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Hoodia

Hoodia (HOOD-ee-uh) gordonii - A genus of 10 to 20 species from southwestern Africa.

Hoodia gordonii is the stoneage wonder plant found throughout the dry arid regions of the South western African continent now on the verge of making history in the fight against obesity. It is a genus belonging to the Asclepiadaceae family which consists of approximately 20 species. Used to stop hunger, quench thirst, and provide energy among other things since prehistoric times, Hoodia gordonii was first discovered by the San tribesmen and women to get through the most difficult of times.

The African name for this plant is Xhoba but scientists know it by its botanical name, Hoodia gordonii. Forming clumps of erect multi-angled stems this spiny, perennial succulent that looks like a cactus is not a cactus (there are no native cacti in Africa) is a It is actually a member of the milkweed Asclepiadaceae family and can grow 2 1/2 feet tall. Not 6 feet as some would have believe. The large brownish unpleasant smelling flower located at the tips of the Hoodia gordonii stems ensures its propagation and survival in the wild by emitting a distinct carrion odor to attract the flies which pollinate them.

 
 What is Hoodia?
 
How has Hoodia Gordonii been used in the past?
 
How did research into Hoodia Gordonii commence?
 Have the benefits of Hoodia Gordonii been clinically proven?
 
How long does it take for Hoodia Gordonii to have an effect?
 Does Hoodia Gordonii have any side effects?
 Hoodia Gordonii is rare, is the source sustainable?
 


What is Hoodia?


Hoodia is a succulent plant found in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa. The genus includes a number of varieties of plant of which Hoodia Gordonii is one species. Hoodia plants are actually succulents, not cacti, but they do have a spiny appearance similar to cactus.


How has Hoodia Gordonii been used in the past?


For many centuries, the San Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa have used Hoodia plants as a food. The species Hoodia Gordonii was less often used because of its bitter taste. However, in times of hardship, or being away from familiar areas, it was sometimes eaten. In tablet form, the natural bitter taste Hoodia will of course not be noticed.


How did research into Hoodia Gordonii commence?


Due to the tradition of food use of Hoodia plants, certain plants were included in a scientific research project established by the South African statutory council known as CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) to screen a large number of bush foods. As part of the screening process, extracts of plants were made and tested for toxic effects. Surprisingly, it was observed that the Hoodia extracts actually caused a reduction in appetite and body weight in animals!


Have the benefits of Hoodia Gordonii been clinically proven?


Yes! In 2001, a large British pharmaceutical company completed a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study in overweight, but otherwise healthy volunteers using an extract of Hoodia Gordonii. The large doses of extract caused a statistically significant reduction in average daily calorie intake. In addition, a statistically significant reduction in body fat content was observed compared to the placebo group after two weeks.


How long does it take for Hoodia Gordonii to have an effect?


A clinical trial conducted by a large British pharmaceutical company demonstrated that repeat large doses of Hoodia Gordonii extract caused a statistically significant decrease in daily calorie intake. By day 15 the calorie intake had decreased by approximately 1000 calories per day.


Does Hoodia Gordonii have any side effects?


There are no known side effects. In the clinical study described above the safety data are consistent with a satisfactory overall safety profile. However, as with all dietary supplements, we recommend that you consult with your health practitioner prior to use.


Hoodia Gordonii is rare, is the source sustainable?


Hoodia Gordonii is very rare and is protected by national conservation laws in South Africa and Nambia. It can only be collected or grown with a permit. Wild stocks are also extremely limited so plantations have been established over the past 5 years to grow sustainable quantities of Hoodia Gordonii.

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