What is Hoodia?


     This is what Hoodia looks like in the Kalahari Desert  

                             20 Year Old Wild Hoodia       Flowering Wild Hoodia     Young Hoodia Plant
                                                                                      (smells like a corpse)                  (Cultivated)

There have been many things written about Hoodia Gordonii on the internet and various websites that sell hoodia products.  Some of the information is misleading as it is just copied from one site to another, not taken from actual field experience. 

Jen Cully, President of Millennium Health has traveled several times to Southern African countries (South Africa and Namibia), that grow hoodia gordonii, wild and cultivated.  Jen knows almost all of the farmers in both countries and has stayed several times on the farms in the Kalahari Desert.

Hoodia Gordonii is a stem succulent that looks like a cucumber (pictured), that can reach up to 1 meter in height. Hoodia presents flesh coloured flowers that give off a very strong and unpleasant odor.  The flowers bloom within the first 4 or 5 months of growth.  When the flowers fall off a seed horn or pod grows where the flowers fall off.  See a photo of this and many other Africa pictures on our 'About Jen Cully' page.

Hoodia thrives in the high deserts of the Kalahari region of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Angola. The majority of hoodia plants are in South Africa and Namibia.  Hoodia is also being cultivated in Arizona in the USA and Australia.  Hoodia Gordonii is a very hardy desert succulent plant that can grow in many sandy areas in the world provided the temperatures don’t drop to freezing.

Although there are other species of hoodia (about 35 in all), the gordonii is the only one that contains the appetite suppressing molecule. Hoodia Gordonii is a cactus-like plant and is part of the plant Apocynaceae or Aloe family.
How does Hoodia work?

There isn't much mystery as to how hoodia gordonii is supposed to work.  It's really very simple and acts basically the same way if you eat food slowly.  Diet experts for decades have been telling people to eat slowly so that the body has time to send a message to the brain telling it the stomach is full.  The message sent to the brain is by way of a glucose spike that says you've eaten enough.

Hoodia is marketed around the world as an appetite suppressant that sends a 'false' glucose spike to your hypothalamus fooling your brain into believing you are full, even when you are not.

While there have been no clinical studies done with hoodia gordonii as an appetite suppressant, our experience has been that many people feel a greatly reduced interest in food and push themselves away from the table when they are about halfway though a meal. This results in a lower caloric intake and aids in portion control as well.

How long does it take Hoodia to work?

Hoodia Gordonii is an all-natural plant material.  Herbal products do not work like drugs that are engineered to work immediately for everyone.  

Herbals can sometimes take time to start working, so we suggest the following: 

1.  Make sure you give the product an honest trial.  Take one full bottle before you decide whether or not it is working for you.  Hoodia also has a very subtle effect as there are no stimulants, so you won't feel much. 

2.  Try varying your dosages to get it right for you.  Every person is different and differing absorption rates.  Ordinarily we suggest a dosage of 1 capsule in the morning and 1 in the afternoon about 1 - 2 hours before dinner.  To do a loading dose, take 2 capsules in the morning and 2 in the afternoon for the first 3 days.  If you find that hoodia starts to work on you right away or within the first few days, disregard the loading dose.  

3.  We try to make our products cost effective for our customers, so we also suggest taking note of when your problem eating times are throughout the day and night.  If you don't have problems overeating during the day, then just take the afternoon dosage.  

We recommend marking the date on the calendar that you start taking hoodia and try not to think about how you feel, if you are losing weight or whether you are hungry or not.

Some people feel that if it doesn't work within a few days, then it isn't going to.  Try not to defeat yourself before you even get started. 

 You can do this, but you have to stay positive and give the product time to work.    

Set a date of 30 - 60 days from the date you begin using hoodia as your trial period and stick with it. You must take hoodia every day to achieve the results you are looking for. Please be patient as hoodia can take some time to kick in as previously mentioned.  When it does kick in you will be pleasantly surprised to find your interest in food is greatly reduced.

Is Hoodia Gordonii safe to use?

Research has found no known side effects from hoodia gordonii.  That doesn't mean that there aren't any since no formal studies have been done, except by various pharmaceutical research companies, that are not publishing reports.   Hoodia has a very long history of use with the San people in the Kalahari Desert and it has been in the North American market in a big way since 2004 when 60 Minutes did a 1 hour show about hoodia gordonii.  The biggest problem we face today in the herbal industry and particularly with hoodia, there are many fake products saturating our market.    If people are selling fake products then what's really in the pill?  Be careful what you buy and do your homework.

We have had no reports that suggest hoodia gordonii interacts negatively with any medications. However, you should always consult your physician when beginning any weight loss program or product. Hoodia gordonii in it's natural form does not contain stimulants.

Hoodia tips!

Try taking hoodia before you go grocery shopping, if you're not hungry when you shop you'll make healthier food choices and leave all the bad stuff at the store.

Take hoodia before you go out for dinner or go to a party.  It could help you control urges to eat foods that are not helpful in reducing your weight or caloric intake. 

Try walking to the corner of your block and back 3 or 4 times per week. You can't believe the difference even a little walking will make after 2 weeks.  If you don't like walking by yourself, take your dog, your children or another family member to keep you company. 

Turn on your favorite dance music and get some exercise in the privacy of your own home.  Dancing is a great way to burn calories and get a good workout for your heart, lungs and muscles.

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