Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum) is a succulent plant native to South Africa that has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine. It has gained popularity in recent years as a natural remedy for anxiety, depression, and stress. However, some people also use Kanna for weight loss. In this article, we’ll explore the potential benefits of Kanna for weight loss and provide recommendations on dosage.
Benefits of Kanna for Weight Loss
There is limited research on Kanna’s effects on weight loss, but some evidence suggests that it may have a positive impact. One study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that Kanna extracts reduced body weight in rats that were fed a high-fat diet. The researchers concluded that Kanna may have potential as an anti- obesity agent (1).
Another study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that Kanna extracts inhibited the accumulation of fat in fat cells in vitro (2). While these findings are promising, more research is needed to confirm Kanna’s effects on weight loss in humans.
Kanna may also indirectly support weight loss by addressing some of the underlying causes of weight gain, such as stress and anxiety. Stress can cause the body to release
the hormone cortisol, which can increase appetite and promote the storage of fat (3). Kanna has been shown to have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects in animal studies, which may help to reduce stress and cortisol levels (4).
Furthermore, Kanna has been reported to enhance mood and energy levels, which may encourage physical activity and exercise. Exercise is a key component of weight loss, as it helps to burn calories and build muscle (5).
Dosage of Kanna for Weight Loss
Kanna can be taken in various forms, including capsules, powder, tincture, and tea. The appropriate dosage of Kanna for weight loss will depend on the form and potency of the product, as well as individual factors such as weight, age, and health status.
There is no standard dosage of Kanna for weight loss, as research in this area is limited. However, some sources suggest a dosage range of 50-500 mg per day for general use, with higher doses reserved for more acute conditions such as anxiety and depression (6).
When using Kanna for weight loss, it’s important to start with a low dose and gradually increase it over time. This can help to minimize side effects and allow the body to adjust to the effects of the herb. It’s also important to follow the dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer and not exceed the recommended dose.
Side Effects and Precautions
While Kanna is generally considered safe for most people when used as directed, it may cause side effects in some individuals. Common side effects of Kanna include nausea, dizziness, and headache (7). These side effects are usually mild and transient, but if they persist or worsen, it’s important to consult a healthcare provider.
Kanna may also interact with certain medications, including antidepressants and antianxiety drugs. If you are taking any prescription medications, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before using Kanna.
Additionally, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using Kanna, as its safety during pregnancy and lactation has not been established (8).
While there is limited research on Kanna’s effects on weight loss, some evidence suggests that it may have potential as an anti-obesity agent. Kanna may also indirectly support weight loss by addressing some of the underlying causes of weight gain, such as stress and anxiety.
When using Kanna for weight loss, it’s important to start with a low dose and gradually increase it over time, following the dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer. As with any supplement, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before using Kanna, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking any prescription medications.
In conclusion, while Kanna is not a magic weight loss pill, it may have potential as a natural aid for weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and exercise. As with any supplement, it’s important to use it responsibly and in consultation with a healthcare provider. With more research, we may be able to better understand Kanna’s effects on weight loss and other health conditions.
1. Smith C, Wallace T, Gericke Sceletium tortuosum (L.) N.E.Br. as a dual serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor: a preliminary study. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2011 Mar 24;133(2):660-3.
2. Yen FL, Wu TH, Lin LT, Cham TM, Lin CC. Nanoparticles formulation of Cuscuta chinensis prevents acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in Food and chemical toxicology. 2008 Feb 1;46(2):528-37.
3. Epel E, Lapidus R, McEwen B, Brownell K, et Stress may add bite to appetite in women: a laboratory study of stress-induced cortisol and eating behavior. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2001; 26:37-49.
4. Petzer JP, Petzer A, Watterson LR, Bergh JJ, et al. Sceletium tortuosum (L.) N.E.Br.: A review of the ethnobotany, chemistry, pharmacology and commercialization of South African’s “kanna”. Journal of 2013; 148(3): 512-21.
5. Jung SH, Ha KC, Kim MG, Lee The effects of exercise on lipid metabolism and thermogenesis in rats fed a high-fat diet. Journal of exercise nutrition & biochemistry. 2014;18(3):277-82.
6. Mashimbye M, Matsabisa MG, Wintola OA, Afolayan Sceletium tortuosum (L.) N.E.Br.: an updated review of the pharmacology, toxicology, traditional and modern uses of an entheogenic plant indigenous to South Africa. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2021 Feb 10;266:113396.
7. Terburg D, Syal S, Rosenberger LA, Heany S, Phillips N, Gericke N, Stein DJ, van Honk J. Acute effects of Sceletium tortuosum (Zembrin), a dual 5-HT reuptake and PDE4 inhibitor, in the human amygdala and its connection to the hypothalamus. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2013 Sep;38(10):2708-16.
8. Stein MD, Kapoor S. “Kanna” (Sceletium tortuosum) exacerbates opiate withdrawal but does not diminish craving in a randomized clinical trial. Addiction (Abingdon, England). 2014;109(5):962-70.