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The medicinal herb Hoodia as an alternative herbal remedy – Hoodia is a flowering, cactus-like plant native to the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. Its harvest is protected by conservation laws.Common Names–hoodia, Kalahari cactus, Xhoba

Latin Names–Hoodia gordonii Picture of Hoodia

What Hoodia Is Used For

  • Kalahari Bushmen have traditionally eaten hoodia stems to reduce their hunger and thirst during long hunts.
  • Hoodia gordonii is a natural cactus like plant that grows naturally in Africa. Hoodia Gordonii has been known to produce major appetite suppression for many years in the South African region.
  • Today, hoodia is marketed as an appetite suppressant for weight loss.

How Hoodia Is Used

  • Dried extracts of hoodia stems and roots are used to make capsules, powders, and chewable tablets. Hoodia can also be used in liquid extracts and teas.
  • Hoodia products often contain other herbs or minerals, such as green tea or chromium picolinate.

What the Science Says about Hoodia

  • There is no reliable scientific evidence to support hoodia’s use. No studies of the herb in people have been published.

Side Effects and Cautions of Hoodia

  • Hoodia’s safety is unknown. Its potential risks, side effects, and interactions with medicines and other supplements have not been studied. The quality of hoodia products varies widely. News reports suggest that some products sold as hoodia do not contain any hoodia. Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

Hoodia Gordonii

Hoodia gordonii is one of the most sought after succulents due to its medicinal properties. It has been called one of the wonder plants of the twenty first century. Trade in this plant is restricted. See Information document on trade in Hoodia gordonii and other Hoodia species for further details.

Description of Hoodia Gordonii

Hoodia gordonii is a spiny succulent. In the early stages only one stem is produced but at a later stage the plant starts branching. Mature plants can have as many as 50 individual branches and weigh as much as 30 kg. Plants under ideal conditions can attain a height of 1 m. Flowers are borne on or near the terminal apex (top part of the plant). The flowers are large and have a carrion-like smell (smell similar to rotten meat). In some ways the Hoodia flowers resemble a petunia flower. Flowers vary in colour from pale straw to dark maroon. Flowers are normally borne in August or September. Flowers can reach a diameter of 75 mm. Seed is produced in October and November. The seed capsules resemble small antelope or goat horns hence the Afrikaans common name of bokhorings.

Distribution Hoodia gordonii has a very wide distribution. It occurs in the northeastern part of the Western Cape, the north and northwestern regions of the Northern Cape and southern Namibia . It is used to extreme heat (above 40°C), but it can survive in relatively low temperatures (-3°C).

The plant appears to have a wide tolerance of growing habitats, found in deep Kalahari sands, on dry stony slopes or flats and under the protection of xerophytic bushes.


The wise man says:

January 12, 2024

The best diet is “just eat to maintain” and only indulge once a week.

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