Hoodia is a plant. In order to make the plant marketable and readily available to the general public, manufacturers either grind the whole plant into a powder or use alcohol to concentrate the active ingredients. The powder or concentrate is then sold in capsules, liquid form and most recently in the form of the hoodia patch.
The hoodia patch is a transdermal patch, meaning that the method of delivery is through the skin. For those who are unfamiliar with transdermal patches, they are used by a variety of pharmaceutical companies. Most commonly known is probably the nicotine patch, which is an aid for those people who are trying to quit smoking. Hoodia patches are aids for those who are trying to lose weight.
Hoodia in its natural form has an appetite suppressing effect. The goal of the hoodia patch and other hoodia products is to deliver the same appetite suppressing effect without needed to consume the plant. Hoodia is a succulent that resembles a cactus and grows wild in the deserts of Africa. It is of course not practical for most people to travel to Africa to sample the plant, but one reporter did do just that. Her report has led to an increased interest in hoodia products in general. Hoodia patches are just one of the many products available.
Some people prefer a transdermal patch because they can put it on in the morning and forget about it. The hoodia patch, like other transdermal patches, uses a time-released mechanism so that a small amount of the active ingredient is released into the blood stream throughout the day. Complaints concerning transdermal patches in general include itching and minor skin irritations. Hoodia patches may cause the same reactions. Some people have a problem keeping a transdermal patch on when they sweat. If the patch comes off, it must be replaced with another one. A hoodia patch is not an inexpensive product and this may be one of the drawbacks for some people. Replacing a patch because it falls off during exercise can increase the cost per day to the individual.
Ideally a person should be able to use one hoodia patch per day, replacing it every 24 hours. If forgetfulness is the reason that a person desires a patch, they may not be any easier to remember. On the other hand, it is recommended that hoodia supplements be taken one hour before meals. Busy people do not always eat at the same time everyday and really busy people may not know when their next meal will be. Hoodia patches may offer a solution for these people.
The same recommendations that apply to taking a hoodia capsule apply to using a hoodia patch. Hoodia suppresses thirst as well as appetite. In order to avoid dehydration, it is important to remember to drink plenty of water, even if one is not thirsty. Even really busy people should be able to carry a bottle of water with them. There are no known side effects associated with hoodia and the only drawbacks or considerations for those dieters using hoodia patches have already been mentioned. The hoodia patch does not contain drugs, so disposal or skin-to-skin contact should not be a problem like it is with nicotine and hormonal patches.
Only healthy people should use hoodia products, whether in the form of hoodia patches, capsules or liquid and dieters are reminded to consult their doctors before beginning a weight loss program. It is advisable to reduce calories gradually and continue to eat small meals, several times a day. A vitamin supplement is also important. Some companies selling hoodia patches and other hoodia products advocate fasting, but fasting can cause many health problems and should only be considered if one is under a doctor’s supervision.