Hoodia is a cactus like plant that grows mainly in the African countries. In the last few years, Hoodia has become popular for its weight loss properties. It is a bitter tasting plant found in Kalahari Desert. It is a succulent plant and it resembles cactus. It takes 5 years for the flowers to appear on this plant. These flowers are purple in color.
Hoodia Gordonii is supposed to contain p57, which is a steroidal glycoside. Hoodia Gordonii became famous after a correspondent of a TV show went to the desert in search of this bush. She ate it and reported that she had lost the appetite for the rest of the day without any side effects such as indigestion, nausea or heart related problems.
Hoodia Gordonii works by making you feel full. This makes you eat less and hence you consume lesser calories and lose weight. Currently, it is one of the most commonly used natural appetite suppressant.
Hoodia Gordonii has since become dream ingredient for the companies trying to sell weight reduction pills. It is used in various forms such as liquid, powder or capsule. It is used in most of the diet pills. It is a very common herbal weight loss supplement. Some of the most common brands that have been proved to give good results are
- Desert Burn
- Strictly Health
- Hoodia hoodia
The experiments relating to Hoodia have largely been done on rats. The injection containing hoodia were given to the rat brains in the appetite center. These rats ate less as compared to other rats.
The marketers of hoodia claim that it has no side effects. They claim that bushmen is South African deserts have been consuming it for thousands of years to ward off hunger and thirst while hunting in the deserts. They used it as a food and not as a medicine.
However the studies done by Pfizer claim that it has some unwanted effects on the liver. This side effect is mainly caused by the components other than p57 which are not easily removable. Hoodia Gordonii has not got the approval from FDA. Certain ingredients of hoodia may also interact with other medication one might be taking. Hoodia has been in use for thousands of years by a tribe of hunters. But these people lived a total different lifestyle and did not take any other medication. The use of hoodia in North America is very recent. Not enough data is available to support its effectiveness. Also, as it suppresses the appetite and makes you eat less, your body gets less and less of the required nutrients.
Hoodia must definitely be avoided by pregnant women, children, underweight people and people suffering from heart, liver or kidney disorders.
As the demand for hoodia grows, the market has been flooded with contaminated and counterfeit products. It is impossible to tell if the hoodia being used in any of the products is real or not unless tested in the laboratory. The quantity of real hoodia available in the market is quite less as it grows in only specific conditions. Pure hoodia is comparatively quite expensive as it requires some particular conditions to grow and ripe. It grows in deserts at some specific temperature and it takes 4-7 years to mature. Hence the amount of hoodia available is limited and hence it is has got a very high market value. Pure hoodia is grown mainly in South Africa. 60% of the samples submitted for testing and verification are failing in US. There might be others, which do not even come for testing. So, on an average, 80% of hoodia being used in the market and purchased by customers is adulterated or does not contain any hoodia at all. This has given hoodia a bad name and false impression. It is very difficult to find out if hoodia works or not, unless we are able to get genuine hoodia.
There is a certification CITES available for genuine hoodia. This is a document which is required by any company that sells hoodia. CITES stand for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
One must be very careful prior to taking hoodia as an appetite suppressant to lose weight. Use hoodia, but still, maintain a healthy lifestyle. Take nourishing food and exercise regularly. Make some time for it, even if you are busy.