Bushman's hat

Last Updated: September 28 2022

Hoodia gordonii is a small shrub (falsely said to be a cactus) that is claimed to suppress appetite. It seems the main bioactive (P57) cannot easily reach the brain to do this, and aside from failures of hoodia to suppress the appetite it may also be mildly toxic and imprudent to supplement.

Bushman's hat is most often used for


Hoodia gordonii is a small plant that is used as a famine food (to suppress appetite and thirst, to make suffering a famine a bit more bearable) and due to that is sought after for possible appetite suppressive effects. The first introduction of Hoodia to the first world (Europe and North America) was based on preliminary studies associated with the company producing Hoodia, and the lone independent study on Hoodia has noted that active dose recommended for a supplement not only failed to reduce appetite but was also associated with some mild and irregular toxic effects that need to be further investigated.

This plant appears to be a source of a large amount (well over 30) steroidal glycosides, and only one is said to be the activ ingredient (P57) yet most of the steroidal glycosides have no research on them. Due to this, the possible toxic effects in humans (confirmed in mice), and both the inefficacy on reducing appetite while having no other apparent marketable effects Hoodia gordonii does not appear to hold any promise for a dietary supplement.

What else is Bushman's hat known as?
Note that Bushman's hat is also known as:
  • Hoodia
  • Veldkos
  • Slimming Cactus
  • Trichocaulon Gordonii
  • Stapelia Gordonii
  • Hoodia Gordonii
Bushman's hat should not be confused with:
Dosage information

Recommended doses of Hoodia Gorgonii tend to be around one gram of an extract of 70% steroidal glycosides or more, taken twice a day with each dose about an hour before a meal.

There is no evidence to suggest an optimal dose nor to support the above as being active, and the toxic dose in mice (as well as preliminary human evidence) is the exact same as the supplemental dose.

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1.^Lee RA, Balick MJIndigenous use of Hoodia gordonii and appetite suppressionExplore (NY).(2007 Jul-Aug)
2.^van Heerden FRHoodia gordonii: a natural appetite suppressantJ Ethnopharmacol.(2008 Oct 28)
3.^van Heerden FR, Marthinus Horak R, Maharaj VJ, Vleggaar R, Senabe JV, Gunning PJAn appetite suppressant from Hoodia speciesPhytochemistry.(2007 Oct)
5.^Zhao J, Avula B, Joshi VC, Techen N, Wang YH, Smillie TJ, Khan IANMR fingerprinting for analysis of hoodia species and hoodia dietary productsPlanta Med.(2011 May)
6.^Gathier G, van der Niet T, Peelen T, van Vugt RR, Eurlings MC, Gravendeel BForensic Identification of CITES Protected Slimming Cactus (Hoodia) Using DNA BarcodingJ Forensic Sci.(2013 Jul 18)
8.^Zhang J, Shi H, Ma Y, Yu BExpeditious synthesis of saponin P57, an appetite suppressant from Hoodia plantsChem Commun (Camb).(2012 Sep 7)
10.^Dall'Acqua S, Innocenti GSteroidal glycosides from Hoodia gordoniiSteroids.(2007 Jun)
11.^Pawar RS, Shukla YJ, Khan SI, Avula B, Khan IANew oxypregnane glycosides from appetite suppressant herbal supplement Hoodia gordoniiSteroids.(2007 Jun)
12.^Shukla YJ, Fronczek FR, Pawar RS, Khan IAHoodigogenin A from Hoodia gordoniiActa Crystallogr Sect E Struct Rep Online.(2008 Jul 31)
14.^Shukla YJ, Pawar RS, Ding Y, Li XC, Ferreira D, Khan IAPregnane glycosides from Hoodia gordoniiPhytochemistry.(2009 Mar)
15.^Pawar RS, Shukla YJ, Khan IANew calogenin glycosides from Hoodia gordoniiSteroids.(2007 Nov)
17.^Scott AD, Orsi A, Ward C, Bradford RGenotoxicity testing of a Hoodia gordonii extractFood Chem Toxicol.(2012 Jan)
18.^Russell PJ, Swindells CChemical characterisation of Hoodia gordonii extractFood Chem Toxicol.(2012 Jan)
20.^Dotson CD, Zhang L, Xu H, Shin YK, Vigues S, Ott SH, Elson AE, Choi HJ, Shaw H, Egan JM, Mitchell BD, Li X, Steinle NI, Munger SDBitter taste receptors influence glucose homeostasisPLoS One.(2008)
25.^Madgula VL, Avula B, Pawar RS, Shukla YJ, Khan IA, Walker LA, Khan SICharacterization of in vitro pharmacokinetic properties of hoodigogenin A from Hoodia gordoniiPlanta Med.(2010 Jan)
32.^Dent MP, Wolterbeek AP, Russell PJ, Bradford RSafety profile of Hoodia gordonii extract: rabbit prenatal developmental toxicity studyFood Chem Toxicol.(2012 Jan)
33.^Dent MP, Wolterbeek AP, Russell PJ, Bradford RSafety profile of Hoodia gordonii extract: mouse prenatal developmental toxicity studyFood Chem Toxicol.(2012 Jan)