Hoodia is typically grown in the African desert. Hoodia is mainly used as an appetite suppressant and is a main ingredient of several diet supplements. It can also be used to quell hypertension, stomachaches, and diabetes.
If you have diabetes, heart problems, an eating disorder, or a blood clotting disorder you should consult a doctor before taking hoodia. While it can aid with diabetes issues, it may interact with medicines that control blood sugar, so ask your doctor.
Leafless succulents, within thick, fleshy, finger-like stems, which branch near the ground. Rows of small thorns present along the stems. Flower is flesh-colored, smelling strongly of decaying meat.
South Africa, Namibia.
Bitterghaap, Ghaap, Kalahari cactus, P57
Actions & Pharmacology
Ten new C(21)-steroidal derivatives, namely gordonosides A-L were isolated from a chloroform extract of the aerial parts of Hoodia gordonii. Compounds are based on 3beta,14beta-dihydroxy-pregn-5-en-17-betaone aglycone. Hoodigosides A-K (1-11), 11 new oxypregnane glycosides and a previously reported oxypregnane glycoside P57AS3 were isolated from the aerial parts of Hoodia gordonii. The structures of these 12-O-beta-tigloyl isoramanone glycosides were determined. A steroidal glycoside with anorectic activity in animals, termed P57AS3 (P57), was isolated from Hoodia gordonii and found to have homologies to the steroidal core of cardiac glycosides.
Hoodigosides A-K were tested for cytotoxicity and antioxidant activities in cell-based assays where they were found to be inactive. P57AS3 (P57), an oxypregnane steroidal glycoside, is the only reported active constituent from this plant as an appetite suppressant. Intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injections of the purified P57AS3 demonstrated that the compound has a likely central (CNS) mechanism of action. There is no evidence of P57AS3 binding to or altering activity of known receptors or proteins, including Na/K-ATPase, the putative target of cardiac glycosides. The compound increases the content of ATP by 50-150% in hypothalamic neurons. In addition, third ventricle (i.c.v.) administration of P57, which reduces subsequent 24-h food intake by 40-60%, also increases ATP content in hypothalamic slice punches removed at 24 h following the i.c.v. injections. In related studies, in pair fed rats fed a low-calorie diet for 4 days, the content of ATP in the hypothalami of control i.c.v. injected animals fell by 30-50%, which was blocked by i.c.v. injections of P57AS3.
Indications & Usage
Hoodia gordonii is traditionally used in South Africa for its appetite suppressant properties. Paradoxically, it is also used as appetite stimulant. Hoodia is also used for indigestion, hypertension, diabetes, stomachache, abdominal pain, and peptic ulceration.
None are known.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
No reliable information is available. Safety in pregnancy and nursing has not been established.
No human drug information is available.
No information is available.