Plant story - saving Hoodia currorii, an important "slimming" plant
Hoodia currorii contains compounds used in slimming pills and is now under threat due to over-collecting.
01 Jan 2010
Hoodia species growing in Botswana (Photo: T. Ulian)
South Africa's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has isolated a compound called P57 from Hoodia gordonii, which has been found to act as an appetite suppressant. Drugs companies are now developing this into a slimming pill.
A close relative of Hoodia gordonii, Hoodia currorii is found in Botswana in the areas of the Central Kalahari and Makgadikgadi national parks. As with the South African species, San (bushmen) hunters have been known to use this species for keeping hunger pangs at bay.
Both Hoodia species are now the subject of intensive bioprospecting and harvesting from the wild. As a result Hoodia currorii is now regarded as threatened in Botswana.
Story by Paul Smith (2003) | More plant stories
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