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Sceletium for tobacco and alcohol addictions

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Can an African daisy really stop smokers' cravings?

by MARTYN HALLE, Daily Mail


A plant taken by African bushmen for thousands of years is turning out be a potent anti-smoking remedy.



Doctors in South Africa say they have had remarkable results with Sceletium - a creeping, daisy-like plant that grows in arid, almost desert-like conditions.


Consultants treating patients for addictions to tobacco and alcohol have reported success rates of 70 to 80 per cent when patients are given Sceletium tablets.


The leaves and stems, when dried and eaten, have similar qualities to a group of modern drugs called SSRIs, which act on the brain to relieve depression and anxiety.


But Sceletium appears to have none of the side-effects of anti-depressants such as Seroxat and Prozac, which have been reported as making some people dependent on the drugs designed to make them well.


Dr Cheryl Inngs, a psychologist at Rhodes Hospital in Pretoria, says: 'Sceletium capsules lifted patients' mood and made them less anxious.


'Patients report they are much less likely to overindulge in tobacco, alcohol and other recreational drugs when taking Sceletium.


'We found that it cut out the dependency patients have on addictive substances like tobacco and alcohol and gave them the freedom to say No. We have been so impressed by the results that we are starting to use it to rehabilitate hard drug users.'


Dr Nigel Gericke, a medical doctor who has helped develop Sceletium, says: 'About 25 per cent of modern Western medicines are descended from plants first used as traditional folk cures, but until recently the indigenous plants of South African folk medicine have been largely ignored.'


Large-scale clinical trials conducted by the World Health Organisation, and supported by the South African government are expected to confirm the effectiveness of the plant.

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