Sceletium Tortuosum (often shortened to simply Sceletium) is the Latin name for a succulent herb that grows almost exclusively in South Africa. Sceletium is also known as Kanna, Channa, and Kougoed – which literally means, ‘chew things’ or ‘something to chew’.
This low to the ground creeper produces white flowers of considerable aesthetic appeal but it is nowhere near as common in the wild as it once was. These days, it is grown mostly in nurseries under very controlled conditions. Though the plant has an excellent ability to manage water resources, it is very sensitive to soil type and temperature.
Sceletium decreases anxiety, stress and tension, it also enhances your mood and increases your energy levels. It has also been used as an appetite suppressant. The plant is not hallucinogenic, and no severe adverse effects have been documented.
Sceletium was used by South African hunter-gatherers over 1000’s of years ago as a mood-altering substance. Its primary use was by warriors returning from battle, who took it to help dispel the fear and depression that was common after violent conflict.
The earliest written records of the use of the plant date back to 1662. Sceletium was an item of barter in the time of Jan van Riebeeck, and there is documentation of trade from the Castle in Cape Town, South Africa. The traditionally prepared dried Sceletium was often chewed as a quid, and the saliva swallowed, but it has also been made into teas and tinctures.