Celastrus & Kanna : A Deep Dive into Nootropic Ingredients
Celastrus Paniculatus: The Intellect Tree
May Improve memory & cognition
May be Neuro-Protective by removing oxidative damage of the neurons
Supports heart health and reduction of LDL cholesterol
May ease menstrual cramps
Celastrus paniculatus, also known as black oil plant, jyothismati, or malkanguni is a wild shrub native to India, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. According to traditional Ayurvedic medicine, Celastrus oil is believed to help treat various health conditions, such as asthma, arthritis, gout, brain dysfunction, and leprosy.
This plant is also referred to as the “elixir of intellect” or the “elixir of life” in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, due to its supposed benefits to cognition.
The leaves and seeds of the plant are used medicinally or to prepare extracts or celastrus oil. Celastrus seed oil is most commonly used for its supposed cognitive-boosting properties.
The seeds contain celastrine and paniculatin (alkaloids), which may contain antioxidants. According to some researchers, compounds in the seed extract block acetylcholine esterase, the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine.
This may increase acetylcholine levels in the brain, which potentially could have nootropic effects.
I use Celastrus in: Lions Mane capsules, and its oil in the Cognition blend
Raised under the South African sun. Venerated by local inhabitants long before the first colonists and explorers arrived.
The succulent herb Sceletium tortuosum, known for its mood-uplifting qualities, originally only grew in one particular area, named ‘Kannaland'.
Every year at the end of season the Khoihkhoi and San tribes gathered for its harvest. A fermentation process of a week transformed the plant into the famous chewing substance: ‘the greatest Chearer of the Spirits, and the noblest Restorative in the World,’ as one explorer markedly put.
Traditionally kanna had a vast array of purposes: both in ritual and daily life.
More recently western scientists found its main alkaloids function as serotonin reuptake inhibitors. That’s why, like medically prescribed antidepressants, kanna enhances the mood, soothes anxiety and alleviates worries and stress.
The plant gained worldwide attention for its stress-relieving and mood-uplifting qualities. Besides being used recreationally by a growing number of people, it has been commercialized as prescription medicine as alternative to synthetic antidepressants.
When chewed the plant leaves an anesthetic effect in the mouth, the San therefore also used it with tooth extractions. In small portions kanna has been used to treat children with colic. Some reports note kanna tea being given to alcoholics to help them quit their addiction. The indigenous people from Namaqualand and Queenstown made a tea of kanna leaves for its analgesic effects and to suppress hunger.
Kanna as an alternative antidepressant
By blocking the reuptake of serotonin, kanna allows the brain to function with reduced levels of this neurotransmitter. Furthermore kanna gives the brain time to build up natural levels of serotonin. Once natural levels are restored the need for more kanna ceases to exist. This makes Sceletium tortuosum an effective natural antidepressant.
In 2012 a standardized kanna extract called Zembrin was introduced as prescription drug. It’s prescribed to cure light to moderate depressions and depressive phases, and psychological and psychiatric anxiety states. Additionally, it’s considered a useful aid in the treatment of alcohol, drug addiction, bulimia nervosa and compulsive disorders.
I use Kanna mostly from Thailand, and some from S.Africa in:
and other blends.