Hoodia winked?

Hoodia is a stem succulent that can grow up to 1m high, displaying beautiful flowers and offering a noticeable aroma. Found in areas from Namibia to Angola, the native peoples have long known of hoodia gordonii’s medicinal benefits.

Appetite suppressor

Within the last few years pharmaceutical companies discovered hoodia’s qualities as an appetite suppressor as well as a tool for lowering blood pressure.

Following exposure on the Oprah show, prime time US news and the BBC, the demand for hoodia gordonii became so large that the cactus now enjoys protected status in most of the areas in which it grows.

Naturally this kind of attention led to a huge demand for pills based on hoodia gordonii. And…as I am sure you are beginning to learn… where there’s demand there’s often a scam!

Hoodia scams

Either driven by pure greed or by the realities of production – hoodia gordonii takes between 5 and 7 years to grow – some producers, especially in South Africa, decided to find alternative ways to meet the spiralling demand.

  • Like drug dealers sometimes do, they mixed “fillers” in with the hoodia in order to bulk it out. Items such as sawdust, leaves and silica would allow greater quantities to be yielded. Obviously the effectiveness of the hoodia was much lesser though.
  • Mixing the roots in with the active parts of hoodia gordonii even though they are not active in any way
  • Supplying look-a-like species that would pass a visual testing.

When pharmaceutical companies asked for samples then pure hoodia would be provided in order to con them. As soon as orders were placed, however, the less than pure hoodia would be shipped instead.

Not all companies selling the end product are blameless either. More than likely, many knew that the product they were/are selling is far from pure and hardly likely to convey the advertised effects. There have also been cases of firm’s blatantly selling capsules that are underweight!


Hoodia would appear to offer salvation to those looking to lose weight – almost completely negating the urge to eat or drink is a tempting proposition for those who are desperate to lose weight. However many suppliers are not providing a product capable of these claims.

If you are looking to buy Hoodia then search out a well established supplier and do your homework. Research their company name through the internet – if there’s any hint of a scam about them then it will stick to them like mud!

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. Great piece on hoodia. 🙂 ConsumerLab.com raised a very interesting point in their piece on hoodia. Apparently there’s speculation that there’s more hoodia product for sale in supplement form than could have actually been made with the known supply of hoodia plants. 😕

    • Hi Lisa, and welcome to the site. It’s good to see a name I am familiar with – pershaps you should add your url next time you comment as your blog is one I’m sure several of my readers would enjoy reading.

      I’ll have to read the piece at ConsumerLab.com.. I can well believe their findings though!

  2. I think there are a lot of scams around weight loss products because the people taking them are kinda desperate to lose the pounds and will try anything

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