Hoodia currorii (Ghaap, hoodia cactus)

For centuries, African tribesmen have used hoodias to quench their thirst and hunger pangs while making long hunting trips.

Hoodia currorii (Hook.) Decne. is a cactus-like plant containing substances that suppress hunger and thirst.

Hoodia’s use as an appetite suppressant is supported by both colourful folklore history and recent scientific studies. Young pods are also eaten for their sweetness.

Recently its medicinal properties have raised interest in the Western world and the active ingredient found in this plant is being used to develop a slimming pill. It is also used to treat high blood pressure.

Hoodias are also grown as attractive ornamentals for desert gardens.

Species detail

Hoodia currorii fruit

Hoodia currorii fruit

In the wild, the plant reproduces with seeds but cultivated plants can be increased by taking cuttings from the base of a branch. However, cultivated plants do not survive in moist conditions.

Uses

Hoodia currorii is:

  • eaten as food
  • used to treat high blood pressure, and stomach and nutritive ailments
  • Hoodia currorii
    Taxonomy

    Hoodia currorii only produces flowers after rain. The flowers have the pungent scent of rotten meat that helps attract insect pollinators. Discover more about this succulent shrub and its spiky relatives.

  • Hoodia currorii
    Distribution

    Hoodia currori is found in central and southern parts of Africa. Find out where it likes to live.

  • Hoodia currorii
    Conservation

    This plant holds great medicinal value, and may be overexploited. Most hoodia species are now protected. Find out more.

  • References

    Get reference material for Hoodia currorii.

Images

Hoodia currorii

Hoodia currorii.

Hoodia currorii

Hoodia currorii.

© T Móia
Hoodia currorii

Hoodia currorii.

© T Móia

Author

Ranee Prakash

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Glossary
Bio prospecting

Searching for, collecting, and deriving genetic material from samples that can be used in commercialised pharmaceutical, agricultural, industrial or chemical processing end products.

Glabrous

Smooth and hairless surface.