Sceletium tortuosum also known as Kanna, Channa or Kougoed.
The genus Mesembryanthemum is a popular groundcover, a section of
the genus designated as Sceletium serves as a narcotic in South Africa.
For hundreds of years the Hottentots used Sceletium tortuosum as a
psychedelic called Kanna or Channa (not Cannabis). The earliest written
records of the use of Sceletium date back to 1662 and 1685.
The Dutch during the arrival in Africa called it "Kougoed" (kauwgoed)
which literally means,"chew(able) things/goodies" or"something to
chew". The traditionally prepared dried plant material is chewed,
smoked, or use as a snuff. Sceletium is used by rural folk and farmers
as a sedative in the form of a tea, decoction or a tincture.
Sceletium tortuosum has been used by hunter-gatherers and shepherds
as a mood-enhancing substance for millennia, and is far more effective
and rapidly acting than the well-known European plant Hypericum
(St John's Wort).
The active constituents of Sceletium tortuosum are alkaloids, including
mesembrine, mesembrenone, mesembremol and tortuosamine. The
alkaloids ; mesembrine and mesembrenone were isolated in the
beginning of 1914 by Zwicky. Lewin, in his 1934 book Phantastica,
classifies this plant among the hypnotica : 20 mg is sufficient to produce
a substantial effect. 50 mg mixed with chewing gum or placed under the
tongue produces a more subtle effect.
Warning: Do not use Sceletium: together with any medication or
recereational drugs, when intending to operate motorized vehicles or
during pregnancy or nursing. keep out of the reach of childern.
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