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Is Sceletium Tortuosum (Kanna) a Natural Appetite Suppressant?

Is Sceletium Tortuosum (Kanna) a Natural Appetite Suppressant?

Before the colonization of South Africa, people indigenous to the region chewed a fermented herb to help relieve feelings of hunger, thirst, or pain. This herb, a type of succulent called sceletium tortuosum, is known by several names today. One of those is “Kanna.” Modern research has confirmed kanna can have positive effects like decreasing stress levels. Additionally, there’s some information suggesting kanna may be a natural appetite suppressant.

What is Kanna?

What is Kanna

Found only in South Africa, kanna plants feature lush green stalks crowned with white and yellow flowers, similar to a daisy. It’s so common to the region that 18th-century colonists noted indigenous people called the area “Kannaland.” These people fermented the herb and chewed on the resulting pulp to activate its effects. Today, kanna is available in several forms including dried powders, tea bags, tinctures, and more. The herb is completely legal under US drug laws, which classify it as a nutritional supplement. As a result, kanna is readily available in nutrient shops and online.

Kanna and Appetite

Millions of people worldwide grapple with excessive weight and obesity. According to the CDC, nearly three our of every four Americans over the age of 20 are overweight, and one in every five are obese. Millions more suffer from eating disorders that can desensitize their appetites to feeling full.

Nearly every case of excessive weight stems from lack of exercise, poor appetite control, or both. Kanna has historically been used to help regulate that second factor. Anecdotal evidence from early South African colonists states that indegous people used kanna to help banish hunger during long days shepherding flocks of cattle. While this may sound like folk medicine to some, there is scientific evidence supporting kanna’s link to appetite.

How Kanna Works

How Does Kanna Work

Kanna plants naturally develop seven unique organic compounds, called mesembrine alkaloids, that aren’t found anywhere else in chemistry. These compounds have several effects on the brain, one of which makes kanna a possible appetite suppressant.

Studies show that kanna’s active ingredients bind to cholecystokinin-1 receptors in the brains of mammals, which control hunger impulses. Researchers believe that eating disorders like bulimia nervosa are linked to cholecystokinin deficiency. Over time, individuals suffering from eating disorders deregulate how cholecystokinin affects their appetite. This essentially numbs the victim to feeling full. By activating these receptors, kanna can help users satiate their appetite.

Is Kanna Right for You?

If you need a natural approach to appetite suppression, consider trying kanna. Doctors generally consider kanna to be safe. It has no side-effects on humans in dosages up to 6 mg per pound of body weight. Some users may experience nausea when they first try the herb, but this usually disappears after a few doses.

While there may be many users who can benefit from the effects of kanna, it’s not right for everyone. Make sure you consult a doctor before you try kanna if you’re currently taking any medications including MAOIs, SSRIs, and SNRIs. In addition, women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid using kanna.

Discover the Wonders of Kanna with Hello Kanna

Hello Kanna Capsules

At Hello Kanna, we wholly believe in the value of kanna as botanical medicine.

We offer standardized extracts with higher-yet-consistent mesembrine alkaloid levels, so you always get a reliable experience. Each kanna product we offer is 100 percent all-natural, tested by a third-party lab, and available at industry-leading prices.

To improve the effectiveness of our products and complement the benefits of kanna, we formulate proprietary kanna extract blends with added nootropics and vitamins.

Explore our full selection of high-quality kanna products and discover the Hello Kanna Difference


Thank you for reading our latest guide! We hope that it helped to inform you about the potential benefits of kanna! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to drop a message for us in the comments!

What is Sceletium Tortuosum: Application, Safety and Side Effects

What is Sceletium Tortuosum: Application, Safety and Side Effects

For centuries, the indigenous people of South Africa utilized a plant known for its ability to boost mood, fight hunger, thirst, and pain. This plant, called Sceletium Tortuosum, was known by a different name at that time: kanna.

What is Sceletium Tortuosum (Kanna)?

Sceletium Tortuosum

Kanna is a type of succulent plant native to South Africa. The herb has several purported benefits, and has been used as a form of traditional medicine for generations. Kanna may be able to alleviate daily maladies like pain, hunger, and thirst. It also has some psychological effects. The plant can reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, and it may be able to promote positive emotions. It’s not just snake oil - modern research seems to affirm its beneficial properties.

At a Glance

Kanna is a fairly polarizing plant. Its advocates assert that the herb can relieve pain, reduce hunger and thirst, and instill focus in its users. Kanna’s long history of use and relative safety have also sparked interest among its supporters.

While there are plenty of researchers promoting kanna’s beneficial effects, it also has some detractors. Critics of kanna cite the limited data and researcher bias surrounding it as two major issues. They also note that kanna may not work for everyone, and new users frequently experience nausea after consuming the herb. The plant may also cause harmful interactions with a user’s prescriptions, if they have any.

History

Kanna grows naturally in the area that is now South Africa. People indigenous to the region fermented the herb and chewed on the resulting slurry for its beneficial effects. They knew the herb by several names including “kanna,” “channa,” or “kougoed.” 

The history of kanna dates back to the ages before European colonization. At the time, two main tribes called the region home: the Khoikhoi and the San. While they utilized Kanna for its beneficial effects, they also had a spiritual connection with the plant. In fact, Kanna was so significant to these people that they even called the region “Kannaland,” according to European travelers to the area in the 17th century. Colonial expansion in the 1600s wiped out much of the oral history surrounding Kanna and its origins. However, we do know that it was associated with fertility, marriage, and divination, and healing.

Molecular Makeup

Researchers have discovered several compounds responsible for kanna’s potential benefits. They include:

  • Mesembrine
  • Mesembrenone
  • Mesembrenol
  • Mesembranol
  • Epimesembrenol
  • Tortuosamine

Studies suggest that mesembrine and mesembrenone may play the most significant role in catalyzing Kanna’s helpful effects.

All six of these compounds are members of the same chemical family. Called mesembrine alkaloids, they appear naturally only in sceletium tortuosum plants, making them extremely rare. When introduced to the human brain, these chemical cousins act as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Researchers believe that these alkaloids’ ability to act as SSRIs are the reason for kanna’s beneficial effects.

Potential Benefits of Kanna

Potential Benefits of Kanna

While kanna has several possible mental, emotional, and physical benefits for its users. However, research about the plant is still developing. Initial information about kanna is promising, but there’s still significantly more research to be done on kanna’s effects. Make sure to consult a doctor before taking kanna.

Mental

Kanna may have several potential cognitive benefits, like helping users keep their minds sharp and healthy. Some studies have shown that kanna may be an effective way to treat certain degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. One key property of kanna is its ability to block phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), an enzyme that plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s important to note, however, that the doctor behind this study may be biased. First, they’ve spent their entire lives studying traditional African medicine and may have a vested interest in the study. Additionally, they have a financial stake in the research as well: they work for a company that makes and sells kanna extracts.

Emotional

Clinical studies demonstrate that kanna may be an effective way to improve sleep and reduce stress. In a randomized, controlled study, participants reported that kanna improved their sleep quality and reduced their levels of stress. Other research shows that the compounds in kanna can decrease levels of cortisol, a key hormone linked to stress, in its users. One study on rats seemed to confirm kanna’s antidepressant effects, but data showed that kanna was only about half as effective as a traditional antidepressant. 

Depression is also linked to inflammation. Compounds called cytokines, which the body naturally produces to control inflammation, appear to be the key to this link. Some research shows that kanna can block the effects of cytokines in the body. This, in turn, can help reduce depression.

Physical

While indigenous peoples used kanna to relieve pain, hunger, and thirst, there’s been surprisingly little modern research into these effects. Most information we have comes from anecdotal accounts and animal trials. However, this data is promising. Studies show that kanna can activate opioid receptors in the brain, lending credence to its effectiveness as a painkiller.

In addition, kanna’s ability to fight hunger does have some data backing it up. Some of the herb’s ingredients bind to cholecystokinin-1 receptors in the brain. These receptors control the sensation of hunger, and by activating them, kanna can help users feel full. It’s important to note that no modern studies have examined this hypothesis, though - the only data that supports it comes from experiments conducted in the early 1900s.

Is Sceletium Tortuosum Safe?

Kanna is widely considered to be safe for human consumption. Studies show that kanna has no side effects on humans in doses up to 6 mg per pound of body weight. Some first-time users may experience nausea with their initial dose, but this usually disappears over time. Researchers studying the effects of kanna on rats have demonstrated that the herb is non-habit forming.

Kanna and Pets

Kanna for Pets

Scientists haven’t performed any research on how Kanna affects pets, so you shouldn’t give it to your dog or cat intentionally. If your animal friend ate some unintentionally, though, don’t worry - Kanna is particularly well-tolerated by pets. According to a Japanese study, Kanna exhibited no toxic effects at 10 mg/kg of body weight for dogs and 100 mg/kg of body weight for cats. To put that in perspective, that’s 272 mg for a 60-pound dog and 681 grams for a 15-pound cat.

Kanna’s Interactions with Other Drugs

Although kanna itself is fairly safe, it can have some unintended interactions with other prescriptions. If you’re taking any of these drugs, make sure to consult your doctor before taking kanna.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

  • Tranylcypromine
  • Moclobemide
  • Iproniazid
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Nialamide
  • Selegiline
  • Phenelzine
  • Rasagiline

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

  • Escitalopram
  • Paroxetine
  • Sertraline
  • Citalopram
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Fluoxetine

Serotonin and Norephedrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

  • Venlafaxine
  • Levomilnacipran
  • Desvenlafaxine
  • Duloxetine

The Takeaway

Kanna may be able to help users manage their pain, sharpen their mental acuity, and promote an overall better mood. In addition, it presents few drawbacks: it’s not addictive, and it has a long history of safe use. There’s also modern research to back these claims up. However, more work needs to be done. There isn’t as much research on kanna as other potential nutritional supplements, and much of the data available comes from biased sources. If you’re thinking about introducing kanna into your diet, consult your doctor.

Enhance Your Wellness Routine with Hello Kanna

Hello Kanna Capsules

At Hello Kanna, we wholly believe in the value of kanna as botanical medicine.

We offer standardized extracts with higher-yet-consistent mesembrine alkaloid levels, so you always get a reliable experience. Each kanna product we offer is 100 percent all-natural, tested by a third-party lab, and available at industry-leading prices.

To improve the effectiveness of our products and complement the benefits of kanna, we formulate proprietary kanna extract blends with added nootropics and vitamins.

Explore our full selection of high-quality kanna products and discover the Hello Kanna Difference


Thank you for reading our latest guide! We hope that it helped to inform you about the potential benefits of kanna! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to drop a message for us in the comments!

Exploring the Potential Benefits of Kanna: An In-Depth Guide

Exploring the Potential Benefits of Kanna: An In-Depth Guide

While Kanna is just now surfacing as a popular botanical supplement, the South African plant has been used by indigenous people and natural healers for centuries to help ease a variety of ailments.

In today's article, we're going to explore the wide variety of potential benefits of Kanna, how it works, and more.

Let's dive in.

What Is Kanna?

What is Kanna

Kanna is a succulent-type plant that can be found growing natively in parts of South Africa. The plant itself is a shrub-like plant that has flat, moisture-filled leaves that creep over the desert ground as the plant grows. Seasonally the plant blossoms with yellow or pink flowers.

Scientifically, kanna is known as sceletium tortuosum, but the plant is known by locals and people of different parts of the world by different names, such as canna, kauwgoed, and channa. 

You can find kanna in a number of forms, including as powder, oils, and simply in dried-leaf form for use as tea. However, kanna extracts and capsules are perhaps the most common modern product. 

Sceletium tortuosum extract is created in different ways, but the extract is taken from the leaves of the kanna plant. 

How Does Kanna Work?

How Does Kanna Work

Before we dive into the potential benefits of kanna, it's important to first understand how exactly kanna works.

Similarly to kratom and other botanical supplements, kanna contains several known alkaloids that act on the brain to potentially improve the circulation of serotonin while inhibiting brain signals that cause anxiety.

To date, scientists estimate that there are approximately 30 or so alkaloids within the Sceletium plant genus that contribute to that plant's effects.

Some of the primary alkaloids found within kanna include MesembrineMesembrenone, and Mesembrinol, among others.

For further information on the function of the alkaloids in kanna, here's a great in-depth research article to explore: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27939420/

The Potential Benefits of Kanna

Due to its powerful natural properties, kanna has been the focus of numerous studies as a potential source of relief for a variety of ailments.

While more research is needed to conclusively determine the effectiveness of kanna for these ailments, the findings thus far are quite compelling, and the feedback from people that have actually used kanna is even more inspiring!

Mood

Kanna for Mood Relief

Mesembrine and complete Sceletium tortuosum extract may work as natural antidepressants.

In a clinical study, subjects who took Sceletium tortuosum reported improved sleep and reduced stress.

According to studies by psychiatric doctors in South Africa, kanna was able to effectively help improve symptoms of depression, mild depression, and anxiety.

Anxiety

Kanna for Anxiety

Anxiety is defined as the body's natural response to stress.

According to a study in 2011, Sceletium tortosum has demonstrated the ability to increase levels of serotonin and inhibit activity of the PDE4 enzyme by acting on the body's central nervous system.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the human body that can regulate mood and social behavior, with low levels being linked to increased anxiety and depression.

PDE4 is an enzyme which degrades a chemical messenger called cAMP, that would typically increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

By inhibiting PDE4, cAMP levels are potentially decreased, which could lead to improved mood and reduced anxiety.

Depression

Kanna for Depression

According to the CDC, one in 10 adults in the US report experiencing frequent signs of depression.

While there are a variety of synthetic medications available to help treat depression, our findings indicate that kanna may appear to exhibit naturally anti-depressive properties.

A 2014 study indicated that 25mg of Sceletium tortuosum improved the Hamilton depression rating scale by approximately 10% in non-depressed subjects compared to a placebo.

An earlier study from 2013 found that 10mg of Sceletium tortuosum led to subjective reports of "uplifted spirits" in users.

Ways to Use Kanna

You can find kanna in several forms, and each form can offer certain benefits. For example, kanna tea can be a nice way to get the morning off to a lifted start and kanna tinctures or powders are easy to add to your daily smoothie. However, the majority of kanna extract is available in capsule form, which makes the plant easier to ingest in a perfectly measured-dose form.

For example, Hello Kanna Kanna Paks give you easy-to-swallow, 40mg capsules to take as needed. 

Because kanna is not an FDA-approved product, no specific dosing guidelines have been established. Kanna can yield so many effects depending on the user and quality of the product, so the general rule is to start with a lower dose and work your way up in smaller increments as needed.

Why Choose Hello Kanna

Why Choose Hello Kanna Capsules

At Hello Kanna, we wholly believe in the value of kanna as botanical medicine.

We offer standardized extracts with higher-yet-consistent mesembrine alkaloid levels, so you always get a reliable experience. Each kanna product we offer is 100 percent all-natural, tested by a third-party lab, and available at industry-leading prices.

To improve the effectiveness of our products and complement the benefits of kanna, we formulate proprietary kanna extract blends with added nootropics and vitamins.

Explore our full selection of high-quality kanna products and discover the Hello Kanna Difference


Thanks for joining us for our latest guide! We hope that it helped to inform you about the potential benefits of kanna! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to drop a message for us in the comments!