoshida 2005 The mechanism of action involves garcinol suppressing cell proliferation activity in affected tissues and/or COX-2 expression in the tongue lesions. Garcinol induced caspase-mediated apoptosis in highly metastatic human breast cancer cells (MDA-MD-231) through down-regulation of NF-kappaB signaling pathway.Ahmad 2010 A chemical study examining 2 ethers of garcinol and isogarcinol documented inhibitory activity against Epstein-Barr virus early antigen activation induced by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) in Raji cells; the activity was comparable or stronger to that of the antitumor promoter glycyrrhetic acid.Ito 2003 Dysfunction or alteration of histone acetyl transferases (HATS) may lead to diseases such as cancer and viral infections, including HIV.Dekker 2009 Garcinol is a potent, nonspecific in vitro and in vivo inhibitor of HATS, a key regulatory step in gene expression in eukaryotic cells.Balasubramanyam 2004, Arif 2009 Garcinol is also the first reported cell-permeable HATS inhibitor.Varier 2004 Viral protein integrase is a critical protein for the integration of HIV-1 virus into the human genome. In one study, garcinol-derived molecules inhibited a critical step in this integration as well as HIV multiplication in T cells at nontoxic concentrations.Dekker 2009, Mantelingu 2007

Clinical data

Research reveals no clinical data regarding potential applications of garcinol as a chemotherapeutic agent.Behera 2016, Liu 2015, Semwal 2015


An in vitro study documents garcinol inhibition of the growth of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, with the activity comparable to that of the antibiotic vancomycin.Iinuma 1996, Rukachaisirikul 2005 Several concentrations of an extract from G. indica, with garcinol as the major compound, inhibited the growth of Aspergillus flavus and subsequent mycotoxin aflatoxin B1 production in a growth inhibition assay.Tamil Selvi 2003G. indica rind extracts and garcinol inhibited the growth of some foodborne gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.Negi 2004 Garcinol has moderate antiplasmodial activity against the chloroquine-resistant strain of Plasmodium falciparum (FcB1).Marti 2009

Stomach Ulcer

Oral administration of garcinol to rats prevented acute ulceration induced by indomethacin. The mechanism of action may be associated with the interaction of garcinol with reactive oxygen species on the surface of gastric mucosa.Yamaguchi 2000 The in vitro bactericidal activities of clarithromycin and garcinol exerted time- and concentration-dependent effects on Helicobacter pylori. In the same study, garcinol exhibited greater bactericidal activity on H. pylori when compared with resveratrol.Chatterjee 2003, Chatterjee 2005


Reviews of the literature report appetite suppressant effects and activity in models of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.Behera 2016, Semwal 2015


Garcinol is an active ingredient in various topical products for its antioxidant activity. It is also used as an additive to hydroxycitric acid, purported by some commercial manufacturers to improve lean body mass.

Toxicological studies suggest an upper limit of 2,800mg/day of Garcinia extracts or hydroxycitric acid, based on the "no observed adverse effect level."Semwal 2015

Pregnancy / Lactation

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.


Theoretically, when used with stomach acid–reducing medications (eg, proton pump inhibitors) garcinol may provide an additive effect, but should be used cautiously with antioxidant products or cancer medications.

Adverse Reactions

No clinical data were found in the medical literature. Avoid use if allergy or hypersensitivity to any of the components of garcinol exist.


Most reports suggest dietary administration of garcinol in animal studies exhibits low toxicity, with animal studies finding no histological or pathological changes in liver, kidney, lung, heart, or esophageal organ systems.(1, 22) However, toxicity towards spermatogenesis and testicular atrophy in rats from administered G. cambogia extract has been reported.Semwal 2015


Ahmad A, Wang Z, Ali R, et al. Apoptosis-inducing effect of garcinol is mediated by NF-kappaB signaling in breast cancer cells. J Cell Biochem. 2010;109(6)1134-1141.20108249
Arif M, Pradhan SK, Thanuja GR, et al. Mechanism of p300 specific histone acetyltransferase inhibition by small molecules. J Med Chem. 2009;52(2):267-277.19086895
Balasubramanyam K, Altaf M, Varier RA, et al. Polyisoprenylated benzophenone, garcinol, a natural histone acetyltransferase inhibitor, represses chromatin transcription and alters global gene expression. J Biol Chem. 2004;279(32):33716-33726.15155757
Behera AK, Swamy MM, Natesh N, Kundu TK. Garcinol and Its Role in Chronic Diseases. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;928:435-452.27671827
Chatterjee A, Bagchi D, Yasmin T, Stohs SJ. Antimicrobial effects of antioxidants with and without clarithromycin on Helicobacter pylori. Mol Cell Biochem. 2005;270(1-2):125-130.15792361
Chatterjee A, Yasmin T, Bagchi D, Stohs SJ. The bactericidal effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus, garcinol and Protykin compared to clarithromycin, on Helicobacter pylori. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003;243(1-2):29-35.12619886
Ciochina R, Grossman RB. Polycyclic polyprenylated acylphloroglucinols. Chem Rev. 2006;106(9):3963-3986.16967926
Dekker FJ, Haisma HJ. Histone acetyl transferases as emerging drug targets. Drug Discov Today. 2009;14(19-20):942-948.19577000
Deodhar SR, Thengane RJ, Thengane SR. De novo shoot regeneration from root cultures of Garcinia indica Choiss. Indian J Exp Biol. 2008;46(6):482-486.18697609
Hong J, Kwon SJ, Sang S, et al. Effects of garcinol and its derivatives on intestinal cell growth: Inhibitory effects and autoxidation-dependent growth-stimulatory effects. Free Radic Biol Med. 2007;42(8):1211-1221.17382202
Hong J, Sang S, Park HJ, et al. Modulation of arachidonic acid metabolism and nitric oxide synthesis by garcinol and its derivatives. Carcinogenesis. 2006;27(2):278-286.16093250
Huang MT, Liu Y, Badmaev V, Ho CT. Antiinflammatory and anticancer activities of garcinol. In: Dietary Supplements. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society; 2008:293-303. ASC Symposium Series; 987.
Iinuma M, Tosa H, Tanaka T, et al. Antibacterial activity of some Garcinia benzophenone derivatives against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Biol Pharm Bull. 1996;19(2):311-314.8850331
Ito C, Itoigawa M, Miyamoto Y, et al. Polyprenylated benzophenones from Garcinia assigu and their potential cancer chemopreventive activities. J Nat Prod. 2003;66(2):206-209.12608850
Khanum SA, Shashikanth S, Umesha S, Kavitha R. Synthesis and antimicrobial study of novel heterocyclic compounds from hydroxybenzophenones. Eur J Med Chem. 2005;40(11):1156-1162.15935518
Koeberle A, Northoff H, Werz O. Identification of 5-lipoxygenase and microsomal prostaglandin E2 synthase-1 as functional targets of the anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic garcinol. Biochem Pharmacol. 2009;77(9):1513-1521.19426689
Lenta BN, Vonthron-Sénécheau C, Weniger B, et al. Leishmanicidal and cholinesterase inhibiting activities of phenolic compounds from Allanblackia monticola and Symphonia globulifera. Molecules. 2007;12(8):1548-1557.17960072
Liao CH, Ho CT, Lin JK. Effects of garcinol on free radical generation and NO production in embryonic rat cortical neurons and astrocytes. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005;329(4):1306-1314.15766569
Liao CH, Sang S, Ho CT, Lin JK. Garcinol modulates tyrosine phosphorylation of FAK and subsequently induces apoptosis through down-regulation of Src, ERK, and Akt survival signaling in human colon cancer cells. J Cell Biochem. 2005;96(1):155-169.16052481
Liu C, Ho PC, Wong FC, Sethi G, Wang LZ, Goh BC. Garcinol: Current status of its anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. Cancer Lett. 2015;362(1):8-14.25796441
Lodén M, Ungerth L, Serup J. Changes in European legislation make it timely to introduce a transparent market surveillance system for cosmetics. Acta Derm Venereol. 2007;87(6):485-492.17989885
Mantelingu K, Reddy BA, Swaminathan V, et al. Specific inhibition of p300-HAT alters global gene expression and represses HIV replication. Chem Biol. 2007;14(6):645-657.17584612
Marti G, Eparvier V, Moretti C, et al. Antiplasmodial benzophenones from the trunk latex of Moronobea coccinea (Clusiaceae). Phytochemistry. 2009;70(1):75-85.19054532
Masullo M, Bassarello C, Suzuki H, Pizza C, Piacente S. Polyisoprenylated benzophenones and an unusual polyisoprenylated tetracyclic xanthone from the fruits of Garcinia cambogia. J Agric Food Chem. 2008;56(13):5205-5210.18533663
Matsumoto K, Akao Y, Kobayashi E, et al. Cytotoxic benzophenone derivatives from Garcinia species display a strong apoptosis-inducing effect against human leukemia cell lines. Biol Pharm Bull. 2003;26(4):569-571.12673047
Negi PS, Jayaprakasha GK. Control of foodborne pathogenic and spoilage bacteria by garcinol and Garcinia indica extracts and their antioxidant activity. J Food Sci. 2004;69(3):61-65.
Padhye S, Ahmad A, Oswal N, Sarkar FH. Emerging role of Garcinol, the antioxidant chalcone from Garcinia indica Choisy and its synthetic analogs. J Hematol Oncol. 2009;2:38.19725977
Pan MH, Chang WL, Lin-Shiau SY, Ho CT, Lin JK. Induction of apoptosis by garcinol and curcumin through cytochrome c release and activation of caspases in human leukemia HL-60 cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2001;49(3):1464-1474.11312881
Rukachaisirikul V, Naklue W, Sukpondma Y, Phongpaichit S. An antibacterial biphenyl derivative from Garcinia bancana MIQ. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2005;53(3):342-343.15744113
Sang S, Liao CH, Pan MH, et al. Chemical studies on antioxidant mechanism of garcinol: analysis of radical reaction products of garcinol with peroxyl radicals and their antitumor activities. Tetrahedron. 2002;58(51):10095-10102.
Sang S, Pan MH, Cheng X, et al. Chemical studies on antioxidant mechanism of garcinol: analysis of radical reaction products of garcinol and their antitumor activities. Tetrahedron. 2001;57(50):9931-9938.
Semwal RB, Semwal DK, Vermaak I, Viljoen A. A comprehensive scientific overview of Garcinia cambogia. Fitoterapia. 2015;102:134-48.25732350
Tamil Selvi A, Joseph AS, Jayaprakasha GK. Inhibition of growth and aflatoxin production in Aspergillus flavus by Garcinia indica extract and its antioxidant activity. Food Microbiol. 2003;20(4):455-460.
Tanaka T, Kohno H, Shimada R, et al. Prevention of colonic aberrant crypt foci by dietary feeding of garcinol in male F344 rats. Carcinogenesis. 2000;21(6):1183-1189.10837008
Varier RA, Swaminathan V, Balasubramanyam K, Kundu TK. Implications of small molecule activators and inhibitors of histone acetyltransferases in chromatin therapy. Biochem Pharmacol. 2004;68(6):1215-1220.15313419
Xu G, Feng C, Zhou Y, et al. Bioassay and ultraperformance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry guided isolation of apoptosis-inducing benzophenones and xanthone from the pericarp of Garcinia yunnanensis Hu. J Agric Food Chem. 2008;56(23):11144-11150.19007298
Yamaguchi F, Ariga T, Yoshimura Y, Nakazawa H. Antioxidative and anti-glycation activity of garcinol from Garcinia indica fruit rind. J Agric Food Chem. 2000;48(2):180-185.10691613
Yamaguchi F, Saito M, Ariga T, Yoshimura Y, Nakazawa H. Free radical scavenging activity and antiulcer activity of garcinol from Garcinia indica fruit rind. J Agric Food Chem. 2000;48(6):2320-2325.10888544
Yang CM, Lee IT, Lin CC, et al. Cigarette smoke extract induces COX-2 expression via a PKCalpha/c-Src/EGFR, PDGFR/PI3K/Akt/NF-kappaB pathway and p300 in tracheal smooth muscle cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2009;297(5):L892-902.19717552
Yoshida K, Tanaka T, Hirose Y, et al. Dietary garcinol inhibits 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide-induced tongue carcinogenesis in rats. Cancer Lett. 2005;221(1):29-39.15797624


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