Sceletium tortuosum is a perennial succulent herb that is native to the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa. The Latin name Sceletium is derived from the word Sceletus which refer to its skeleton-like appearance when dried. Kanna use among certain pastoralists and hunter-gatherer groups for a variety of purposes was first documented by the Dutch colonial administrator and founder of Cape Town van Riebeeck, in 1662. The second colonial administrator of Cape Town, Van der Stel, wrote in his journal of these peoples “They chew mostly a certain plant which they call “Canna”. They use it as the Indians use Betelnut (Areca catechu), and are of a very cheerful nature.” For hundreds of years the Hottentots of Southern Africa used Sceletium tortuosum as a mood enhancer, relaxant and empathogen.
Other names: Sceletium tortuosum, Kanna, Channa, Kougoed, Kaugoed, Sceletium, Channa, Scelly, Canna-root.