Sceletium tortuosum (Kanna) has been used by South African
pastoralists and hunter-gatherers as a mood-altering
substance since prehistoric times. The earliest written
records of the use of the Kanna plant date back to 1662.
Sceletium was an item
of barter in the time of Jan van Riebeck, and there is
documentation of trade from the Castle in Cape Town, South
Africa. The traditionally prepared dried sceletium was often
chewed as a quid after fermenting it, but it has also
been made into teas and tinctures. Less commonly, it has
been reported that Sceletium tortuosum used to be inhaled as a snuff,
or smoked with the addition of other herbs.
Kanna elevates mood and decreases anxiety, stress and
tension, and it 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. The
plant is not hallucinogenic, and no severe adverse effects
have ever been documented.
Buy Kanna from a supplier who doesn't strip the indigenous
lands of this beautiful plant
Journal of Ethnopharmacology
The definitive word on this intriguing plant can be found
Potential for Kanna & Mesembrine
An article on the medical potential of
Kanna can be found HERE.
Instructions for Growing Kanna
Helpful tips about growing this beautiful
plant can be found
Effects of Sceletium tortuosum
Famous report on Sceletium tortuosum by Van derGros is
Meditation - a Personal Story
An interesting meditation practice incorporating Kanna is
More on Kanna
Kanna, or Sceletium toruosom, is a
herbaceous plant native to South Africa. Kanna has been used
by the San (South African Bushmen) as a magical plant
teacher in ceremonies and for purposes of rain making,
divination, healing, and communal trance dancing.
Kanna has the effect of relieving anxiety and stress at
lower doses. At higher doses, it is an empathogen and
euphoriant. Kanna can also act as an appetite suppressant.
It is traditionally dried and chewed, but can also be smoked
or made into teas or tinctures.
The alkaloids contained in
kanna include mesembrine, which has ancedotally been reported to
possibly be a potent selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor
(SSRI) with very strong antidepressant effects. Although we
make no claims to any medical value of Kanna, and Kanna is certainly
not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease, it does
appear as though it may at least act in a manner similar to many common
antidepressant medications available through pharmaceutical
companies at this time.
SSRIs, such as the
mesembrine in kanna, block the re-uptake of serotonin into
the neuron, meaning that serotonin molecules are present in
the synapse for longer and therefore are able to signal the
brain to produce even more serotonin, leading to elevated
mood and increased mental health in many people.
Recently, a South African pharmaceutical company, HGH
Pharmaceuticals, was given the first ever license to study
kanna and the alkaloids it contains. They intend to turn
kanna into a product to be sold over the counter and
internationally. Fortunately, the San people are meant to
receive a portion of the profits received from the mass
marketing of kanna.
Side effects of kanna are mild,
if any. There have been no serious side effects of kanna
reported. Kanna can cause drowsiness and sedation, however,
and so it should not be consumed before operating heavy
machinery or driving an automobile.
The use of kanna
during pregnancy is not recommended due to a lack of
research on the plant. Also, since kanna acts as a selective
serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI), it should not be
consumed with any other SSRI medications (such as Lexapro,
Prozac, Cymbalta, etc.), nor should it be consumed with MAO
Inhibitors. Combining these things could lead to serious
effects and personal injury.
Shaman's Garden for a wide variety of
kanna products. we carry powdered, whole fermented leaf,
powdered extract, capsules and liquid extract kanna, meaning
you will have no problem finding the best way for you to try
this exciting and increasingly popular plant remedy!