Kanna Powder – Sceletium Tortuosum
Kanna Powder known scientifically as Sceltium tortuosum is directly sent to us from a South African farm dedicated to growing Kanna and similar products. Traditionally Kanna is used as a liquid, chewed or consumed as a tea.The major alkaloids found in Kanna are Aptenia and Mesembrine.
Kanna is a succulent plant native to Southern Africa. It grows in the harsh conditions of the semi-desert areas of South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana. The plant can grow up to 30 cm in height and has thick, fleshy leaves that are green or gray in color. The plant produces small, white, or yellow flowers that bloom in the late afternoon.
S. tortuosum contains about 1–1.5% total alkaloids. The alkaloids contained in S. tortuosum include mesembrine, mesembrenone, mesembrenol and tortuosamine. Mesembrine is a major alkaloid present in S. tortuosum. There is about 0.3% mesembrine in the leaves and 0.86% in the leaves, stems, and flowers of the plant.
Traditional and contemporary methods of preparation serve to reduce levels of potentially harmful oxalates found in S. tortuosum. An analysis indicated levels of 3.6-5.1% oxalate, which falls within the median range for crop plants, just like spinach or kale. It is speculated that physical crushing of the plant and the fermentation process reduce the potentially harmful effects of oxalic acid. In particular, free oxalic acid is likely to complex with cell wall-associated calcium salts and precipitate as calcium oxalate when plant material is crushed.
Kanna has been used for centuries in traditional medicine practices by indigenous cultures in Southern Africa. A succulent native to South Africa and traced back to the San and Khoikhoi tribes, the Kanna plant is highly regarded for its uplifting benefits. Also known as “something to chew,” kanna was traditionally used as a mood enhancer, as well as a tool to alleviate hunger and thirst, and increase energy and focus.
Kanna is believed to act as a Selective Serotonin Re-uptake (SSRI). In combination with common psychiatric medications including other SSRIs (such as Prozac) and MAO Inhibitors, it may cause injury if ingested.