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 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 aneasthetic effect 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 is sometimes used to wean alcoholics off alcohol.
Litha asks some more questions about the bio-prospecting licence issued for the use of Sceletium and the collaborative efforts to share knowledge and benefits with the San Bushmen.
Sceletium elevates mood and decreases anxiety, stress and tension. It has also been used as an appetite suppressant by shepherds walking long distances in arid areas. Inintoxicating doses it can cause euphoria, initially with stimulation and later with sedation. Users also report increased personal insight, interpersonal ease and a meditative, grounded feeling without any perceptual dulling. Having such properties Sceletium is classified as anempathogen type herb. Others have noted enhanced tactile and sexual response, as well as vivid dream inducing properties. High doses produce distinct inebriation and stimulation often followed by sedation. The plant is not hallucinogenic,contrary to some literature on the subject, and no adverse effects have been documented. Kanna is considered a potentiator (enhancer of effects) for other psychoactive herbal material, such as cannabis.
A typical dose is one 50mg tablet twice a day, usually taken after breakfast and after lunch. Less commonly this can be increased to 100mg twice a day, if necessary. In drug rehabilitation programs, under physicians or psychiatrists supervision, the dose needed may be as high as 200mg twice a day.
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