Hoodia gordonii (hoodia, xhooba, khoba, Ghaap, hoodia cactus, South African desert cactus) – is a cactus, well-known for its ability in promoting weight loss because of suppressing an appetite. Hoodia gordonii is wide-spread on the territories of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa semi-deserts. 20 various types of hoodia are known nowadays. But the scientists suppose that only Hoodia gordonii has a special ferment that helps to suppress an appetite. A medicinal extract is made out of Hoodia gordonii pale-purple flowers; the harvest of flowers is gathered once each 5 years – it’s a natural period of their appearance. You can find and view ABC and BBC video issues about the Hoodia gordonii.

Medical properties of Hoodia gordonii were discovered not so far some time ago. But we know that people of San Bushmen (their living area is the Kalahari Desert) have been using Hoodia for a very long perios time. They eat the plant stems to prevent hunger during long hard trips, or during hunting. Also the Bushmen use the Hoodia stems in food to prevent different illnesses and faintness, such as: abdominal cramps, hemorrhoids, tuberculosis, indigestion, hypertension and diabetes.

The anthropologist from Holland noticed that the Bushmen used Hoodia to suppress appetite in 1937. But the first serious research on this theme was made in 1963 when scientists of the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) national laboratory in South Africa began studying Hoodia. Experiments with laboratory animals had a wonderful result - animals really lost weight after taking Hoodia. The CSIR scientists (cooperating with a British company “Phytopharm”) isolated the active ingredient in Hoodia (a steroidal glycoside), which they named p57. In 1995 “Phytopharm” patented and licensed p57. A sum near $20 millions had been spent on Hoodia research.
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