Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum) is a succulent plant native to South Africa. Kanna is also often referred to as channa. A medicine made from kanna called Zembrin is also available. Kanna is used in traditional medicine as a treatment for both stress and depression, which suggests that it contains phytochemicals that affect the central nervous system. A fermented form of kanna called kougoed is also produced and used medicinally for this reason. A number of studies have investigated the claims that kanna is an effective treatment for stress and depression. Most of these have involved animal experiments. For example, in one study, researchers administered kanna to rats and then applied to stress to them by restraining them. Low doses of kanna caused reductions in anxiety and a lowering of corticosterone levels, however this was accompanied by some depression of the immune function of the rats. Case studies on humans have also been reported. In one case 50 mg of Sceletium caused significant decreases in anxiety and improvements in mood and in another case the same does lifted mood and improved sociability.
Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Protect Yourself