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Hoodia is a cactus-like plant that grows in the Kalahari desert in South Africa and Namibia. Advertising literature associated with hoodia claims that the herb has been used for thousands of years by the San people (commonly, though inappropriately, known as Bushmen) in order to stave off hunger and thirst during long desert treks. However, this statement has not been independently verified. Other sources state that the plant was used by the San rarely, and only as a food—in fact, as a disfavored food consumed only when better tasting food sources were not available.
A typical dose of hoodia is 400 milligrams twice daily.