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The Khoisan people of South Africa, who use Sceletium tortuosum in folk medicine, introduced it to the western world. The earliest European written records of the use of Sceletium tortuosum date back to 1662. The Dutch, called it ‘kougoed’ which literally means, ‘chewable things/goodies ‘ or ‘something to chew’.
The Hottentots and Bushmen tribes of South Africa have used Sceletium tortuosum as a mood-
Sceletium tortuosum is restricted to southern Africa.
Sceletium tortuosum is used to elevate mood, decrease anxiety, stress and tension. It is frequently used as an anti-
Farmers, shepherds and rural folk walking long distances use Sceletium tortuosum as an appetite suppressant. It is also used as a sedative in the form of teas, decoctions or tinctures. Sceletium tortuosum is not hallucinogenic. No addiction, severe adverse side effects have been associated or documented with Sceletium.
European Herbal Indications:
Attention deficit, anxiety, alcohol rehabilitation support as part of a formal program, hot flushes and irritability in menopause, low mood, smoking cessation support, study aid and post-
The active constituents of Sceletium tortuosum are mesembrine, mesembrenone, mesembrenol and tortuosamine. Mesembrine is the major alkaloid present.
In clinical practices, tablets and capsules of Sceletium tortuosum are being used successfully by a number of psychiatrists, psychologists and doctors with excellent results for anxiety and depression.
Mesembrine is usually the major alkaloid present, and has been demonstrated in laboratory studies (sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health in the United States, and conducted by NovaScreen) to be a very potent serotonin reuptake inhibitor (more so than imipramine) and a PDE4-
Sceletium has significant mood-
Patients with a hypersensitivity to the plant. Not to be taken during pregnancy. Sceletium must never be combined with an SSRI, MAOI, or other psychiatric medications, cardiac medications, alcohol and cannabis.
Common names: Kanna / Kougoed (Afr.), Sceletium (Eng).
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