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Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

Kalahari cactus, Xhoba


Hoodia is a succulent that grows in South Africa. It has been used to promote weight loss by curbing appetite. Hoodia can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract.


There are no advised doses for hoodia.

What Research Shows

Not Enough Data to Assess

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It may be safe to take hoodia in small doses for a short time, but increased heart rate and blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, and numbness of the skin are possible.A1, A2 Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.



A. Safety

A1. Posadzki P, Watson LK, et al. Adverse effects of herbal medicines: an overview of systematic reviews. Clin Med (Lond). 2013 Feb;13(1):7-12.

A2. Smith C, Krygsman A. Hoodia gordonii: to eat, or not to eat. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Sep 11;155(2):987-991.

B. Weight Loss

B1. Vermaak I, Hamman JH, et al. Hoodia gordonii: an up-to-date review of a commercially important anti-obesity plant. Planta Med. 2011 Jul;77(11):1149-1160.

B2. Landor M, Benami A, et al. Efficacy and acceptance of a commercial Hoodia parviflora product for support of appetite and weight control in a consumer trial. J Med Food. 2015 Feb;18(2):250-258.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 5/27/2020