Author: Stewart C
Effective and permanent weight loss is the dream of people around the world. Million-dollar conglomerates are investing heavily in research in the race to provide the market with effective and lasting ways to control weight gain.
Some of the recently successful products are being made with Hoodia gordonii extract.
Hidden in the Kalahari
Who would have known that a cacti variety, hidden deep in the thirst lands of South Africa would be an effective weight-loss partner? The guardians of the Hoodia gordonii cactus are a small tribe of Bushmen, identified as the San people.
The San people are a nomadic folk, which means they travel from one place to another in search of food, better grazing grounds and better shelter.
Historical use of Hoodia gordonii
Essentially, since there are no Hoodia gordonii side effects, the San people use the cactus raw during hunting trips. The nomadic Sans are known to travel for days across the barren thirst lands.
Within this time period, hunting groups may or may not find water or food. The Hoodia gordonii cactus allows the huntsmen to survive the hostile environment by suppressing hunger pangs and hunger pains.
The San tribesmen call the Hoodia gordonii cactus Xhoba. The cactus itself is light-green and grows quite well in the hostile and dry environment.
A Dutch anthropologist was able to chronicle the basic uses of the Hoodia gordonii cactus to nomadic communities living near the border of Namibia. This chronicling happened in the year 1937.
How did the San tribesmen use the cactus? Contrary to common misconception, the Sans did not eat the cactus directly; though Hoodia gordonii side effects were unknown to them.
Instead, the Sans sucked on the succulent flesh of the cactus. This way, the enzymes and juices of the cactus were put to full use.
Physical characteristics of the Hoodia gordonii cactus
Like other plant species under the category of cacti, the Hoodia gordonii resembles a spiny cucumber. These large cactuses grow from between three feet to a maximum of about six feet. Like other cactuses, these plants have extra efficient roots that dig deep into the Kalahari sands in search of moisture.
The basic clustering of Hoodia gordonii may be characterized as "clumps" which means its basic spread across the sands is random and far apart. Vegetation in the Kalahari is sparse, with only isolated spots where semi-dense vegetation flourishes.
As for the reproduction of this cactus, the pollination is carried out by insects. Specifically, the scattering of pollens from one cactus to another is done by flies. This explains why the beautiful flowers of the Hoodia gordonii smell really bad- to attract its pollinators and propagators.
Early research & clinical trials
Early research regarding the hunger suppressing property of the Hoodia gordonii was done nearly 40 years after its first discovery by the Dutch anthropologist.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research or the CSIR, located in South Africa was the proponent of the first efforts to systematically study the cactus. Clinical trials on humans led researchers to conclude that humans can reduce their basic calorie intake by more than 30% each day with the help of the cactus. Early animal testing proved that there were no Hoodia gordonii side effects.
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