By the time you finish reading this you should have a good understanding of pure hoodia gordonii and the deceptive phrasing some hoodia sellers use on their product labels.
My goal is to equip you with the knowledge to become a more informed consumer and dramatically increase your chances of buying a quality hoodia product rather than one of the many fraudulent ones floating around the Internet, or even found in retail stores.
Before we discuss product labeling, let’s talk first about why there are so many hoodia scam products.
Here are the biggest reasons you’re hard pressed to find pure hoodia gordonii products:
1. Hoodia gordonii is a rare plant that grows natively only in Southern Africa. The plant takes many years (6 to 7) before reaching maturity….the state at which it can be harvested and used for its anti-obesity effects. This limits the supply.
2. Hoodia is a protected plant and its trade is governed by International law. Something called a Hoodia CITES certificate is needed to export it legally out of South Africa. This selectively granted permit limits the supply even further for us in the Western world.
3. Media attention from some of the biggest print sources and TV shows — including the BBC, CBS, The Today Show, Oprah, and more — have all covered the appetite suppressing effects of pure hoodia gordonii, which has lead to a huge surge in demand.
And whenever there is a huge demand for a product with a naturally limited supply, fraudulent products will inevitably flood the market. Let’s face it, fast buck artists have been around from the beginning to time and will probably be around till the end of time too.
4. There are many kinds of hoodia plant, but only the hoodia gordonii species contains the weight loss active ingredient everybody is looking for.
5. Hoodia is not regulated by the FDA and, therefore, no testing is required for the products to hit the shelves or be sold online.
We also want to emphasize that your concern for finding a quality hoodia product should not just be focussed on the Internet. In fact, Whole Foods Market, a large high end grocery store chain has pulled some hoodia products off its shelves on concerns about quality.
So caution about finding pure hoodia gordonii should extend to retail outlets as well, such as health food stores, supplement sellers like GNC, and others. In short, just because it’s sold in a store doesn’t mean it’s going to be better quality.
Now, let’s talk about one of the most deceptive claims made by some hoodia product sellers.
As we mentioned above, there are many kinds of hoodia plant. Since only the hoodia gordonii species has the anti-obesity effects, and is expensive and hard to get, some unscrupulous companies will use any hoodia plant they can get their hands on, and claim their product contain “pure hoodia.”
And, yes, it may contain pure hoodia….it’s just not pure hoodia gordonii and, therefore, absolutely worthless to you if you are looking to lose weight.
Another thing to be aware of is buying products that are made from the “whole hoodia gordonii plant.”
This is because approximately 40% of the plant contains no active ingredient….such as the skin, fibrous material, flowers, pulpy leaves, etc. To reduce the cost of making the product (and therefore reducing any potential effectiveness for you as a weight loss aid) they make their products from the whole plant.
However, we wouldn’t call this a scam if they are advertising pure hoodia gordonii made from whole plant, but it’s something to be aware of since we wouldn’t want to pay for 40% fillers ourselves.
By contrast, some companies will produce hoodia concentrates, which, in our opinion, are better.
A concentrate can be produced by taking the hoodia gordonii plant and placing it into an alcohol solution. When the alcohol is removed, it removes a great deal of the fillers with it, leaving a higher amount of the core of the plant, which is where the active ingredient is.
This concentrate is then used to make the product.
When you see a 10:1 on a hoodia product label, this means 10 grams of the whole hoodia plant was used to make 1 gram of what goes into the product.
Another thing to be aware of is that some companies will advertise their products to contains pure hoodia gordonii, but if you look at the label, you will see other ingredients in there….usually stimulants that are used to increase your body’s metabolism.
Again, this is not a scam because some people do want to buy a hoodia product that uses caffeine stimulants that may increase the potential weight loss benefits of the product.
On the other hand, a lot of people are looking strictly for pure hoodia gordonii without any stimulants because they don’t react well to these stimulants — they can cause you to feel nervous, jittery, give you elevated heart rates, and more.
Lastly, because a Hoodia CITES certificate is needed for export of the hoodia gordonii plant, you should try to stick to vendors that display a copy of a Hoodia CITES certificate on their website to increase the chances of you buying a quality pure hoodia gordonii product.
This is not foolproof, however, since the more clever and unethical companies could conceivably counterfeit the CITES certificate.
With the aforementioned facts and points to keep in mind, you’ll increase your chances of buying a real pure hoodia gordonii product.