Sceletium tortuosum (Kanna)

Sceletium tortuosum
(Sceletium, Kanna)
Other Names: Channa, Kuogoed, Tortuose Fig Marigold

Related To: [Aizoaceae] – Hottentot Fig

Main Uses: Medicine, Goundcover

Growth Rate: Moderate to Fast

Mature Height/Spread: Only a few inches above the ground. Sprawling groud-cover.

Flowering/Pollination: The small flowers vary in color – white to yellow, occasionally light orange or pink.

Tolerance: Drought tolerance is good; not tolerant of salt.

Soil/Nutrition: Sandy, dry soils. Tolerant of moist soils if well-drained.

Light: Full sun to part shade.

Wind: Not a factor.

Temperature: Tropical.

Dangers: None.

Diseases Prone: None.

Bearing Age: Will bear seeds in 1 year from seed.

Fruit: Small, inverted, cone-shaped fruit. Edible.

History/Origin: Kanna has been used by the Hottentot people of South Africa.

Species Observations:


Container Culture: Grows well as a houseplant, given a sandy cactus mix and a sunny location.

Medicinal Uses: Kanna / Sceletium’s active parts, which occur in small amounts throughout the plant, are the alkaloids mesembrine, mesembrenol, tortuosamine, mesembrinine.

The alkaloid membrane is the predominant actor, comprising 0.3-0.9% of the plant’s leaves, flowers, and stems. Chemically, sceletium tortuosum is a multifaceted plant, a concert of active compounds producing a significant, sublime psychoactive effect.

For significant levels of the alkaloids to be present in dry herb material, the plants used must be more than one year old (older is preferable) and harvested in the autumn. The entire plant, including roots, stems, leaves, and flowers, must be used.

The plant must be crushed and properly fermented for 7 days, and the resulting gray herbal material (and it’s liquid) then dried.

Kanna is generally very potent in treating psychoactive alkaloids in this way.

Nutritional Information:

Preparation / Food:

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