How Hoodia Gordonii Plus Works
Hoodia gordonii (pronounced HOO-dee-ah) is also called hoodia, xhooba, khoba, Ghaap, hoodia cactus, and South African desert cactus. Hoodia is a cactus that's causing a stir for its ability to suppress appetite and promote weight loss. 60 Minutes, ABC, and the BBC have all done stories on hoodia.
Hoodia gordonii can be found in the semi-deserts of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola. Hoodia grows in clumps of green upright stems and is actually a succulent, not a cactus.
It takes about 5 years before hoodia's pale purple flowers appear and the cactus can be harvested. Although there are 20 types of hoodia, only the hoodia gordonii variety is believed to contain the natural appetite suppressant.
Although hoodia was "discovered" relatively recently, the San Bushmen of the Kalahari desert have been eating it for a very long time. The Bushmen, who live off the land, would cut off part of the hoodia stem and eat it to ward off hunger and thirst during nomadic hunting trips. They also used hoodia for severe abdominal cramps,
hemorrhoids, tuberculosis, indigestion, hypertension and diabetes.
In 1937, a Dutch anthropologist studying the San Bushmen noted that they used hoodia to suppress appetite. But it wasn't until 1963 when scientists at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa's national laboratory, began studying hoodia. Initial results were promising -- lab animals lost weight after taking hoodia.
The South African scientists, working with a British company named Phytopharm, isolated the active ingredient in hoodia, a steroidal glycoside, which they named p57. After getting a patent in 1995, they licensed p57 to Phytopharm. Phytopharm has spent more than $20 million on hoodia research.