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November 08, 2019 7 min read

Sceletium is one of the most usable and functional herbs for mental and emotional wellness that exists in the world today. It has wide and profoundly efficacious application in many areas, and is a unique botanical treasure.

Emotional Wellness

Sceletium is an excellent broad-spectrum mood enhancing and emotion-mediating herb. It integrates mind, emotion and body and allows for deep bodily and mental relaxation. It calms obsessive thinking, is emotionally grounding and supports freer expression of thought, feeling and speech. It is altogether healing on the psyche and the heart, and engenders a profound integration of mind, body and emotion.

Mood Enhancement

There is no better natural mood enhancer than Sceletium. Sceletium greatly enhances serotonin function in the brain (more than any other herb known) and does so more effectively than L-Tryptophan, 5-HTP and Griffonia (without causing the drowsiness that is often associated with these serotonin precursors).


Sceletium accomplishes its action primarily by being an SRA (a Serotonin Releasing Agent), coupled with a small amount of SSRI activity. Releasing Agents in general have always been found to be more effective, balanced, humanly profound and in harmony with natural neuronal function than Re-Uptake Inhibitors (which are nearly always problematic). In addition, there are none of the harsh side-effects of chemical SSRIs.


Sceletium is THE model anxiolytic (anti-anxiety agent). Anxiety has multiple associated causes, but a central theme among them is a racing hyperactivity of the mind and a subsequent and consequential hyperactivity of the autonomic nervous system. Sceletium works directly, in an apoptogenic way, to mediate the “pace” of the mind, slowing a racing mind and bringing a calm centeredness to the being. It is unmistakable and anyone who suffers from anxiety readily attests to this.

Social Phobia

Social phobia and anxiety are intimately linked, as social phobia is essentially a particular type of anxiety experienced in social situations. As described in the Anti-Anxiety paragraph above, Sceletium is directly indicated here. The increase in synaptic serotonin associated with Sceletium use engenders a relaxed, open-hearted and socially convivial state, where communication is easy and self-reflexive concern is greatly lessened. In fact, those suffering from social phobia tend to do much more than simply “manage” these situations, they generally find them enjoyable while taking Sceletium. A key point here is that one actually learns from the Sceletium-mediated state that it is naturally possible to enjoy those kinds of social situations, and that one actually has the capacity to be at ease in them. And from that perspective Sceletium serves authentic long-term transformation rather than being simply a palliative treatment.

OCD Treatment

For similar reasons as outlined in the Anti-Anxiety paragraph above, Sceletium has found incredible efficacy in treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. By allowing the mind to settle and integrate with the body and heart in a deep way, it grants a centered peace and fundamental sense of acceptance to the one who was otherwise suffering this condition – and this state is essential to non-obsessive and non-compulsive behaviour.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) / Grey Weather Syndrome

Grey Weather Syndrome / SAD affects many people worldwide, especially in the Northern hemisphere, and while the causes are invariably complex, the primary factor is due to low serotonin levels in response to decreased sunlight in winter. And people who spend a lot of time indoors working can have the same issues whether it is summer or winter. Studies have shown that a decrease in sunlight can, in susceptible individuals, cause an increase in the activity of the Serotonin Transporter (SERT) which recycles serotonin and removes it from active synaptic function. In addition, low serotonin can also be associated with low melatonin (due to serotonin metabolizing to melatonin), which both impairs sleep and daytime alertness. As Sceletium is both a Serotonin Releasing Agent (SRA) and Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitor (SRI) it greatly increases levels of active serotonin as well as melatonin, and is thus a first choice treatment for these disorders.

Stress Reduction

The scourge of modern living… there are few who do not suffer from the stress that comes from information overload, complexity, time scarcity and the necessary multi-tasking we must all engage to survive in the busy world we now live in. A key to managing stress with aplomb is calmness and the ability to be grounded and centred in the midst of the storm of our modern lives. Sceletium allows us to take a breath and see the world from a more spacious vantage, and thus use what would otherwise be “stressful”, as energy and inspiration.

Cognitive Enhancement

A calm mind is an intelligent mind. When we are relaxed, creativity springs freely and unbidden, memory performs when it is needed and overall cognition is improved.


As in the Cognitive Enhancement paragraph above, PDE4 Inhibitors also possess strong neuro-protective qualities, protecting the brain from inflammatory damage. Sceletium is generally protective of our brains and nervous systems from many of the various brain-damaging causes that may be inflicted upon us in our modern lives.

Sustained Concentration

As was ably demonstrated by the San hunters of old, Kanna allows long periods of focused concentration without mental fatigue, and in the case of traditional usage, also allowed the San to endure long periods of activity without food or water and without suffering physical fatigue. The careful application of Sceletium to the treatment of ADD and ADHD is clearly indicated here.

Intimacy Enhancement

Sceletium, especially when used in a single high dose, opens the heart, dissolves emotional armouring, and removes relational fear. And it does so more reliably than any other known medicinal herb or psychoactive botanical. With the natural human trust that is opened and expanded in this state, there is the opportunity for a profound deepening of love, communication and intimacy between lovers.

Couples Therapy

For the same reasons as stated in the Intimacy Enhancement paragraph above, Sceletium taken in a single, but lower dose, would be found to be very useful in a formal therapeutic context, assuming the therapist’s skill, professionalism, experience working with people in heightened states of awareness, and of course personal experience with Sceletium.

Pro-Sexual Aphrodisiac

Because Sceletium enhances intimacy as described in the Intimacy Enhancement paragraph above, it will also be found to have a profound and authentic aphrodisiac and pro-sexual effect, and one that is based on emotional responsiveness rather than mere physically generated changes in the body. Bodily relaxation is deepened, tactile sensitivity (for both men and women) is enhanced and men find they can last longer. In fact men who struggle with premature ejaculation find Sceletium to be their greatest ally in this regard. 

Stopping Smoking

from significantly reducing the severity of nicotine withdrawal, it also greatly alleviates the craving and desire to smoke. The greatest challenge, as all those who have tried to stop smoking can attest to, is the tendency to compulsively and obsessively think about smoking. As one of Sceletium’s central effects is to mediate the obsessive tendency of the mind, this quality has been been found by many to make the required difference in successfully stopping smoking.

Drug Addiction 

For very similar reasons as in the paragraph about stopping smoking above, Sceletium has been found to be highly efficacious in respect of all drug addiction (including tobacco and alcohol). Again, symptoms of withdrawal are profoundly relieved, particular in opiate and other CNS depressant addiction.


Again, for similar reasons as in the Stopping Smoking and Drug Addiction sections above, Sceletium serves as a very good treatment for alcoholism as well as pre-alcoholic behaviours that would tend to lead to full-blown alcohol dependency. In addition to Kanna’s various modes of anti-addictive effect, it can also serve as an effective (and safe) replacement for alcohol – indeed it has even been referred to as “onse droë drank” (meaning “our dry drink” in certain Afrikaans speaking Khoi-descendent cultures in South Africa). A common reason for excessive alcohol use is to quell feelings of anxiety or tension, and Sceletium does this much more effectively than alcohol while also being safe to use and non-toxic to the liver.

Deeper Sleep

Aside from increasing melatonin levels as a consequence of enhanced serotonin function, Sceletium is simply a profound, if not the most profound, relaxer of body and mind. And this state of psycho-physical relaxation greatly supports falling asleep and remaining asleep. Reports from Sceletium users indicate enhanced sleep and better morning function. In addition there is anecdotal evidence of a decrease in both muscle cramps and night sweats.


Sceletium has been noted as an excellent adjunct to various bodywork therapies, including massage, deep tissue work and fascia release therapies such as Rolfing / Structural Integration. Due to Sceletium’s softening and opening of the emotional body there is a consequent which allows greater response to touch and a deeper range of movement as the body transforms. Physical therapists have reported greater ease in accessing deep tension in the body and clients have reported a longer enduring of effects.

Endurance Athletics

The traditional San hunter-gatherers, the oldest users of Kanna, made particular use of the herb when engaging in long hunting trips. It allowed them to endure the heat of the Kalahari desert, extremely low levels of hydration, and the long distances that were travelled on foot, often for many days at a time. Kanna also provided a means for them to remain vigilant and calm during long periods of waiting and stalking. In modern endurance sports, Kanna has been found to increase endurance, mitigate muscle cramps, and also provide a gentle analgesic effect which allows elite athletes to safely extend their pain threshold.

Social Euphoriant

Enhancing social interaction is possibly one of Sceletium’s greatest benefits.   And in the modern Western world we are no different, with alcohol, being almost universally present when people gather together to socialize or celebrate.  

Sceletium enhances body and breath based awareness. It allows the mind to calm and, most importantly, shifts attention from the mental realm to the domain of body, breath and feeling.

Brenda Hutchinson
Brenda Hutchinson

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