Hoodia Gordonii is an unambitious little South African desert cactus type plant that has a big future ahead of it. A gift from the native San people who live in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa, this tiny plant the natives’ call “Xhoba” has already began impacting the world of weight loss with its extraordinary hunger stopping traits. What the Aboriginal San Bushmen have known for a long time and the rest of us are merely beginning to realize is that Hoodia has appetite suppressant qualities distinguished by plant scientists and named P57. This P57 active element has been examined, tested and identified to have the power to reduce calorie intake by up to 1,000 calories a day.
So will any South African cactus do when it comes to helping you to stay away from snacks? Indeed not, don’t go to the local florist and buy yourself a desert cactus to eat. Of the succulent and asclepiad genus there are 2,000 species of ascleoiadaceae, divided into 300 genera, half from the succulent category. Hoodia Pseudolithos and Trichocaulon are members of the Trichocaulon sub-section from the Kalahari Desert region of S. Africa that touches Angola, Botswana and Namibia. Hoodia Gordonii is the name of the cactus you will want to get but don’t plan on taking a outing to the South Africa and getting some Hoodia cacti for yourself; the Hoodia desert cactus are under strict control by the S. African government. It is considered an endangered plant and only Hoodia cactus farmers with certification may produce and sell the Hoodia.
Can Hoodia affect the world’s obesity problem and help the planet be a slimmer place? Business organizations including, Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Phytopharm, Pfizer and most recently Slim Fast all believe so. All of these companies have banked on Hoodia’s success and together have invested millions of dollars, wanting to corner the marketplace on weight loss. Looking at Hoodia’s journey from Xhoba, plant of The San Bushmen to being today’s miracle plant for weight loss we need to first look at where Hoodia’s been over the past thirty plus years. The greatest amount of time, CSIR analyzed Hoodia to isolate the molecule p57, once they eventually obtained it; they then sold the rights of p57 to Phytopharm. In 1998 The Phytopharm Company leased marketing rights to Pfizer, who invested thirty-two million only to subsequently drop out of the scene because p57 was too expensive to synthesize as a pill. Pfizer’s situation has now been taken over by The Unilever Corporation, the parent company of Slim Fast. Slim Fast at present plans on delivering a Hoodia weight loss supplement to nutritional stores in a couple years.
Almost a year ago, on November of 2004, the Hoodia plant contracted big media coverage when CBS’s Sixty Minutes did a show on Hoodia’s appetite suppressant qualities. With the 60 minute TV exposure, Hoodia was now wanted plant by dieters all-round the globe. People having a hard time staying on their diets desired Hoodia now, not in a couple of years, the secret was out and Hoodia was becoming an indispensable plant. I’m sure after that 60 minutes program was aired, numbers of dieters looked into moving to the Kalahari Desert and making themselves a tiny Hoodia garden of their very own. Luckily, as it is today there isn’t a reason to go to that extent, where there is a consumer need; there are many businesses happy to fill that request. There were a few businesses that were informed of Hoodia before the news coverage broke and were in the right place at the right time. It didn’t take long though for numerous other organizations to create associations with South African Hoodia Gordonii growers and get Hoodia supplements into stores.
Nowadays there are numerous brands marketing both Hoodia powder form and extracts; how long will the Hoodia plant supply last is the question on dieter’s minds right now. The Hoodia Gordonii succulent is a very hard plant to grow; the plants need very much care and management with irrigating, temperature and sunshine. Where it stands today there are only a couple of Hoodia harvesting centers in the South Africa and the Hoodia plant takes two to three years before it’s ready to be exported. Taking this into account, the multi-million dollar question is, for how many months can the Hoodia succulent plant export continue? Because of this situation buyers should be aware if the Hoodia they are getting has been independently tested and certified to be pure Hoodia Gordonii from South Africa. There are companies out there taking advantage of the great demand and interest in Hoodia and supplying a low quality product.