Many people associate the word “herbalism” with rancid tasting brews and tinctures that need to be choked down for reasons of longevity and detoxification – there are very few, if any herbs on the market which people would find enjoyable to ingest… but there is a product that may soon take the natural health market by storm. Sceletim Tortuosum, or Kanna Sceletium just might revolutionize the way many people think about herbs and with the buzzword of the year being “superfoods”, Sceletium is a powerful plant food that many are recognizing for its massive potential.
Sceletium Tortuosum, from the family Mesembryanthemaceae is an amazing herb with a long history of human consumption has slipped under the radar of the American public for some time. Sceletium is a succulent plant from South Africa that grows to about six inches tall and produces small yellow flowers and tiny fruits that contain the seeds. This plant was used by humans for hundreds if not thousands of years for its amazing mind enhancing effects that give the user elevated moods while reducing stress and anxiety.
Sceletium, aka Kanna is nothing like other herbs on the market, it is a product that has VERY noticeable effects when ingested… one enthusiast told me that the effects are “like Saint John’s Wort times one thousand”, Saint John’s Wort being another popular herb used as a natural alternative to antidepressants and antianxiety pharmaceuticals for decades.
Sceletium appears to have other medicinal effects that may soon be explored as well. Rural families in South Africa still use Sceletium in minute doses as a treatment for colic in infants by putting the powdered herb in breast milk. The potential of this plant is yet to be fully explored, but its dense mineral content and amazing resilience due to its evolution in the harsh conditions of South Africa make this herb one of the most interesting supplements on the market.
Studies by the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow suggest that some of the more notable effects of Sceletium are due to the presence of the alkaloids tortuosamine, mesembrine and mesembrenone which may assist in blocking in 5-HT transporter binding assays and have “powerful inhibitory effects on phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4)” while having no harmful cytotoxic effects. ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21798331 ). Essentially this plant food acts as a natural serotonin reuptake inhibitor and a number of psychologists and psychiatrists are already using this wildly crafted plant to treat depression and anxiety.
The effects of Sceletium vary with dosage. Normal recommended dosage enhance ones mood and give sense of well being while alleviating mental stress and suppressing the appetite. The plant is not hallucinogenic, addictive, and there are no reported side effects from users although like most compounds and herbs it is recommended to start with small doses to feel it out and gauge how much is an adequate dose for each individual.
Sceletium Tortuosum or Kanna Sceletium is currently available in the United States in capsulated powder, raw powder, and tinctured drops. Look out for this potent herb which may be hitting the shelves of many health food stores and herb shops nationwide as people discover its incredible mood enhancing effects.