Hoodia – The Magical Weight Loss Supplement from South Africa?

What is hoodia?

Hoodia_gordoniiHoodia gordonii grows naturally in both South Africa and Namibia. Its flowers have a distasteful smell similar to that of rotten meat. The flower was first discovered by Robert Gordon in 1779.

This plant has been used by the indigenous people of the area for hundreds of years to treat ailments related to small infections and indigestion. What Gordon discovered, though, was the the indigenous hunters used the meat of this flower to suppress their appetite when undertaking long hunting trips into the Kalahari Desert. The main appetite suppressant component of this flower was isolated and patented in 1996.

No scientific studies have been conducted which would give evidence to hoodia’s ability to suppress the appetite. In one study on rats, however, purified hoodia was injected into their brains and this seemed to have a significant impact on their appetite.

So, does hoodia really work or not?

There is no question about it, the general population of North America keeps getting fatter by the day. The statistics are astonishing when you realize that more than 35.7% of the population is now considered to be obese, not just overweight. Not only is that bad for your health, it’s bad for your pocketbook if you have to keep buying larger and larger clothes to cover your bulk. Being overweight puts you at risk for much more than just being made fun of by mean people. It dramatically increases your risk factors for heart disease, Type II diabetes, stroke and respiratory problems. But did you also know that it also dramatically increases your chances of developing certain types of cancer, especially if you’re a woman?

hoodia-weight-lossFor every inch that we gain around our waists, the weight-loss industry flexes its muscles, too. It is estimated that more than $5 billion dollars is spent every year in the United States on weight loss products as a whole. A staggering amount of money. The products purchased range from diet pills to meal replacements to diet pop and artificial sweeteners.

Hoodia  is now being marketed by the makers of Slim-Fast, a popular meal supplement. You will find many people touting its benefits online, claiming that it is some kind of “miracle cactus”. These marketers will promise you that using hoodia will give you rapid weight loss but be forewarned, health practitioners are much more tepid about these claims. This is because, as stated earlier, no scientific studies have definitively proven that hoodia is an effective appetite suppressant. Though some studies have shown that hoodia is able to influence a part in the brain which deals with the feelings of hunger, more research is certainly needed.

Any Side Effects?

Hoodia-gordonii-diet-supplementMost sellers of hoodia claim that it has no side effects but as stated before, there have not been any clinical studies carried out on this product. The sellers of the product make this claim because they know that the bushmen in the Kalahari desert have been using it for literally thousands of years with no ill effect. Nevertheless, the product has not been used in North America for even anecdotal reports that it does not have side effects.

What is known, however, is that people with diabetes should use this supplement with caution. One of the current hypotheses about the way hoodia works is that it sends a signal to the brain telling it that the body has had an adequate supply of blood sugar. If you are a diabetic who is taking blood control medication or insulin, you should probably not use hoodia. It could cause your blood sugar to drop dangerously low.

Another potential concern with hoodia is that it not only suppresses the appetite but also the body’s ability to detect thirst.

How Do You Take Hoodia?

hoodia-side-effectsHoodia should only be taken along with a health diet. Be sure to include lots of fiber in your meal plan. It may take you a while to figure out how much hoodia  you should take each day. Every person’s body is different and so dosages vary. The rate at which you lose weight will also depend on how much exercise you are getting each day. It’s a good idea to start off slowly which means taking only 1 capsule per day. You should also drink one full glass of water containing at least 8 ounces each day about 30 to 60 minutes before you plan to eat no matter how strong the capsule says it is. Clinicians suggest that you should take about 1200 mg per day split into either two or three doses.

How Soon Will I Begin To See Results?

Most people taking hoodia report that after just two weeks of taking it consistently, they were able to begin seeing results. If after two weeks of being on hoodia you have still not begun to see any results, you should consider having your batch tested at a laboratory to determine if it is pure hoodia.

Top 10 Herbs To Lose Weight

Diet pills have flooded the market in the past few decades, but many people are still wary of even the most effective products. There is nothing wrong with attempting to use a natural weight loss method! Heart problems, liver damage, obesity, and other health problems can stop them from taking advantage of the synthetic options that are available. There are some, though, that are sold at a high cost, but offer little in terms of results. We’ll cover the basics of ten herbs for weight loss that will surely help you reach your goals. Keep an open mind, since you might not have heard of some of these. The results will surprise you!


  • Cinnamon is one of the most effective natural weight loss products. Adding a small amount of cinnamon to your diet can actually change the way that your body processes carbohydrates. By lowering the GI rating of your meal, cinnamon makes sure that there is no spike in blood sugar that will cause your body to store fat. Read more about it here

Green TeaGreen Tea

      Green tea has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine, but it has caught on in the west recently. A recent study found that a capsule of green tea caused an almost 25% increase in metabolism for up to three hours. By taking three capsules a day you can keep your body burning fat and you will lose another 2 pounds a week while feeling much more energetic. I did a detailed post about on Green tea for weight loss.



  • Psyllium works to help you lose weight in two ways. First, the fiber will help to move food out of your body so that it doesn’t linger long enough to absorb, which is important if you are eating unhealthily. The fiber will also swell once in your stomach and you will find that you feel full much quicker than you usually would.

Yerba-Mate-Weight-LossYerba Mate

  • Many people try to avoid coffee for health reasons, but yerba mate provides a great alternative. The combination of stimulants that it provides work to give you a long lasting and clean energy feeling. No jitters. No crash. Yerba mate can help to keep your metabolism high, but without the stimulant caused problems of coffee. Be warned that this is bitter! Make sure not to burn it, since it burns easier than coffee.


  • Hoodia tricks your brain into thinking that you are full. That is one of the most important parts of a diet because many people simply gain weight because they are prone to overeat. This isn’t great for long term use, since it loses its effectiveness, but for short term diet problems hoodia is a great option.


  • Ephedra is an ancient Chinese herb that was used for centuries before becoming popular as a weight loss aid. It was refined into ephedrine, but the herb itself is also highly effective without the side effects of ephedrine. In many cases, ephedra is a miracle and can help lose weight like nothing else known to man. This is also, however, a banned substance for athletes so do not take this if you compete regularly. Read more about this herb here.


  • Guarana has the ability to both help alleviate stress and stimulate the nervous system. This is common in many energy drinks now, but it is in fact a healthy alternative to many stimulant diet pills. Taken before meals, guarana capsules can both suppress your appetite and make sure that your body is already burning off the energy as soon as you take it in.


  • Ginseng is another ancient herb, but one that is just now being understood fully. Ginseng was found in a study to take charge of the fat regulating chemicals inside of the human body. Where these “switches” would usually tell your body to store energy, rather than burn it, they will be turned off and tell your body to burn the fat off.


  • Dandelions are very common and many people don’t think much about them. In fact, they are a diuretic that can help to cleanse your liver and keep you from storing water weight. With women this is especially a problem, but it can cause bloating in either gender. The liver detoxing effect can also help aid weight gain, however, as well as solve a host of other problems associated with liver problems.


  • Garlic, much like cinnamon, can help to regulate blood sugar levels even when eating carbohydrates. Studies found that even while on a high sugar diet, mice continued to lose weight. In addition, though, it contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system. By lowering blood pressure, you can counteract some of the problems associated with other weight loss supplements. Tim Ferris recently listed this as one of his essential weight loss supplements in his best selling book “The 4 Hour Body.

These 10 herbs are all effective and are great options for anyone. As always, though, you should talk to your doctor about them. A combination of two or more of them can help to compound the effects and exponentially increase your weight loss. Adding them into your diet, or daily supplement regimen isn’t hard. Try a couple, see how you feel, and you will soon find that you are rapidly approaching your weight loss goals!