Kanna plant - Sceletium tortuosum 8.5cm)
Kanna plant - Sceletium tortuosum (8.5cm)
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