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Sceletium: The All Natural Anti-Depressant


An all natural anti-depressant. It may elevate mood, decreases anxiety and tension, as well as being a very effecive anti-depressant. Sceletium is also known to reduce addictive cravings particularly with regard to nicotine and lessens the withdrawal effects of alcohol.



Sceletium Tortosum  - A natural mood elevator 

Sceletium tortuosum is a small groundcover plant native to Southern Africa. For hundreds of years the Hottentots of Southern Africa used Sceletium tortuosum as a mood enhancer, relaxant and empathogen. It is also known as Kanna or Kauwgoed, Kougoed and Canna.

Historically Sceletium tortuosum (Kanna) was chewed, smoked or used as snuff producing euphoria and alertness which gently fade into relaxation. If chewed in sufficient quantity Sceletium has a mild aneastheticeffect in the mouth, much like kava, and is used by the San tribes if you are about to have a tooth extracted, or in minute doses, for children with colic. A tea made from Sceletium/Kanna is sometimes used to wean alcoholics off alcohol.

History of Sceletium

Sceletium tortuosum has a long history of use in South African. In fact it is in it's 4th century of recorded use there. With written records dating back to 1662, Sceletium was a bartering currency. Traditionally, the prepared dried plant material (called Kanna or Kougoed) was chewed and the saliva swallowed, but it has also been made into teas and tinctures. Less commonly, it has been reported that it used to be inhaled as a snuff, or smoked, usually with the addition of other herbs.

Kanna was used in rural areas in very small doses as a treatment for colic in infants, added to a teaspoon of breast milk, and this use still survives in some local communities.

Chemistry and Pharmacology of Sceletium

The mood-elevating action of sceletium is caused by a number of alkaloids including mesembrine, mesembrenol and tortuosamine which interact with the brain's dopamine and serotonin receptors. Mesembrine is a major alkaloid present in Sceletium. Mesembrine has been demonstrated to be a potent serotonin-uptake inhibitoand serotonin releasing agent.

This receptor-specific activity, and receptor activities also found on nicotinic, dopamine and nor-adrenaline sites certainly validate the traditional mood-elevating uses, and suggest additional therapeutic and wellness potential.

By isolating this and other bio-chemically active compounds, researchers are now confirming what many people have known for many hundreds of years, that Sceletium has a remarkable ability to effectively treat symptoms of anxiety.

Mesembrine is an alkaloid which is derived from the Sceletium Tortuosum plant and is now being acknowledged as a key active component in the ability of the plant to produce beneficial effects which are closely related to it are the alkaloids mesembrenone, mesembrenol and tortuosamine, which are also present and produce very similar effects to mesembrine.

Fermenting Kanna increases mesembrenone and decreases mesembrine.

It is a confirmed serotonin (re)-uptake inhibitor, as understood by the US Patent office, which means that it regulates the effects of one of the brain's most important neurotransmitters.

Benefits and Uses of Sceletium

Tablets and capsules of Sceletium / Kanna are being used successfully by a number of psychiatrists, psychologists and doctors with excellent results for anxiety states and mild to moderate depression; and they can also be used by the lay public as supplements to elevate mood and for stress and tension.

In addition to Sceletium's common use for the stress and mental fatigue of modern industrial living, Sceletium has been used as a natural supplement in:

  • uplifts the mood
  • decrease anxiety, stress and tension 
  • gives you energy

Sceletium elevates mood and decreases anxietystress and tension. Kanna has also been used as an appetite suppressant by shepherds walking long distances in arid areas. In intoxicating doses it can cause euphoria, initially with stimulation and later with sedation. Long-term use in the local context followed by abstinence has not been reported to result in a withdrawal state. Kanna is not hallucinogenic, and no severe adverse effects have been documented.

Sceletium is also being used as a natural anti-depressant that is said to be safer than many pharmaceutical alternatives.

Individuals suffering from depression and anxiety can benefit from Sceletium.


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