Over the years, people have grown more interested in looking for effective ways to slim down and loose weight without exerting a lot of effort. In this fast-paced lifestyle typical of this generation, squeezing a weight loss regime can be quite difficult.
Enter Hoodia Gordonii. This plant, which is local to the South African desert, has been attracting much popularity since it was featured on BBC and later in CBS 60 Minutes back in 2004. It has been covered as a potentially effective natural appetite suppressant that can outdo the performance of the more known weight loss supplements during that time. And true enough, the report showed just how effective the plant can be.
What it is?
Hoodia gordonii is a leafless and spiny plant that has a succulent stem and is commonly found in the Kalahari desert. It naturally grows in various parts of Namibia and South Africa. Smell-wise, this plant is anything but appetizing because its flowers smell like rotten meat. This is probably why they are mostly pollinated by flies.
Hoodia or llhoba to the Kalahari Bushmen, a local indigenous tribe in that region, has been known since time immemorial for its medicinal uses. Before it became the hit weight loss aid that it in the modern world, it was a known remedy for various types of minor infections. It was also used to treat indigestion.
But one use of the hoodia gordonii that attract so much attention in the modern era is its ability to suppress the appetite. For the African Bushmen, this plant was used to help them survive the long hunting periods when they had to go without eating for days. For centuries, these indigenous tribesmen were able to survive the hot deserts hunting for food by simply eating the stem of this cactus-like plant.
In 1977, the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research was able to isolate a substance labeled, P57, that was found to be the key to the plant’s appetite suppressing properties. The ingredient was subjected to a series of tests and, decades later, in 1996, CSIR was finally able to get it patented. Later on, the organization granted Phytopharm, a UK-based pharmaceutical company, the license to extract this active ingredient and market it. And the rest, as they say, is history.
How it works
As earlier mentioned, the key to the hoodia’s action is the ingredient P57. This substance works directly on a particular area of the brain called the hypothalamus. This part is responsible for various autonomic functions in your system – that is, the functions that you cannot control such as the beating of your heart and hunger.
The hypothalamus works to detect whether or not it’s already time for your next meal and just how famished you are. When your blood sugar level is low, it gets the signal telling it that you’re hungry so it activates certain hunger hormones to give you the feeling of hunger. You eat in response to this signal.
What hoodia does is that it gives off the message that you’re still full, or that you have already eaten by maintaining your blood glucose at a normal level. What is interesting is that, unlike other appetite suppressants such as caffeine and ephedra, it doesn’t have negative side-effects such as jitters or headaches.
The best and most pure brand of Hoodia on the market today is Uniquehoodia. Uniquehoodia is seen by most top weight loss experts as the modern hoodia product, as it contains almost 100% Hoodia, plus some gel to make the capsule hold together. Other brands often have as little as 60% hoodia, making them inferior to Uniquehoodia.