Categories
Herbs & Plants

Sceletium tortuosum

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Botanical Name :Sceletium tortuosum
Family: Aizoaceae
Subfamily: Mesembryanthemoideae
Genus: Sceletium
Species: S. tortuosum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Name :  Kanna, Channa, Kougoed (Kauwgoed,/ ‘kougoed’, prepared from ‘fermenting’ S. tortuosum) – which literally means, ‘chew(able) things’ or ‘something to chew’.

Habitat :Sceletium tortuosum is native to Southern Africa.

Description:
Sceletium tortuosum is a succulent groundcover which produces showy white flowers with threadlike petals. Its fermented roots and leaves were chewed by the Hotentot tribe of S. Africa as a vision-inducing entheogen and inebriant. The plant contains mesembrine, though the pharmacology of kanna is not fully understood.
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For hundreds of years the Hottentots of Southern Africa used Sceletium Tortuosum as a mood enhancer, relaxant and empathogen. Dr Nigel Gericke, who is spearheading research into Sceletium tortuosum in South Africa, believes that “Sceletium is one of the most ancient of mind-altering substances, and it is likely to have had a profound influence on the evolution of human consciousness.”

Sceletium tortuosum (Mesembryanthemaceae]) is a succulent, which is also known as Kanna, Channa, Kougoed (Kauwgoed,/ ‘kougoed’, prepared from ‘fermenting’ S. tortuosum) – which literally means, ‘chew(able) things’ or ‘something to chew’. The plant has been used by South African pastoralists and hunter-gatherers as a mood-altering substance from prehistoric times.[citation needed] The first known written account of the plant’s use was in 1662 by Jan van Riebeeck. The traditionally prepared dried Sceletium was often chewed and the saliva swallowed, but it has also been made into gel caps, teas and tinctures. It has also been used as a snuff and smoked.

Dr Nigel Gericke, who is spearheading research into Sceletium tortuosum in South Africa, believes that “Sceletium is one of the most ancient of mind-altering substances, and it is likely to have had a profound influence on the evolution of human consciousness.”

Cultivation:
Kanna is best planted in Spring/Summer and harvested in mid-Autumn.[citation needed] It can be used as a herbal smoke, pill or one can chew the leaves to feel its effects. It can be harvested whether or not the flowers themselves have appeared yet.

Chemical constituents:
Mesembrine, one of the five known psychoactive compounds in Sceletium tortuosum.  click to see
S. tortuosum has been reported to possess significant mood-elevation and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties.

The alkaloids contained in S. tortuosum believed to possess psychoactivity include: mesembrine, mesembrenone, mesembrenol and tortuosamine. Mesembrine is a major alkaloid present in Sceletium tortuosum.

S. tortuosum contains about 1–1.5% total alkaloids. There is about 0.3% mesembrine in the leaves and 0.86% in the leaves, stems, and flowers of the plant

Medicinal Uses:
Sceletium has been reported to cause elevated mood and decreases anxiety, stress and tension. It has also been used as an appetite suppressant by shepherds walking long distances in arid areas. In intoxicating doses, it can cause euphoria, initially with stimulation and later with sedation. Having such properties Sceletium is classified as an empathogen type herb. High doses have been shown to produce distinct inebriation and stimulation often followed by sedation. The plant is not hallucinogenic, contrary to some literature on the subject, and no adverse effects have been documented. Kanna is considered by many to potentiate (enhance the effects) of other psychoactive herbal material, such as cannabis.

Historically Sceletium tortuosum was eaten/chewed, smoked or used as snuff producing euphoria and alertness which gently fade into relaxation. If chewed in sufficient quantity Sceletium has a mild aneasthetic effect in the mouth, much like kava, and is used by the San tribes if you are about to have a tooth extracted, or in minute doses, for children with colic. A tea made from Sceletium (Kanna) is sometimes used to wean alcoholics off alcohol.

Known Hazards:
Little is known about the interactions of S. tortuosum, although it should not be combined with other SSRIs, MAOIs, or cardiac medications. Headache in conjunction with alcohol have been noted with kanna use. Some reports suggest a synergy with cannabis.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sceletium_tortuosum
http://www.erowid.org/plants/kanna/
http://www.herbalfire.com/kanna-sceletium-tortuosum.html

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Categories
Advice against Health Hazards

Smoking

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EVERY SMOKER MUST KNOW : BY SMOKING HE OR SHE IS NOT ONLY DOING LOT OF HARM TO HIS OR HER OWN HEALTH BUT HARMING THE FAMILY,THE GENERATION AND THE SOCIETY. SO, SMOKERS SHOULD QUIT SMOKING AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE……….CLICK  &  SEE

IT IS A PROVED FACT THAT WITHIN ONE MONTH AFTER YOU QUIT SMOKING, YOU GET RID OF 90% OF YOUR PRESENT AILMENTS LIKE INDIGESTION,GAS,HEARTBURN,FATIGUE AND WEAKNESS ETC. AND THE RISK OF FUTURE SEVERE DISEASE.
It’s never too late to quit smoking, but unfortunately a tobacco addiction is one of the most difficult habits to overcome. A number of natural supplements can boost your chances of success by helping you cope with cravings and reducing the anxiety that often accompanies quitting.

Symptoms:

Persistent cough or recurring bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia.
Hoarseness, sore throat, bad breath, yellowed teeth.
Premature graying, balding, wrinkling of the skin.
Impotence and many additional complaints.


When to Call Your Doctor

If you develop symptoms of a serious smoking-related illness: pains in your chest or upper back; chronic wheezing or coughing; pink or blood-tinged mucus; or persistent sores or white patches on the mouth, tongue, or throat.
If you need help quitting.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is
Though not considered an illness per se, smoking is a habit with serious health consequences. Within minutes of lighting a cigarette or cigar, blood pressure and pulse rate rise, and oxygen levels in the body drop. After several months of smoking, cough, sinus congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath, and other symptoms can appear. Over the long term, smoking can lead to cancer, chronic lung disorders, heart disease, and stroke.

What Causes it
Why do so many people continue to smoke despite the health risks? Because smoking is an extremely powerful addiction. Not only does nicotine, the addictive drug in tobacco, cause physical effects throughout the body, but it goes almost straight to the brain, where it temporarily lifts spirits and soothes anxiety. The social rituals associated with lighting up also work to calm anxieties. When you stop smoking, nicotine levels drop, and jittery feelings accompany a range of physical complaints.

How Supplements Can Help
Various supplements may help soothe the frazzled nerves and powerful cravings that afflict those trying to kick the smoking habit. Used for several weeks or months, they can help smokers through this difficult time. All can be taken with other stop-smoking aids, such as a nicotine patch or gum, and under your doctor’s supervision, with antidepressant drugs.

What Else You Can Do
Consider nicotine gums or patches, the antidepressant drug bupropion, acupuncture treatment, or hypnosis. All can reduce cravings.
Exercise to cut down on stress. A brisk walk can also help overcome an intense craving, which usually lasts only a few minutes.
Eat a well-balanced diet and take a high-potency multivitamin daily. This can help boost your natural production of acetylcholine and reduce your need to smoke. The up feeling smoking produces comes from nicotine and other compounds that mimic the effects of the brain chemical acetylcholine, which plays a vital role in mental alertness and memory.
Many people put off quitting for fear of gaining weight. To help keep pounds off (and stay off cigarettes), exercise regularly and keep your hands busy. Try munching on healthy rabbit food — carrots, celery, cucumbers, and the like. In addition, pursue hobbies such as painting, knitting, or woodworking.
Reduce your intake of alcohol. Researchers have long known that drinkers tend to smoke more than nondrinkers and that drinking often serves as a social cue to smoke. Now, a Purdue University study shows that in smokers, alcohol can actually increase the craving to smoke.

Supplement Recommendations

Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin C
Baking Soda
Oat Extract
Kava

Niacinamide
Pantothenic Acid

Vitamin B Complex
Dosage: 1 pill twice a day with food.
Comments: Look for a B-50 complex with 50 mcg vitamin B12 and biotin; 400 mcg folic acid; and 50 mg all other B vitamins.

Vitamin C

Dosage: 2,000 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Will likely loosen stools at this dosage. Use buffered powder form for reduced stomach irritation and for convenience.

Baking Soda
Dosage: 1 tsp. in a glass of water twice a day.

Oat Extract
Dosage: 1/2 tsp. tincture 4 times a day.

Kava
Dosage: 250 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Standardized to contain at least 30% kavalactones.

Niacinamide
Dosage: 500 mg twice a day between meals.
Comments: Long-term use can cause liver damage and other serious side effects; physician monitoring is necessary during treatment.

Pantothenic Acid
Dosage: 500 mg twice a day.
Comments: Use calcium pantothenate, the least expensive form.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Source:   Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

Categories
Ayurvedic Healthy Tips

Herbs That Can Help Ease Stress

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Both Siberian and Panax ginseng, which bolster the adrenal glands, may also be effective in coping with stress. These stress-fighting herbs are sometimes called “adaptogens” (because they help the body “adapt” to challenges) or “tonics” (because they “tone” the body, making it more resilient). All can be safely taken together.

Other herbs and nutritional supplements, used singly or together or combined with the supplements above, may be of value in special circumstances. For stress-induced anxiety, try kava, which is best reserved for high-stress periods lasting up to three months. Take melatonin if worry is keeping you up at night, and St. John’s wort if stress is accompanied by mild depression.

Siberian Ginseng:
——————

Dosage: 100-300 mg 3 times a day.

Comments: Standardized to contain at least 0.8% eleutherosides.

Warnings: Siberian ginseng may interfere with heart medications. Check with your doctor if you’re taking blood pressure or heart medications. Siberian ginseng may cause mild diarrhea and restlessness.

Panax Ginseng :
—————

Dosage: 100-250 mg twice a day.

Comments: Standardized to contain at least 7% ginsenosides.

Warnings: Don’t take Panax ginseng if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or a heart rhythm irregularity. Don’t use Panax ginseng if you are pregnant. Consult your doctor if you’re using blood pressure medications. Panax ginseng increases the risk of overstimulation and stomach upset when taken with neurology drugs such as Ritalin. Don’t use Panax ginseng if you take MAO inhibitor drugs. Long-term use of Panax ginseng may require a change in insulin or other diabetes medications. If you’re taking the diuretic furosemide, Panax ginseng may intensify the blood pressure-lowering effects of the drug.

Kava:
——

Dosage: 250 mg 3 times a day as needed.

Comments: Look for standardized extracts in pill or tincture form that contain at least 30% kavalactones.

Warnings: Pregnant or breast-feeding women should not use kava. Don’t take kava if you have Parkinson’s disease. Possible kava side effects include stomach upset, yellow skin, loss of appetite, labored breathing, blurred vision, bloodshot eyes, walking difficulties, intoxication, and skin rashes. Kava may cause excessive drowsiness if taken with antidepressants, antihistamines, muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers, psychiatric drugs (antipsychotics, buspirone), sedatives, or tranquilizers.

Melatonin:
———-

Dosage: 1-3 mg before bedtime.

Comments: Start with the lower dose and increase as needed.

Warnings: Affects hormone levels and the brain. Caution is advised in those using drugs with similar effects, including antidepressants and hormone drugs. May cause excessive drowsiness if taken with sedatives or drugs that have a sedative effect such as antihistamines, muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers. May cause adverse interactions if taken with steroids.

St.John’s Wort:
—————–

Dosage: 300 mg 3 times a day.

Comments: Should be standardized to contain 0.3% hypericin.

Warnings: If you’re taking conventional antidepressant drugs, consult you doctor before adding or switching to St. John’s wort. If you develop a rash or have difficult breathing, get immediate help. Side effects can include constipation, upset stomach, fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, and increased sensitivity to the sun.

From: The Healing Power Of Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs.