Unless you’re an herbalist, you likely haven’t come across salacia oblonga on your hunt for the perfect bodybuilding supplement to help you drop bodyfat. But you should consider trying this native Indian shrub that has also long been used to treat diabetes.

Research shows that salacia activates the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, which are located on the nuclei of muscle cells. These receptors trigger the genes involved in fat burning. In addition, salacia blocks the body’s ability to digest and absorb carbs by inhibiting the alpha-glucosidase enzyme, which normally breaks down carbs in the digestive tract. If the carbs can’t be broken down, they can’t be digested, and they pass right through you. Fewer digested carbs maintains low blood glucose levels, which keeps insulin levels low and steady throughout the day. This makes it less likely that you’ll experience insulin spikes, which halt fat-burning and encourage fat storage.

While several supplements are available that help block carb absorption, salacia is one of the few that has ample anecdotal and clinical support. In fact, several studies – all of which used a similar research design – have measured salacia’s effects on carb digestion. After subjects were given salacia extract or a placebo along with a high-carb meal, researchers took blood samples to measure levels of glucose and insulin. In all of the studies, researchers found that fewer carbs entered the bloodstreams of the salacia groups, and both glucose and insulin levels were more than 20% lower compared to the placebo groups.

These results suggest that salacia is a valuable ally when you’re on a get-lean plan but can’t fight off the carb temptation. Salacia can also be used when you indulge in a cheat meal packed with carbs, such as pizza. When entering a cutting phase, or when you want to reduce carb absorption from a cheat meal, supplement with 1,000 mg of salacia oblonga extract before meals.