Sceletium Tortuosum Review
Sceletium Tortuosum, also known as Kanna, is a herb from South Africa that is traditionally used as a medicine for a long time already. It is chewed prior to stressing endeavours since it may play a role in reducing the state of anxiety, although there has been limited evidence claiming that. Moreover, it has been used to enhance mood, relaxation, and achieveing a state of euphoria. However, there has been limited information in supporting the claims that Sceletium Tortuosumcan cause sedation or sleepiness.
It is also known as Kanna, Channa, Kougoed.
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Benefits and Effectiveness
- Anxiety - Decrease 
- Blood Pressure - Neutral 
- Cognition - Increased 
- Heart Rate - Neutral 
- Memory - Neutral 
- Sleep Quality - Increased 
What is Sceletium Tortuosum?
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What is Sceletium Tortuosum?
Among the numerous plants utilized therapeutically around the globe, around a hundred or so affects a person's state of mind, as well as mood. Nowadays, a plant from South Africa has advanced toward North America, and it too guarantees noteworthy cognitive enhancing effects.
Sceletium Tortuosum also known as Kanna, Kougoed, Kaugoed, and Canna, is a native plant in the South African regions. Hottentots of South Africa used Sceletium Tortuosum for so many years as an empathogen, relaxant, and a means of treatment for mood disorders. A tea produced using Sceletium Tortuosum is sometimes used to wean alcoholics off liquor.
People in the past smoked and chewed Sceletium Tortuosum since it produces euphoria, which is a feeling or state of intense happiness and excitement. Sceletium Tortuosum is similar to kava kava; it was also used by historical people to treat toothache because of its mild anesthetic effect. The San tribes used Sceletium Tortuosum to treat children with colic.
History of Sceletium Tortuosum
Sceletium Tortuosum has been used by South Africans for centuries. As a matter of fact, according to some records, it has been used for over four centuries. Small doses of Sceletium Tortuosum added to a teaspoon of breastmilk have been used in rural areas as a means of treatment for children with colic. This practice still exists in some local communities up to this day.
The prepared dried plant material called Kougoed or Kanna was traditionally made into tinctures and teas. However, some people chewed it fresh. According to written records dated back to 1662, Sceletium Tortuosum was a bartering currency. Less commonly, Sceletium Tortuosum was smoked, or inhaled as a snuff, usually in combination with other herbs.
Pharmacology and Chemistry of Sceletium Tortuosum
Sceletium Tortuosum’s ability to enhance mood is due to a number of alkaloids, which includes tortuosamine and mesembrenol. These alkaloids interact with the brain’s serotonin and dopamine receptors.
Mesembrine is an alkaloid which is gotten from the Sceletium Tortuosum plant. It functions as a potent serotonin releasing agent and serotonin-reuptake inhibitor and is currently being recognized as a key dynamic component of the plant's ability to deliver positive impacts which are closely related to it are the alkaloids tortuosamine, mesembrenol, and mesembrenone, which are likewise present and provides the same impacts to mesembrine.
According to the US Patent Office, mesembrine is a potent serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, which means that it has the ability to regulate one of the brain’s most important neurotransmitters. Scientists nowadays confirm that Sceletium Tortuosum is remarkable in treating symptoms of anxiety.
What benefits does Sceletium Tortuosum give?
Numerous psychiatrists, doctors, and psychologists prescribe capsules and tablets of Sceletium Tortuosum. They have reported that Sceletium Tortuosum provides promising results to their patients who are suffering from anxiety, depression, and mood and stress tension. Many people nowadays uses Sceletium Tortuosum as a natural supplement in providing energy, and uplifting their mood. Additionally, Sceletium Tortuosum suppresses a person’s appetite, and causes euphoria. However, very high doses could later lead to sedation.
How to use Sceletium Tortuosum?
- Insufflation: The usual recommended measurement is between 50 and 150 mg. However, a measurement of 20 mg of powdered Sceletium Tortuosum can be used as a snuff, and is enough to produce promising effects. You can also take several small doses during the course of the day. The analgesic effects of Sceletium Tortuosum is moderate; it lasts for an hour or two, then gradually fades from euphoria to feeling of sedation. Some users reported experiencing minimal effects after taking the first snuff. Significant effects will start to appear after the succeeding doses. This phenomenon is known as “priming”: the effects of Sceletium Tortuosum will later on build up after taking it for a couple of days. The known negative effect with insufflation is it causes damage to the nasal mucosa and nostrils, especially if you use it repeatedly.
- Sublingual use of Sceletium Tortuosum: This means placing Sceletium Tortuosum under the tongue and holding it for a couple of minutes until the body starts to absorb the alkaloids. The effects of Sceletium Tortuosum can last up to several hours. It is safe to experiment doses up to one gram. When administered sublingually, a dose between 50 and 150 mg can produce subtle effects. Medium effects can be produced with doses between 200 and 400 mg.
- Sceletium Tortuosum Tea: When making Sceletium Tortuosum tea, honey is often combined in order to give a sweeter taste. When administrating Sceletium Tortuosum as tea, the suggested dosage start is between 200 and 500 mg. It is safe to experiment with dosages up to two grams. As a tea the effects of Sceletium Tortuosum could take 1.5 up to 4 to 5 hours to appear, and the effects are just minimal, thus a larger amount of the product is needed in order to achieve the desired effects. However, one should be careful since very high doses of Sceletium Tortuosum could cause vomiting, nausea, dizziness, and visual distortions.
- Smoking Sceletium Tortuosum: The effects of Sceletium Tortuosum when smoked can be felt quickly. The peak will be reached after thirty to sixty minutes, then gradually decreases after a couple of hours. Between 50 and 500 mg is the suggested dosage when smoking Sceletium Tortuosum. Dosages between 100 and 250 mg can only produce moderate effects. Some users reported that smoking Sceletium Tortuosum can produce a more stoned effect. On the other hand, its analgesic and euphoric effects are minimal. The explanation behind the “hallucinogenic” effects of Sceletium Tortuosum is that, traditionally, it is combined with other plants such as leonotus leonurus (or dagga) and cannabis sativa (popularly known as marijuana). Sceletium Tortuosum is known to potentiate the effects of cannabis and liquor, thus, in order to get the same effects, you need to take a lesser amount of these substances.
- Chewing (gum) Sceletium Tortuosum: People in the past chewed powdered and fermented Sceletium Tortuosum plants for a couple of hours. After a while, they spit it out and stored for future use. Nowadays, Sceletium Tortuosum has been combined with chewing gum. Same as sublingual administration, the recommended dosage for chewing gum Sceletium Tortuosum is between 200 and 400 mg for moderate effects, and between 50 and 150 mg for minimal effects. The effects are somewhat alike.
Sceletium Tortuosum Side effects and Safety
Further studies are needed in order to prove that Sceletium Tortuosum is safe. Some users reported that some of the negative effects associated with the use of Sceletium Tortuosum include loss of appetite, depression, and headaches. Some reported to experience intoxication especially when taking it at a very high dose.
It is not known if Sceletium Tortuosum is safe to use for pregnant and breast-feeding women. But as the saying goes, “it is always better to be safe than sorry.” Consulting a doctor or a drug specialist before administering Sceletium Tortuosum when you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or suffering from any types of illnesses is highly recommended.
Reviewer: Kathleen R. RN, PT
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Wiki Last Updated: 2016-02-12
Sceletium Tortuosum Dosage
Some reported side effects associated with Sceletium Tortuosum use include headaches, depression, and loss of appetite.
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