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You've Heard of it but What is Hoodia?

A simple definition of hoodia would be a cactus-like plant grown in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa that has appetite-suppressing qualities. While that provides a quick answer to the question, what is hoodia, there is much more to the hoodia plant than that.

Hoodia is actually the name for a species of plant. There are more than thirteen varieties of hoodia, but only the hoodia gordonii variety has the appetite-suppressing abilities that is making hoodia known around the world as an effective weight loss aid.

For centuries the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert have eaten hoodia gordonii before long trips. Before members of the San Tribe (also known as the bushmen) headed out for hunting expeditions, they would eat a small piece of the plant to stave off hunger.

The hoodia gordonii plant effectively decreased, if not fully eliminated, their appetite. This allowed the Bushmen to take fairly long trips and not starve, since they might go without food for long periods of time.

The Bushmen simply cut off a small piece, usually 2-4 inches long, peel it back and eat it raw. Although itís not a flavorful little bite, itís believed that just a small piece of the plant can reduce or eliminate appetite for a long period of time. Itís believed that for the hoodia gordonii to provide appetite suppression in its raw form, a piece at least 2-3 inches long must be eaten. It likely canít be effective in very small quantities.

The key to understanding what hoodia is and how it works as an effective appetite suppressant is to know the active ingredient in the hoodia plant itself. The active ingredient has become known as P57. This compound tricks the hypothalamus, the part in the brain responsible for satiety, into believing the body has consumed food. The end result is you feel full even though you haven't consumed any food.

Normally, when you eat your food is broken down into blood sugar (glucose). When the receptors in the hypothalamus detect this glucose it begins the process of telling the body it is full. P57 is a compound similar to glucose but is 10,000 times more powerful. It only takes a small amount of it to stop hunger.

Hopefully, this answers your question on what is hoodia. Just keep in mind that you will not find raw hoodia at your local supermarket. In fact, you won't find it anywhere except in hoodia products such as diet pills, liquids, coffee, and tea.

The important thing to remember is that if you are looking to buy hoodia products, look for those that contain authentic hoodia gordonii. Otherwise, you will not experience any of the appetite suppressing qualities.

About the Author: Visit for full hoodia reviews and updated information on hoodia.

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