A hoodia monograph for the home
Latin Name: Hoodia gordonii
Common Names: hoodia, Kalahari cactus, Xhoba
This hoodia monograph provides basic information about hoodia—common names, usefulness and safety, and resources for more information.
- Hoodia is a flowering, cactus-like plant that grows in the Kalahari Desert in Africa. Historically, the San Bushmen used hoodia to suppress appetite.
- Today, hoodia dietary supplements are used as an appetite suppressant for weight loss.
- Hoodia is available as liquids, powders, tablets, and capsules. Some hoodia products also contain other herbs or minerals, such as green tea or chromium.
Hoodia in Health Research
- We know very little about hoodia because only one study of this herb has been done in people.
Hoodia Health Summary
- In the one small study of hoodia in people, overweight women who took hoodia for 15 days didn’t lose more weight than those who took a placebo.
- Little is known about the safety of hoodia. However, the one completed study in people raises concerns. In that study, participants taking hoodia had more side effects than those taking placebos, including nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and odd skin sensations; they also had increases in blood pressure and undesirable changes in some blood tests.
- Whether hoodia interacts with medicines or other supplements is not known.
- Blom WAM, Abrahamse SL, Bradford R, et al. Effects of 15-d repeated consumption of Hoodia gordonii purified extract on safety, ad libitum energy intake, and body weight in healthy, overweight women: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2011;94(5):1171-1181.
- Hoodia. Natural Medicines Web site. Accessed at naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/ on April 20, 2015. [Database subscription].