Sceletium tortuosum has also been targeted due to its application in the help of neurological disorders and neuro-degenerative diseases. The species, indigenous to South Africa, is a decumbent perennial sub‐shrub that forms part of the dry Karoo vegetation of the south‐western regions of the country. The plant is commonly referred to as “kanna” or “kougoed” by local communities and is traditionally used to remedy CNS‐related conditions.
In addition, it is used in psycho- active preparations for quenching thirst, for relief of hunger and as a colic remedy for babies. Phytochemical studies of S. tortuosum have shown that alkaloids, commonly referred to as “mesembrine- type alkaloids” (mesembrine, mesembrenone, mesembrenol and mesembranol) are responsible for the psychoactive properties of the plant. The ability of these alkaloids to remedy CNS‐related disorders has been associated with their role in serotonin re-uptake inhibition and phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibition