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Hoodia Gordonii Origins

Hoodia Gordonii Discovery

Deep inside the African Kalahari desert grows a cactus called Hoodia Gordonii.  It thrives in extremely high temperatures, and takes years to mature.

The San Bushmen of the Kalahari, one of the world's oldest and most primitive tribes, first discovered it and had been eating Hoodia for thousands of years, to stave off hunger during long hunting trips.

Then, when South African scientists were routinely testing it, they discovered the plant contained a previously unknown molecule, called P57 which worked to fool the brain into feeling full.

Hoodia Facts

Hoodia is really a succulent plant vs. a cactus, while it does look like your typical spiny cactus, the Hoodia plant has succulent flowers unlike cactus.   The Hoodia genus encompasses a number of varieties of plant of which Hoodia gordonii is one species.

Hoodia and the San Bushmen

For many centuries the San bushmen of the Kalahari desert have used Hoodia plants as a food. The species Hoodia gordonii was less often used because of its lingering bitter taste being considered unpleasant. However, in times of hardship, or being away from familiar areas, it was sometimes eaten.

Hoodia Cactus