Benefits of Sceletium tortuosum include :
- decreases anxiety, stress and tension.
- Improves cognitive and mental health.
Sceletium tortuosum is a low-growing plant native to South Africa that is also commonly known by the names Kanna, Canna, Channa and Kougoed. This plant has been in use for centuries as mood enhancers or relaxants. When it was first used in Africa, kanna was commonly chewed or smoked. It would initially allow the user to enter a state of euphoria before slowly becoming relaxed or slightly sedated. Some also found that using the plant as nasal snuff kept them alert. Its early users also described that it could make the mouth quite numb which is why it was often used by tribesmen before undergoing tooth extractions while small amounts were also given to teething infants. Sceletium tortuosum was also used to treat acute abdominal pain in infants. This practice, however, has become less popular today as a treatment for colic babies.
- Reduces high blood pressure.
Sceletium has been known to have a wide range of uses for hundreds of years in Africa but only recently has it begun to enter the western markets for alternative medicine. The West has already adopted some of kanna's medicinal properties, using it primarily as anesthetics, sedatives, and relaxants. It has also become quite popular among alcoholics who seek treatment for their disease. Preparing and drinking Sceletium toruosum as tea helps recovering alcoholics avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Kanna has also made its way to modern pharmaceutical companies that have been creating tablets or capsules out of the plant. Numerous psychologists and psychiatrist now prefer to use medicine developed from Kanna because of consistent success when given to depressive patients and those who suffer from anxiety attacks. Doctors say the capsules and tablets are also safe for use by regular people who suffer from stress intermittently.
Apart from uplifting moods and relieving its users from stress and anxiety, Sceletium has also become commonly known for its energy-boosting effects and its ability to suppress the appetites of those who take it.
The reason why Sceletium tortuosum is becoming very popular is that it is natural. It is also not a hallucinogen and anything developed from it is not addictive. Furthermore, there have not yet been any reports regarding serious side effects from taking Sceletium-based medicine. Some users only report having mild headaches or nausea when taking Sceletium. Some have also complained about increased irritability and insomnia. However, these cases are rare and uncommon.
Doctors recommend that it not be taken with other sedatives, anti-depressants, and heart medication. Whether or not it can be safely taken by pregnant women has not yet been confirmed but no cases involving any negative effects have been reported.
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