Chemistry of Kanna

The active constituents of sceletium tortousum  are alkaloids, including mesembrine, mesembrenone, mesembrenol and tortuosamine. 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 the company NovaScreen) to be a very potent serotonin-uptake inhibitor.

This receptor-specific activity, and some receptor activities found on nicotinic, dopamine and nor-adrenaline sites certainly validate the traditional uses, and suggest additional therapeutic potential.

This receptor-specific activity, and receptor activities also found on nicotinic, dopamine and nor-adrenaline sites certainly validate the traditional mood-elevating uses, and suggest additional therapeutic and wellness potential.

The name Sceletium is derived from the Latin sceletus, referring to the prominent leaf veins that occur as a skeleton-like structure of the dry leaves. The genus contains 8 species and is classified in the mostly weedy subfamily Mesembryanthemoideae. The genus is recognized without difficulty by the leaves that become skeletonized when dry. During dry periods, the dry leaves enclose the new leaves, protecting them from harsh environmental conditions.

 

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