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A cactus-like plant, hoodia gordonii is made into an herbal supplement to help with weight loss. It is believed to work by suppressing the appetite. However, no adequate studies have been performed and published on the safety and effectiveness of the medicine, so it cannot be assumed that hoodia gordonii really works for weight loss.

What Is Hoodia Gordonii?

Hoodia gordonii is the scientific name for a cactus-like plant that grows in South Africa. It is used as an herbal supplement and is usually marketed as a weight-loss product. There are actually several different varieties of hoodia plants, but only Hoodia gordonii has shown promise as a weight-loss aid.
(Click Hoodia Uses for more information on what it is used for.)

Side Effects

Because Hoodia gordonii has not been adequately studied, it is not known if it may cause bothersome or serious side effects.
(Click Hoodia Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)

How Does It Work?

Hoodia gordonii is one of many herbal medicines that claim to help with weight loss (see Weight Loss Pills). Currently, it is thought that its active ingredient is a compound known as p57. It has been speculated that p57 works in the brain to give people a sense of being full. This helps to suppress the appetite.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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