Also known as Kanna, Channa, or Kougoed (which literally means ‘chew things’ or ‘something to chew’.
Composition of Sceletium
Sceletium tortuosum is a succulent plant commonly found in South Africa.
Sceletium is traditionally known as a psychoactive herb. It is not hallucinogenic nor habit forming. Sceletium can be taken prior to stressing events for its cognitive effects. While the mechanisms as to why Kanna exerts these effects is not conclusively known, it is known to influence the amygdala of the brain and is known to also have inhibitory effects on both the serotonin transporter as well as an enzyme known as phosphodiesterase .
Sceletium commonly occurs in quartz patches and is usually found growing under shrubs in partial shade.
Health Benefits of Sceletium
Sceletium tortuosum contains mesembrine and the related alkaloids mesembranol and mesembranone. Mesembrine is known for its effects on the central nervous system. The compounds also act as serotonin-uptake inhibitors, and in specified doses act as anti-depressants and tranquilizers.
Mesembrine has analgesic properties. as well as anti-anxiety and anti-stress effects.
Sceletium Tortuosum can improve cognition.
History of Sceletium
Sceletium tortuosum, known by the San people of South Africa as “Kanna,” enjoys a long history As early as 1662,the San people used to pick the plant, bury it to ferment it, then dry it. Once dried, sceletium was eaten, used as a snuff or even smoked, to produce its potent effects. The plant was also sometimes used as currency. The plant has been used by South African pastoralists and hunter-gatherers as a mood-altering substance from prehistoric times. The first known written account of the plant’s use was in 1662 by Jan van Riebeeck. The traditionally prepared dried Sceletium was often chewed and the saliva swallowed.
Sceletium tortuosum is one of the oldest mesembs known to the western world. It became known to the early colonizers of the Cape in the 17th century and has been cultivated in England since 1732.