What is Hoodia Gordonii?
Hoodia is a genus of succulent plants in the family Apocynaceae
that is widely used traditionally by the San people of southern
Africa as an appetite suppressant, thirst quencher and as a cure for
severe abdominal cramps, haemorrhoids, tuberculosis, indigestion,
hypertension and diabetes. Various uses have been recorded among
Anikhwe (Northern Botswana), Hai om (northern Namibia ), Khomani
(north western South Africa ), and the !Xun and Khwe (originally from
Angola ) communities. Less is known about the use of this group of
plants by other indigenous people, but some records show limited use
of Hoodia parts as food items, albeit not as preferred food items.
Hoodias are known to be used for cultural purposes in some areas (Hargreaves
and Turner, 2002). Although relatively difficult to cultivate, Hoodia
' s are attractive plants and are also used for horticultural
Hoodia Gordonii CSIR
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South
Africa isolated an active compound (P57) for appetite suppression
from H. gordonii . The CSIR licensed the rights for further
development of P57 and the setting up of a sustainable production
system to Phytopharm in the UK . Phytopharm in turn sub licensed the
rights to Pfizer for the development and global commercialization.
Pfizer has recently returned the clinical developmental rights.