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Kanna-derived drug discovery.

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Our mission

At Kanna Health, we aim to develop novel therapeutics in sexual health and central nervous system (CNS) conditions based on alkaloids and novel compounds inspired by the South African medicinal plant, kanna. 

Facts and Figures.


Years of indigenous use of kanna


Known kanna alkaloids

A team of accomplished experts, driven individuals, and industry-leading advisors

Our team comprises scientists, entrepreneurs, researchers, ethnobotanists, patent specialists, and executives, with a common goal of promoting wellness of and balance to the mind and body. Our driving force is our zeal for advancement and an unrestrained inquisitiveness.

Plant Biologist


The Kanna Health plant

The kanna plant contains 25 known alkaloids   . Kanna’s active compounds have several known and yet to be discovered pharmacological characteristics, including serotonin reuptake inhibition (SRI). These alkaloids allow targeting of signaling pathways implicated in several neuro-psychiatric and inflammation-related conditions.

Preservation and reciprocity is at the heart of our DNA

At Kanna Health, we have made it part of our mission to contribute to the preservation of the traditional knowledge that is the basis for our drug development. The kanna plant has been used for centuries by the San and Khoikhoi communities of South Africa   . Historically, indigenous tribes have often been overlooked and underrepresented, leading to the erosion of a wealth of traditional knowledge. Conserving these resources has become vital. Therefore, we strive to acknowledge and collaborate with the traditional knowledge holders and we aim to make our impact initiatives central to the company, right from the beginning.


The past, present and possible future of kanna

Sceletium tortuosum (known as kanna) has been used for centuries in modern-day South Africa by the San and Khoikhoi communities. These communities use the plant for performance- and mood-enhancing purposes, including the relief of thirst and hunger, and to combat fatigue. The first written report of traditional use is from a Dutch expedition near Capetown in 1685   .

Our Senior Advisor and Founding CSO, Dr Nigel Gericke, has been researching Kanna for more than 30 years. In this talk, he discusses the past, present and future of kanna research.

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