Herbal Supplements
Hoodia - the Weight Loss Herb
Biological Description
 
Hoodia is a specific plant that has been known in the herbal medicine for relatively short time and with a particularly narrow use. It is a cactus-like genus that belongs to the Apocynaceae family and is found in desert areas of African regions.
 
Among other representatives of the genus, it is Hoodia gordonii that presents special interest to herbal medicine as a weight loss plant; it is distinguished by succulent erect thorny stems that have multiple angles and carry the flowers of fleshy color. The plant usually grows up to 6-feet height and takes 4 or 7 years to mature before being ready for harvesting and consumption.
 
Growing
 
Hoodia, as well as other succulent plants, is tolerant to dry waterless conditions and is well adjusted to African climate where it is usually found growing. One of the interesting feature of the plant is that its flowers are pollinated by flies (and not bees), which is probably explained by the specific smell that those flowers produce.
 
Parts Used
 
The flesh of the stems is rich in the content that makes hoodia popular in weight loss products – that is the P57 ingredient. South Africans do not subject the stem to any additional processing and use it fresh after taking off the thorns. Although, in modern herbal medicine they process the plant to its dried forms to be used in various herbal preparations and combinations. The dried root of the plant is also used in those latter formulas.
 
Market
 
Commercial forms available at the markets and drugstores include liquid extracts, chewable tablets, capsules and powders. Hoodia tea is another quite popular herbal product favored for the ease of its use. Moreover, the herb is often found as a part of a variety of herbal combinations, although the effects of those blends are not fully researched yet.
 
Action
 
The steroidal glycoside patented in 1995 is the chemical that makes hoodia such a valuable plant. The scientists named this molecule P57 and spent a huge amount of money to research it. They found that this constituent affects hypothalamus in a definite way – it suppresses appetite and the following feeling of hunger, as well as contributing to a faster "fullness" from a meal consumption. 
 
These effects were used by African tribes centuries ago, when they ate hoodia to decrease hunger and thirst on their long trips through the desert. But it was not until the end of 20th century when the plant's actions were scientifically researched and introduced in herbal products. In addition to the mentioned chemical, hoodia is rich in protein and mineral content.
 
Health Benefits
 
Working as an appetite suppressant, hoodia is known and widely used weight loss herb that acts in several ways providing the expected effects.
 
First of all, its chemical content influences the nerve cells and anorectic peripheral hormones responsible for the hunger. As the result of the thurst appetite regulation, hoodia increases the time between meals and thus contributes to the decreased food consumption. In addition to the mentioned benefits, the person that takes hoodia regularly (effects get noticed after 2 weeks of consumption), feels full faster as compared to eating the same amounts of meal prior to the hoodia use.
 
Additional researches show that the plant is also potent when used as a general tonic and is able to relieve pain, stress, stomach ache and hypertension. No side effects or toxicity associated with hoodia are noted. Although, you should be careful controlling the blood sugar levels that may drop as the result of an insufficient nutrition; as well as dehydration due to the insufficient liquids intake cause by supressed thirst.
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Testimonials
Sonja
2010-08-17 23:30:12
Would the loss of 18 pounds in 15 days be enough to credit the Hoodia herb for doing the job American and Chinese scientists ascribe to it; mainly, it acts as a suppressant to ones appetite. Your article about Hoodia is right on! This herb can be found in one of the weight-loss products I take called Appetite+ which is manufactured by DuVita. When taken on a daily basis, most people can lose a significant amount of body weight without engaging in too many other physical activities such as exercising and walking, just by taking Appetite+. I have certainly lost a bunch of weight in a relatively short time and others can too. Try it, you'll like it.
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