Kanna (Scletium tortuosum) has long been used by indigenous tribes to ease anxiety and elevate moods. The plant’s benefits are attributed to four main alkaloids, including mesembrine and the more potent Zembrin, which acts like an antidepressant. Kanna has also been shown to promote cognitive flexibility and support attention.
The most traditional way to ingest best way to take kanna is by chewing the leaves, stems, and roots. This is a very simple and straightforward process that appeals to many people who appreciate the aboriginal methods of consuming mind-altering plants. It typically takes an hour or so for kanna to start working, and the effects can last for up to five hours.
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Another popular way to take kanna is as a tea infusion. Unlike the traditional method of chewing, this process requires less effort and produces more subtle results. It’s recommended to drink a dose of around 200-400mg in order to experience the desired effects.
While the precise reasons for kanna’s mood-elevating effects are still unclear, research does suggest that it may be due to its serotonin reuptake inhibition properties. The mesembrine alkaloids in kanna bind to and inactivate the brain’s serotonin transporters, which then prevents them from reabsorbing the neurotransmitter and releasing it into the body. This allows more serotonin to remain in the brain and pass signals to nerve cells, which ultimately elevates our moods.
As of now, kanna does not appear to interact negatively with any medications or supplements, and it is considered safe for long-term use. However, it’s important to follow a doctor’s instructions and avoid taking too much at one time.