What is Kanna?

Kanna Herbs

Kanna is an herb used by South African hunter-gatherer tribes to enhance their senses and boost moods. It was also part of their spiritual and traditional healing practices.

Pharmaceutical companies are researching this plant to learn more about its potential as an antidepressant and anxiety medication. One compound derived from it, Zembrin, has been demonstrated to reduce anxiety-related activity in the amygdala.

What is Kanna?

Kanna herbs are standardized extracts of the Sceletium Tortuosum plant, also known as Kawgoed or “the chewed herb.” These plants have a long-standing tradition among indigenous hunter-gatherer tribes in South Africa.

Sceletium Tortuosum contains alkaloids that act as serotonin reuptake inhibitors, inhibiting available serotonin from being taken up by presynaptic neurons. This means more serotonin is available for binding with postsynaptic neurons, potentially leading to feelings of relaxation and joy.

Research is ongoing to determine whether this herb affects rats, but more research is necessary before we can be sure. It could also cause ataxia in animals, leading to uncontrollable movements.

Kanna is generally safe but should not be combined with antidepressants and MAO-inhibitors (like yohimbe, Syrian rue and passionflower). It can be abused as a recreational drug; an overdose could result in fever, shivering, increased heart rate, or even death.

Benefits of Kanna

Kanna, from the Sceletium Tortuosum plant, is an effective natural stress reliever and serotonin booster for the brain. This beneficial effect has been known to alleviate moodiness and anxiety – two issues common among depression and stress disorders.

Kantha has several alkaloids in its leaves, stems, and flowers which can improve mood and reduce depression symptoms. Mesembrine, in particular, acts as an antidepressant by blocking serotonin reuptake.

Mesembrenone and Tortuosamine act similarly to SRRI (Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) drugs like Prozac in that they prolong serotonin levels in the brain. Furthermore, Mesembrenone and Tortuosamine help ensure that serotonin remains elevated longer than usual in these alkaloids.

Clinical trials on Zembrin(r), a standardized alkaloid from the Sceletium Tortuosum herb, found that it improved cognitive flexibility and executive function when administered before cognitive testing at doses ranging from 8-25mg.

Side Effects of Kanna

Kanna is an herb native to Africa that has long been used as a mood enhancer. Studies have demonstrated that canna may help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression levels.

Additionally, supplementing with lithium increases serotonin levels – which is essential for mental well-being. Unfortunately, too much serotonin may lead to a condition known as serotonin syndrome.

Fortunately, the alkaloids in Kanna–Mesembrine, Mesembrenone and Tortuosamine–are potent serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These compounds help keep serotonin in the brain longer, decreasing feelings of anxiety or depression.

A randomized, double-blind study demonstrated that Zembrin(r), a commercially available extract of Sceletium Tortuosum, improves neurocognitive functions such as processing speed, psychomotor speed, and complex attention. Furthermore, it promotes positive mood and sleep quality.

Research has also indicated that Kanna may reduce cortisol, a stress hormone. Therefore, it could be an ideal supplement for managing stress. You should speak with your doctor before beginning this supplement if you are taking any medication or have severe medical conditions.

Precautions of Kanna

Kanna is a succulent plant indigenous to parts of South Africa. It features flat, moisture-filled leaves that creep over the ground and flowers with pink or yellow blooms.

In its dried form, the plant contains seven active alkaloids (mesembrine, mesembrenone, and mesembrenol being the most well-known), which could relieve pain, suppress hunger, promote calmness, and improve moods. They function as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which prevent serotonin from leaving receptors so more can be allocated for other processes.

These properties make it a safe, natural remedy for stress, anxiety, and insomnia. It also produces a relaxing meditative effect that can alleviate muscle spasms, increase sensory awareness and appreciation, enhance social interactions and confidence, and interrupt cravings for alcohol or cigarettes.