Aside Project blog Kanna Extract Boosts Mood

Kanna Extract Boosts Mood

Kanna, Sceletium tortuosum, has been used by the native Khoi and San tribes of South Africa for centuries as a calming herb that boosts mood. In the West, kanna extract—which can be taken as tincture, tea or capsules—is attracting more attention for its euphoric and stress-reducing properties and for promoting sleep quality.

The main chemical compounds in kanna extract, the mesembrine alkaloids, support serotonin reuptake inhibition actions and increase serotonin levels in the brain, explains Pasquariello. This helps balance our emotions by enhancing the activity of neurons that are involved in emotional brain response. Kanna has also been shown to promote stress resilience by helping our bodies handle the physiological and psychological responses of stress and anxiety, he adds.

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People report that kanna can provide a sense of well-being and increased feelings of calmness, joy, and sociability, as well as heightened awareness, a sense of openness, and euphoria. It is said to stimulate creativity and help with focus, and improve moods in general.

Some reports suggest that kanna may increase empathy and compassion, resulting in deeper interpersonal relationships. Others report that kanna reduces cravings and helps curb hedonic hunger, allowing for a healthier relationship with food.

Other research shows that kanna can enhance mental performance by increasing the frequency of alpha1 and beta2 brain waves, a sign of greater alertness and concentration. One double-blind clinical trial found that a daily dose of kanna, or Zembrin(r), helped to improve cognitive function when consumed prior to a test.

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