Natural Health Products

Non-traditional solutions to help boost your health and wellness.


General Information

Hoodia is a flowering, cactus-like plant native to the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. Its harvest is protected by conservation laws.

Common Name(s)
hoodia, Kalahari cactus, Xhoba
Scientific Name(s)

Hoodia gordonii

How is this product usually used?

Dried extracts of hoodia stems and roots are used to make capsules, powders, and chewable tablets. Hoodia can also be used in liquid extracts and teas.

Your health care provider may have recommended using this product in other ways. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What is this product used for?

Hoodia is used as an appetite suppressant for weight loss and obesity, though, there is insufficient evidence to show that it is effective for this purpose.

Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have questions.

What else should I be aware of?

Commonly reported side effects of hoodia use include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and odd skin sensations. Hoodia may also increase your blood pressure and heart rate.

Hoodia may interact with the following medications:

  • diabetes medications (e.g., glyburide, insulin)
  • blood pressure drugs (e.g., amlodipine, furosemide, valsartan)
  • beta-blockers (e.g., atenolol, metoprolol)

Hoodia may worsen hypertension and disrupt glucose levels for those with diabetes. You should avoid the use of hoodia if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

The quality of hoodia products varies widely. News reports suggest that some products sold as hoodia do not contain any hoodia.

Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.

  1. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database – Hoodia.

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