What Is Hoodia?
It is more than 2 years now since hoodia became well known in the
public domain. Television programmes on both sides of the Atlantic
in 2003/4 saw to that.
If you have not heard of hoodia before, or have but do not really
know what it is, let me explain. Hoodia is a cactus-like succulent.
I have seen it described as an ugly cactus, but as cacti go, I would
say it is about average in the looks department. Not that its looks
really matter; you will not be going up to it and giving it a loving
hug. You might, however, want to give it a little bite, whether out
of curiosity, or because you have heard it can help you lose weight.
I should be a little more precise before I continue. The
that has recently been associated with weight loss potential is
hoodia gordonii, one of a large group of succulent plants called
How Can Hoodia Help You Lose Weight?
Hoodia Gordonii grows in the Kalahari desert in Africa, and has done
for thousands of years. It clearly thrives in very high
temperatures, but it also takes many years to mature. Also living in
the same region are the San Tribesmen, or Bushmen. The San are
amongst the world’s oldest and most primitive tribes.
The San have been
plants for thousands of years. Now, I am sure your vision of an
African desert tribe would not be anything like obese Americans or
Europeans, for whom hoodia has been mooted as a possible weight loss
aid. In fact, you probably imagine quite the opposite, a lithe and
slender people struggling to survive on desert morsels. You would be
right. How, then, can the San's inclusion of hoodia in their diet
have anything to do with weight loss aids?
The answer is in the reason they have, for all those generations,
been eating the
Their quest for food in the shifting sands of the Kalahari Desert
has always meant going on long hunting expeditions. Instant
gratification for hunger pangs was not usually on the menu, so with
their hunting trips lasting for days, they ate hoodia gordonii
because it suppressed those hunger pangs for long periods. No hunger
pangs meant no overwhelming desire to eat. That made the whole
hunting process that much more bearable.
You are probably now beginning to see how hoodia might come to the
aid of the obese and overweight. Those who have trouble controlling
their eating urges may have a close ally in
If a dose of the plant can suppress their desire to eat, to stop
them feeling hungry at meal times, then surely they will find it
easier to cut back on calorie intake?
That was the theory that sparked scientific studies of
About the Author:
suppressant article was written by Roy Thomsitt, owner
and part author of the Routes To Self Improvement website: