What is Hoodia Gordonii?
Latin Name: Hoodia gordonii
Other Names: hoodia, xhooba, !khoba, Ghaap, hoodia cactus, South African desert cactus
Hoodia (pronounced HOO-dee-ah) is a cactus-like plant that grows primarily in the semi-deserts of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola.
In the last few years, hoodia has been heavily marketed for weight loss and has become immensely popular.
Although there has always been a demand for diet pills, after the ban on the herb ephedra, the market was particularly ripe for the next new diet pill.
Much of hoodia's popularity stems from claims that the San Bushmen of the Kalahari desert relied on hoodia for thousands of years to ward off hunger and thirst during long hunting trips.
They were said to have cut off the stem and eat the bitter-tasting plant.
Hoodia gordonii grows in clumps of green upright stems. Although it is often called a cactus because it resembles one, hoodia is actually a succulent plant.
It takes about five years before hoodia gordonii's pale purple flowers appear and the plant can be harvested.
There are over 13 types of hoodia. The only active ingredient identified so far is a steroidal glycoside that has been called "p57". Currently, only hoodia gordonii is thought to contain p57.
It is very rare for such established journalist to be so positive on a food supplement. Normally, the media is quick to find fault with any new dietary supplement and point out potential problems. Not only is Hoodia is being positively "field tested" by journalists, they are some of the most respected journalist in their field.