Hoodia Uses

Origins of Hoodia

Hoodia is a cactus-like plant found in certain areas of Africa. Supposedly, bushmen in these areas have long used hoodia to suppress their appetites for long hunts. There are several varieties of hoodia plants, but only one (Hoodia gordonii) contains p57, the compound that is thought to be the active ingredient of hoodia. Hoodia is protected by an international agreement that controls how hoodia can be harvested (in order to prevent it from becoming endangered due to over-harvesting). Additionally, it usually takes several years for a hoodia plant to mature, and hoodia cannot be grown in all areas. This limits the supply of hoodia.

How Does Hoodia Work?

Currently, it is thought that the active ingredient in hoodia is a compound known as p57. It has been speculated that p57 works in the brain to give people a sense of being full. This helps to suppress the appetite.

Hoodia Use in Children

It is not known if hoodia is safe and effective in children (or even in adults). Since children may be more susceptible to toxicities of herbal supplements, do not give your child any herbal supplement (including hoodia) without discussing it with a healthcare provider.
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