Hoodia (Hoodia gordonii)


Hoodia is a genus in the plant family Apocynaceae. Although hoodia was introduced to the West in early 2004, the Bushmen of the Kalahari have been eating it for a long time to help ward off hunger and thirst during long trips in the desert.
Unlike ephedra, hoodia does not work as a stimulant; it acts as an appetite suppressant. The pharmaceutical company, Phytopharm, finds hoodia promising and is currently trying to isolate the appetite-suppressing molecule, P57, to create a patented diet drug in the future. P57 was at one time licensed to Pfizer for development, but was discontinued in 2003.
There are no available reliable human trials demonstrating efficacy and safety. BBC news reports from 2003 suggested that some samples of hoodia products sold on the Internet might show no evidence of containing actual hoodia.

Related Terms

Apocynaceae (family), cactus, Ghaap, hoodia cactus, Hoodia gordonii, hoodia P57, Hoodoba®, Kalahari cactus, Kalahari diet, P57, South African desert cactus, South African hoodia, Xhoba, xhooba.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.