Like many other ethnobotanicals of Afirca, kanna too has been and still is an intoxicant of choice there. Today, its popularity is growing around the world. The effects are described as euphoric with increased alertness that gently fades into a relaxed state of being. The pharmacology of the plant too is very interesting. Mesembrine is the name of the chemical of interest that's naturally produced by this herb.
Kawa Kawa is simliar to Kava, yet not identical or related. It offers sedative effects also when brewed as a cold tea, and also has many other medicinel applications. The use of cold water in the preparation of tea's and infusion using Kawa is essential in preserving the chemical potency. Topical applications of the plant are used for boils, bruises, and pain relief. Kawa has also been used when dealing with toothaches.
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Kava is an "entheogen", or plant that "awakens the divine from within". Some cultures say that it opens the third eye (minds eye). The effects are euphoric, blisful, sedative, and rejuvinating. Kava is used by certain cultures and peoples to aid in meditation practice. It's been clinically proven to reduce stress. The effects leave the body feeling very relaxed. They actually have Kava bars in south Florida where you can enjoy this stuff safely.
Klip Dagga is a relative of Wild Dagga ( as used by the Hottentot Tribe ). The plant naturally produces its own pharmacological chemicals known as diterpenes and coumarins. Coumarins are also found in many common cooking herbs. Coumarins are attributed to many medicinal benefits today. Extracts made from this species are shown to posess acetylcholine and histamine inhibiting properties. Medications for dealing with a condition known as Mysthenia Gravis effect acetylcholine levels.
This is another African ethnobotanical. It's ethnobotanical because so much culture is tied to its lore. The Kola nut is commonly given as ceremonial gifts in Africa. Kola belongs to the stimulant class due to the caffeine and other compounds found within the beans. They are used as Talismans by certain African religions. On top of all the other cool facts, Kola Nut was the original source of flavor, aroma, and caffein in the original Coca Cola. This was back in the days when Cocaine made from coca leaves was also in the brew.
Kratom is a member of the Coffee family. Unlike Coffee this plant naturally produces chemicals that interact with opioid receptors located in the human brain and body. The effects of ( Mitragynia speciosa ) can be either stimulating or sedating depending upon dose, strain, and the person. Many get in heated debates over which is best for what. The experience is truly subjective.
It was traditionally consumed by chewing the leaf or by making a psychoactive tea/drink out of it. In the western world it's most often sold and marketed in the form of capsules, as a supplement. This is obviously not the traditional way it was consumed nor would I prefer it. Sense most of the Kratom users in the western world do not have access to fresh leaf, chewing is not really an option because the leaf is typically ground.