Jump to content
The Corroboree


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by Alchemica

  1. I've been re-exploring this in my research lately. All in all, even I'm now hesitant to explore this one personally due to odd effects longer-term on lowering dopamine and the fact that it has not been widely used/marketed by others suggests there may be need for caution



    Exploring the Magnoliaceae.pdf



    I came to the conclusion:



    Interestingly, despite relatively potent DAT inhibition, the longer-term net effect of (-)-anonaine on dopamine seems to be decreased dopamine content, potentially via interfering with dopamine biosynthesis via tyrosine hydroxylase [4]. This may be why, contrary to psychostimulant effects, the more traditional use of plants containing (-)-anonaine does not seem to reflect those expected in the case of more typical dopamine transporter inhibition. 

    Also, caution is required as some studies have noted potential neurotoxicity from Annonaceae extracts [5] with some reports of atypical parkinsonism being noted. That said, while methanol extracts have displayed toxicity, hexane extracts were devoid of such, so it may not be the anonaine and related alkaloids responsible for neurotoxicity, instead it is possible Annonaceous acetogenins may be responsible.

    Nonetheless, psychostimulant activity seems to be lacking in anonaine containing plants:

                      Several species of Annona (Annonaceae) are used in traditional Mexican medicine due to their anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant, and tranquilizing properties



    • Like 1

  2. I have Scutellaria lateriflora and S. baicalensis seedlings if they are of use to you (can spare one of each), just get them a bit bigger on the heat mat before they'd be good to send. I'll keep you in the loop. They tend to die back, the S. lateriflora in particular down here over winter so getting them a bit bigger on the heat mat will help them along


    Otherwise I've ordered from Skullcap seeds (happyvalleyseeds.com.au)
    Skullcap Baical seeds (happyvalleyseeds.com.au)

  3. biacal.thumb.png.d390f8deca127ca0cd0a42a38dce2d00.png


    While the Sceletium has been showing continued promise for modulating mood and other dimensions, I've been experiencing significant and quite debilitating catatonic features for a long time and poor sleep quality but was personally hesitant to initiate the conventional lorazepam benzodiazepine therapy for catatonia due to the addictive nature of BZDs and past issues with addiction.

    Decided to try higher dose baicalin extract and akin to the rapid resolution of catatonia seen with a lorazepam-challenge, there was robust rapid acute resolution of the catatonic features, agitation and somewhat improved sleep quality. Just able to feel slightly chill for once. Very early days but it seems to be quite useful and also stabilising for one's mental state.


    The improvement of catatonic features was noted on second dose etc but as the features have been ingrained quite heavily, there's occasional return of posturing etc


    Subjective downsides:

    - waking up in the morning is harder, significant cognitive clouding etc (anything even slightly sedative does this to me) 

    - reduced CNS arousal negatively impacts mental state

    The baicalin also shows diverse additional features over lorazepam that intrigue me and are relevant to my situation.

    Found about 1/2 tsp of 85% baicalin was sufficient

    S. baicalensis and it's primary active constituent baicalin has diverse pharmacological properties. In particular, baicalin seems to have promising CNS activity [1].

    Antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like properties (the latter mediated through the activation of benzodiazepine binding site of GABAA receptors)


    Inhibits prolyl oligopeptidase dose-dependently, having potential benefits for schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, and related neuropsychiatric diseases [2].

    Can potentially be used to treat dopaminergic dysfunction-associated CNS diseases (incl. neurodegenerative and ADHD). It's able to protect dopaminergic neurons and modulate brain dopamine levels, thus serving as a potentially effective novel treatment for ADHD [3].

    In schizophrenia, addition of baicalin (1.5g/day) to atypical antipsychotics led to greater improvements in both primary and secondary negative symptoms than those treated with antipsychotics alone - seems to have efficacy for predominant negative symptoms and in improving cognitive function [4].

    Able to facilitate remyelination in various models of CNS disorders and suppress neuroinflammation [5] 

    Baicalin can:
    - pass through the blood–brain barrier
    - stimulate neurogenesis
    - promote neural differentiation and inhibit neuronal apoptosis 
    - inhibit neuroinflammation and oxidative stress
    - promote CNS myelin repair

    Shown to be relatively nontoxic when given orally

    • Like 3

  4. Currently I'm finding I still have to not expect the kanna to do all the heavy lifting mood wise, it's really a tool that opens a potentiality for better states but without following through with behavioural activation/valued action you rapidly can sink back into the abyss.


    With a disability, I find the whole movement/dance/loosing your sh*t aspect nicely therapeutic to couple with the kanna as it's cognitively non-demanding and easily achievable behavioural activation at home that is not dependent on others.  It's a sense of aliveness to life.


    Other areas I'm focusing on are:


    • Connection. Improving some social engagements
    • Independence. Gaining small steps of growth in self-care and independence doing very simple tasks myself
    • Meaningful Pursuits
    • Growth - for me, currently just trying to be content, happy

    "Dance is a pleasurable and captivating activity that involves motor, cognitive, visuospatial, social, and emotional engagement. Although practiced for thousands of years in rituals and as a leisure activity, the long-term effects of systematic dance on cognition, and brain structure and function are not well understood."


    Currently, there is increasing interest in dance as a therapeutic intervention for various clinical groups, ranging from developmental disorders, to neurological disorders such as schizophrenia (Martin et al., 2016) and mood disorder, neuromotor disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, to dementia prevention and management.


    Movement Medicine


    The efficacy of dance lies in its cognitive-affective-sensorimotor power to effect change’ and includes all aspects of the body-heartmind-spirit continuum. This continuum includes, transcends and bridges movement between the self, humanity, the world and divinity 

    While for some it seem effortless, for some people it actually takes as much (or even more) courage and effort to choose an attitude of happiness, pleasure and gratitude as it does to let go of difficult emotions. It often requires an active choice, which needs to be renewed and renewed, instead of unconsciously and habitually emphasising struggle, suffering and hardship. 


    It offers qualities such as:

    - being wholly present in the moment
    - an absence of thoughts
    - a sense of expansion or dissolving into the cosmos
    - distortion of time and space; experiences of non-duality
    - and a lost sense of self or ego


    If one can  keep dancing through fear, the unknown, anxiety, avoidance and resistance, and eventually  come out ‘on the other side’. Life seemingly becomes easier, and therefore they are willing to ‘invest’ in that reward. ‘Surviving’ these challenges often eventually results in increased self-confidence through knowing from experience that one is able to handle more than one initially thought. This is comparable to a ‘spiritual emergence’. Through the embodied experience of this cycle of descent, crisis and emergence, spirituality becomes a lived and living experience, rather than an abstract, external, metaphysical and transcendent concept


    Both the ‘feel-good feelings’ and the reward of emerging from a ‘dark  night of the soul’ seem to stimulate happiness and well-being in general. One can consciously make an effort to increase and spread this zest for life. 





    "The art of living is based on rhythm — on give and take, ebb and flow, light and dark, life and death. By acceptance of all aspects of life, good and bad, right and wrong, yours and mine, the static, defensive life, which is what most people are cursed with, is converted into a dance, ‘the dance of life,’ metamorphosis. One can dance to sorrow or to joy; one can even dance abstractly. … But the point is that, by the mere act of dancing, the elements which compose it are transformed; the dance is an end in itself, just like life. The acceptance of the situation, any situation, brings about a flow, a rhythmic impulse towards self-expression. To relax is, of course, the first thing a dancer has to learn. It is also the first thing a patient has to learn. It is the first thing any one has to learn in order to live. It is extremely difficult, because it means surrender, full surrender.
    Life, as we all know, is conflict, and man, being part of life, is himself an expression of conflict. If he recognizes the fact and accepts it, he is apt, despite the conflict, to know peace and to enjoy it. But to arrive at this end, which is only a beginning (for we haven’t begun to live yet!), a man has got to learn the doctrine of acceptance, that is, of unconditional surrender, which is love."
    - Henry Miller


    The psychological "holdings" in the body as the result of traumas, poor posture, or stress can be released, lulling the person into a "hookup" [peaceful, meditative state]:- given the choice between old painful "holdings" and new, freer movements, the unconscious will automatically choose the latter

    By moving the body, restrictive patterns can be changed, promoting relaxation and mental clarity.

    Also exploring therapeutic Drumming:


    Normally I'm an extreme stereotypic stimmer (flapping), which is one thing that kind of has no 'end result of health' associated with it, you can get worked up/modulate arousal levels but it doesn't have any personal sense of peace, connection, healing etc associated with it.
    The next level lately has been to embrace super unco 'drumming', which I've tried to get into a long time ago but I couldn't even manage to sense rhythm back then where my head was. Lately, I've been trying it again, learning to crank some techno and kill the rhythm fast as I can (starting just simply, tapping a table). I can attest, it does something quite nice to your mental-emotional-spiritual state, particularly at high bpm. Found it therapeutic enough that I want to ingrain it as a new habit over flapping, so whipped up a $0 drum from an old indoor planter and made it more interesting (second pic).
    "Drumming produces an altered state of consciousness and an experience of a rush of energy from the vibrations, with physical stimulation producing emotional release"
    My $0 drum
    It's able to calm one down and help a person deal with stress in their lives. “Drumming helps them to experience a kind of peacefulness and provides a spiritual learning context [potential to access a “higher power” and reestablish connections with their “natural selves.”].
    Learning to 'drum' leads to positive changes in brain function and behaviour among those with mental illness [1] autistic people [2] and in addiction [3].
    Improvements in:
    - hedonia (natural pleasurable experiences)
    - agency
    - accomplishment
    - engagement (focus and flow)
    - defining the self/self-awareness
    - produces the sense of connectedness
    - improved synchronicity between brain regions responsible for inhibitory control, which prevents impulsivity.
    - improvements to social skills and social well-being
    - reduces hyperactivity and attentional difficulties
    - enhances hypnotic susceptibility, increases relaxation, and induces shamanic experiences
    - release of emotional trauma
    - addresses self-centeredness, isolation, and alienation
    - enhanced sensorimotor coordination and integration


  5. 31 minutes ago, Strontium Dawg said:

    It would be interesting to see a comparison of your experience if you'd just gone off SSRIs without going straight onto Kanna. You might be feeling some of these effects simply as a rebound from the SSRIs...?


     True but mood was too low to not quickly implement something as an option for mood enhancement. I wouldn't be surprised if the removal of the SSRI allowed a fuller range of feelings to emerge - removing the SSRI-induced emotional blunting and reducing induced akathisia - but during the week of washout, all emotions were extremely negative, it wasn't until the kanna was implemented that gradually positive emotions started to build.


    There were a few days of extreme emotional lability on the transition and after a couple of weeks the moods began to not be so volatile. I described a more longer-term leveling out of the effects of the kanna where "rather than the more acute robust uplift and transformative effects initially, almost a sort of tolerance to the effect but with improved baseline mental states" was noted


  6. 27 minutes ago, fyzygy said:

    ^ Timeframe, dosage, etc.?


    I've been exploring mainly plain (?fermented) powdered raw herb (source Koda, sometimes Medicine Garden), at doses from a 1/4 tsp up and using it as added PRN as needed. Some of the other extracts on ebay etc seem potentially questionable


    I used a cold-turkey 5.5 half-life washout of the maximal dose SSRI and straight onto the kanna, just using plain herb. Naturally, the washout was really unpleasant but was only ~week to rough out which is easy enough when mood has been dysphorically shitty long-term. 

    is it something that takes repeated administrations in order to become effective? 


    The first few days on the kanna were not overly remarkable but slowly an organic contentedness started to build which was solid basis for broadening and building other states from. Social things were still very challenging, probably harder during the transition which is understandable when you're in a state of change.
    Some of the case-study literature (as per article in original post's link) suggests therapeutic benefits in MDD, anxiety, personality disorders etc may be seen in the 10-14 day period
    Still good days and bad days but at least there are good days to build from


    Lately I've been comparing the subjective efficacy of S. tortuosum as an antidepressant vs high dose SSRIs and interestingly that has opened up a dimension where I've seen it's a personally effective tool for encouraging psycho-social-spiritual personal growth and deeper self-inquiry 


    Case Study - The Subjective Clinical, Psychotherapeutic and Spiritual Benefits of Sceletium tortuosum in severe mental illness.pdf


    Full write up:








    The concept that beyond the antidepressant and anxiolytic effects with cognitive enhancement noted in clinical studies, there may be some merits for psychotherapeutic use has been suggested by Nigel Gericke where he states it may have benefits for


    • facilitating psychotherapy
    • facilitating meditative and spiritual states


    I've noted:


    - Prosocial and emotional enhancements - encourages a feeling mode, anxiolysis facilitates direct and open communication with others
    - Contact with the present moment as 'still', improved cognitive clarity and suppression of mind chatter opens a state more conducive to learning a more meditative state
    - Acute mood improvements suppress downward negative emotional spirals of anger, blame, self-hatred etc into a more accepting embrace of peaceful acceptance of the moment
    - Feelings of some elements of spirituality, eg embrace of more self-transcendent states, gentle ego-dissolution, positive emotions encourage a more open mental process of appreciating beauty, the uplift of emotions and cognitive fluidity can broaden-and-build mental states of openness to experience, more profound shifts in mental state can encourage consideration of the Divine in one's life


    It's been interesting simply freeing my way of feeling and thinking a bit, the Kanna seemingly serving as a mild empathogenic ego-dissolution tool that is dose-dependently gentle in action, which has clinical merits over more rapid and robust ego-dissolution seen with 5-HT2AR agonists etc (personally more in line with an empathogenic action), particularly for fragile mental states that may be susceptible to more pathological hallucinations. It's also very emotionally friendly as in it encourages a heart-centred way of thinking, feeling and being


    Some subjective clinical benefits I've observed in the reasonably short time period:


    Gradual but robust improvement in mood which is once again quite dose dependent.


    Greater cognitive clarity, reductions in cognitive complaints, intrusive lines of thinking and improved time that I can focus on tasks, improved receptiveness to the world around me, rather than being stuck in my own mind


    A sense of pleasure and enjoyment, currently fairly restricted to very simple activities like movement and dance, 'drumming', feeling rhythm more deeply but very gradually a return to enjoyment of more mundane everyday tasks, cooking, mowing the lawn


    This embrace of the now as more pleasurable, valued and meaningful has somewhat hindered the desire for more goal-directed tasks but I still feel it's personally valuable to have an improved hedonic baseline in the moment that is not so dependent on goal-directed activity


    Improved emotional tone and states of feeling over obsessive analytical thinking


    Reductions in sensorimotor stereotypies and aberrant ASD related behavious which are slowly being embraced by a more free flowing way of movement through life. Whereas I always felt held down by life, I've been able to hold my head higher and put my chin up and be more comfortable in myself and that is slowly reflected in my body posture


    Transient states of self-transcendence and spiritual moments, from embracing a more present moment way of thinking to even embracing an all-loving sense of something greater than me in the universe, or higher power particularly within nature. I've felt there be this all-encompassing sense of light in the darkness, the need to pray and hold myself in devotion to such etc.


    Robust anxiolysis and greater inner calm and peacefulness in my mind, rather than being at war with myself which is slowly reflecting in my ability to have more positive social relationships


    Reductions in positive symptoms - AVHs have drastically reduced in intensity (despite resisting conventional antipsychotics) from harsh, persecutory and denigratory to a generally more absent status and slowly less pathological self-talk has become softer, quieter and easier to deal with


    Reductions in agitation and catatonic posturing


    A sense of stronger healthier self-concept and self-empowerment, the ability to be more in control of my mental state rather than 'driven by pathology'

    I've found that quite often it's our mind's own rigidity and ego barriers that are constraining our consciousness to realms of pain and suffering. A heavily ingrained 'allegiance to pain and suffering' seems to be one of the significant cognitive biases that our brains can be pinned down into low states of consciousness by.


     By simply loosening those cognitive constraints in a more loving, gentle, kind and spiritualised direction, rigid loops of dysfunctional thinking patterns can slowly be loosened or literally blown away, freeing up new ways of thinking that may be less fear-based, pathological, freer, more loving and kinder to ourselves and others


    While there is the need to pathologise some aspects of mental functioning, too heavy an ingrained thought pattern of pathology and 'biomedical fixing' constrains you to a dimension where it is always heavy and dark.


    If you see the beauty, feel the love and peace, cultivate the compassion and kindness towards yourself you can seemingly slowly slay the demons in your mind - I like the line "the monsters in my head are scared of love". It's not an overnight process and it takes lots of repetition to stabilise a more positive growth mentality but it's worth it, and slowly that inner work has the chance to make life more easy to deal with each day

    I was inspired to create this "Devotion to the Heart and Light' by some of the experiences


    May be an image of Vanda orchid



    Whereas on the maximal SSRI dose it felt like negative emotions were stuck within me, on the kanna I didn't have to hold onto anger, dysphoria, pain and downward negative emotional spirals as me and could now begin to embrace new possibilities despite significant limitations. From the glimmers of contentedness, it felt like new emotions could broaden and build from that but I had to put in the effort to create those states. It wasn't a pushy mania 'high' but an opportunity to grow. For me, that choice was to simply dance with my emotions instead of letting the negative take over me and pin me down.
    I noticed in switching, contrary to the blocking and blunting of SSRIs, there was a new inner emotional landscape that was opening up. It wasn't the kind of hedonistic happiness that some seek but it was emotional depth of polarity. Some moments would be feeling like I was about to burst into tears (and did) but with that there was a background of greater emotional resilience with the possibility that those states of sadness could be felt for a moment, then transcended into new more positive emotions.
    I've often felt that psych medicines can be more 'filters' or even constraints to consciousness that lock you into a fixed mental state, which can be useful to taper intensity of suffering but this experience with kanna was one of something positive growing in me, a glimmer of aliveness. A new ability to make a 'choice' other than being miserable. Also, there was a sense of enjoyment that started to build, which had been lacking. Before I was always pushing myself to do things like the runs etc to feel better, now I could simply enjoy going for a run. Music sounded good, whereas before it was simply drowning out woes. Movement, no matter how unco and simple, felt pleasurable.
    It'll take a while and effort to keep choosing a more positive choice over sadness to build a hedonic baseline of some level of happiness but in deep dark depressions, I think you don't always have that capacity to begin to develop a new more positive choice because nothing feels positive. Something opened in me, I felt more deeply and a gentle activation energy to do positive things opened, on a backdrop of greater contentedness


    • Thanks 1

  8. Anyone used the stems/roots of this common ornamental and have experience with it?

    Exploring a common Apocynaceae - Catharanthus roseus

    The cytotoxic vinca alkaloid constituents are only found in the aerial parts of Catharanthus roseus (Figure 1), the roots are used in several countries as decocts or hot water extracts for the treatment of a number of conditions.


    The dried root is an industrial source of ajmalicine (raubasine), which increases the blood flow in the brain and peripheral parts of the body. Preparations of it are used to treat the psychological and behavioural problems of senility, sensory problems (dizziness, tinnitus), cerebrovascular accidents, cranial traumas and their neurological sequelae.


    In general, toxicity showed that both extracts and isolated compounds are safe to a certain limit, beyond that they cause adverse effects [1]. That said, the yield of vinblastine and vincristine from C. roseus aerial parts is is low, whereas the precursors, catharanthine and vindoline, are present in higher concentrations [2]. In the stem, there was in micrograms per milligram fresh weight (FW): catharanthine, 0.506 ± 0.044; ajmalicine, 0.071 ± 0.022; serpentine, 0.397 ± 0.031; tabersonine, 0.017 ± 0.003; and vindoline, 0.0026 ± 0.0002 (0.5mg/g fresh weight catharanthine in stem)




    Figure 1. The Catharanthus roseus plants used in this paper.

    The condensation of catharanthine and vindoline is an absolute requirement for the formation of vinblastine and, later, vincristine. As vindoline is required to synthesise the cytotoxic constituents but does not exist in the roots of C. roseus, but only in the green parts of the plant, no vincristine nor vinblastine can be found in the roots of this species

    In the plant, vindoline is a major constituent (up to 0.5%).Major alkaloids in the roots include ajmalicine, catharanthine, and serpentine. Another source mentions ajmalicine and serpentine are essentially present in the roots, whereas catharanthine and vindoline accumulate in aerial parts. The aerial parts contain 0.2-1% alkaloids [3] Roots to be used in pharmacy must contain at least 0.4% ajmalicine and serpentine

    Catharanthine (Figure 2) from Catharanthus roseus has been proposed to be a pharmacological treatment for addiction without the adverse side effects associated with ibogaine. It "slows DA reuptake and increases extracellular DA in the nucleus accumbens through partial inhibition of DATs" [4,5] and potentiates GABAARs [6] The root alkaloids from C. roseus root seem to be potent AChE inhibitors and catharanthine exhibited nicotinic receptor antagonism [7]. It has antidepressant activity via SERT inhibition and modulating NE [8]


    Figure 2. Catharanthine

    Ajmalicine has antihypertensive effects [9]


    Experimental: Root material was macerated in basified isopropanol (aq. ammonia) and concentrated to a small sample. TLC (silica, 0.2mm, glass backed, I2 visualisation) gave poor separation of the constituents with a mixed solvent of acetone:white spirits:1:1. White spirits gave better results with a major constituent Rf = 0.42 and some lesser Rf bands.



    [1] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2021.114647

    [2] https://aiche.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/btpr.557

    [3] Catharanthus roseus (PROSEA) - PlantUse English (plantnet-project.org)
    [4] https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/studentpub_uht/242
    [5] https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/etd/9656
    [6] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2022.114993
    [7] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2009.10.008
    [8] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2022.175454
    [9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajmalicine



    • Like 1

  9. Thanks for the input, feedback and for reading

    Just random bits of non-Aizoaceae TLC info whilst experimenting

    Tabernaemontana undulata (root bark) and T. orientalis (stem)

    Samples were macerated in basified isopropanol (aq. ammonia), decanted and concentrated.


    TLC (silica, glass backed, 0.2mm, I2 visualisation) with acetone elution gave significant trailing and poor separation of the constituents for both. Elution with acetone:white spirits 1:1 gave some separations of compounds from T. undulata (Rf =  0.13, 0.35, 0.56, 0.89) but poor separation of constituents in the T. orientalis.(one potential constituent Rf = 0.75). White spirits elution alone gave a band of constituents ~ Rf = 0.24 for both



    Contains  biphenylquinolizidine lactone alkaloids [1].  Plant material (leaf/stem) was soaked in basified isopropanol (aq. ammonia) and concentrated. Initial elution with acetone gave poor results but TLC (silica, 0.2mm, acetone:white spirits 1:1) gave distinct separation of compounds Rf = 0.43, 0.48, 0.55, 0.63, 0.95 Two (Rf = 0.43 and 0.95) were green-yellow/ yellow and fluorescent, the others plain visible pigments (green, blue-grey)


    [1] https://www.shaman-australis.com/~auxin/heimia.html






    TLC with these posed issues in finding an adequate solvent system.




    L. cardinalis: Lobinaline as the major alkaloidal constituent (below)



    L. tupa: lobelanidine, lobeline and pentylsedinine etc (below)



    Dried aerial plant material was allowed to sit overnight in basified isopropanol (aq. ammonia), decanted and concentrated.

    TLC (silica, glass backed 0.2mm, acetone elution, I2 visualisation) gave a distinct compound Rf = 0.65 for the L. cardinalis but did not give any notable visible constituents for the L. tupa.

    TLC (silica, glass backed 0.2mm, acetone:white spirits 1:1, I2 visualisation) gave a distinct compound Rf = 0.40 for L. cardinalis and hints of a potential compound Rf = 0.31 for the L. tupa.


    Ashwagandha leaf withanolides


    Leaf withanolide constituents mainly include withaferin A and withanone




    Crushed dried leaf was macerated in isopropanol and the sample concentrated. TLC (silica, glass backed, 0.2 mm, I2 visualisation) gave poor results eluted with acetone but with mixed solvent (acetone:white spirits 1:1) gave at least four constituents Rf = 0.23, 0.33, 0.48 and 0.55



    Exploring a relatively uncharacterised Leguminosae - Senegalia rugata 

    Senegalia rugata syn. A. concinna - Sompoi or Shikakai - seen in Fig. 1 and 2. belongs to the Leguminosae family and is a medicinal plant widely grown in Southern Asia including India, Myanmar and Thailand. It is commonly known as shikakai and soap pod as it is used for cleansing of hair as a natural shampoo. 

    The phytochemistry has been explored only to a limited extent [1,2]. There is also suggestion of internal use and the calyctomine (Fig. 3) has been used in the supplement industry [3]. 




    Initial phytochemical study



    Figure 3. calyctomine

    Alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, and phenolics were found in all extracts while phytosterols was found only in the ethanol extract. It yields lupeol, spinasterol, acacic acid, lactone, and the natural sugars glucose, arabinose and rhamnose. It also contains hexacosanol, spinasterone, oxalic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, succinic acid, ascorbic acid, and the alkaloids calyctomine, a tetrahydroisoquinoline, and nicotine.

    Various other compounds have been isolated and characterised from the pods of this plant such as epigallocatechin, acacic acid lactone, machaerinic acid and its lactone, sapogenin-B, acacidiol, acacigenin-B, and kinmoonosides

    Plant material was macerated in basified isopropanol (NaOH) and concentrated.

    Initial TLC (Silica, glass backed, 0.2mm, acetone elution, I2 visualisation) gave two main constituents, Rf = 0.14 and 0.59 but there was significant trailing of the compounds. Elution with mixed solvent (acetone:white spirits 1:1) gave a major constituent Rf = 0.65.


    [1] Screening of Secondary Metabolites and Antibacterial Activity of Acacia concinna
    [2] Isolation and Evaluation of Anti-inflammatory activity of Epigallocatechin from Senegalia rugata along with PUFAs
    [3] Calyctomine HCL?

    • Thanks 1

  10. Have some relatively uncharacterised plants and like to have a go at 'Citizen TLC' and give some plants the tender loving care they deserve on a different level?

    Can spare a couple of free packs x 10 of Silica plates (100mm x 25mm, 0.2-0.25mm on glass) and some micropipette tips for a couple of people

    You'd need the rest (jar, suitable solvent, visualisation eg iodine tincture etc)

    Let me know here if such a project is of interest to you. Please only express interest if it's genuine and you're willing to put time and effort into it and you'd like to, where possible, share your results.



    • Like 1


    Citizen Plant Science - Exploring the Aizoaceae


    Despite a long history of traditional use as medicines, the Aizoaceae remain an under-studied family of plants [1]. They often contain phytocompounds such as alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, and their related intermediary compounds, one of the commonly found alkaloids is the mesembrine-type alkaloids [2,3]. These plants are well known in traditional medicine systems for antidepressant, anxiolytic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects.


    Sceletium tortuosum (Figure 1.) contains mesembrine and derivatives (Figure 2.), an alkaloid not typically found in the emarcidum-type Sceletium spp. Other plants such as Delosperma pruinosum, and Delosperma pottsii [2] appeared to have some level of mesembrine but while Mesembryanthemum cordifolium syn. Aptenia cordifolia was initially thought to contain some levels of mesembrine, it seems instead to contain derivatives such as mesembrane sceletenone derivatives [4] which have in initial studies shown antidepressant activity superior to imipramine [5].  



    Figure 1. S. tortuosum



    Figure 2. Mesembrine and derivatives.


    Other Sceletium spp. have been traditionally used, S. emarcidum "was valued as highly as S. tortuosum in Southern Africa by different tribes and makes a very good Kougoed product". While apparently devoid of mesembrine, it seems to contain 4'-O-demethylated mesembrine-type alkaloids [6]. Mesembrine has been found in Amaryllidaceae such as Narcissus pallidulus and Narcissus triandrus. Other Mesembryanthemums such as M. crystallinum and M. nodiflorum have been suggested to contain some levels of mesembrine.


    More recently, Lampranthus spp. (Figure 3.) have been specifically marketed as Sceletium substitutes 'Chinese Kanna', or used as adulterants. These seem to contain mesembrenol and low levels of mesembrenone.



    Figure 3. Lampranthus and mesembrenol


    One early explorer called S. tortuosum  ‘the greatest Clearer of the Spirits, and the noblest Restorative in the World’. Traditional use of Sceletium in South Africa often involves the collection and fermentation of the plant material, which has been studied and lead to greater levels of mesembrine and changes to levels of mesembrenone [7] and reduce oxalate levels. 


    Mesembrine is a potent serotonin reuptake inhibitor (Ki = 1.4 nM) and to a lesser extent PDE4 inhibitor. Other notable mesembrine-type alkaloids include mesembrenone (also a potent serotonin reuptake inhibitor [Ki = 27 nM] and a more potent PDE4 inhibitor than mesembrine itself), and mesembranol. Another assay found that Sceletium tortuosum comprising of > 70% (w/w) stabilized mesembrine was a monoamine releasing agent [8].


    The pharmacological properties of mesembrine and it's derivatives are quite diverse, showing anti-inflammatory, cytoprotective, VMAT-2 upregulation, mild inhibition of AChE,  mild MAO inhibition, limited reuptake of NE and DA at high concentrations. Mesembrenol and mesembrenone seem to also share the SERT inhibitory and PDE4 inhibitory activitty.


    Clinically, the Sceletium spp. have shown antidepressant, anxiolytic and cognitive enhancement effects, case studies demonstrating increased attention, focus, and motivation while a patient with “a baseline mood of depression alternating with anxiety”  felt “more focused, more engaged, and not so socially distant” after ten days [9].


    Species such as Delosperma bosseranum (Figure 4) have been suggested by members of the ethnobotanical community to offer similar effects to Sceletium spp. but remain uncharacterised phytochemically and pharmacologically. Others such as Trichodiadema spp. (Figure 4), traditionally used as beer making roots known as 'Karee Moer' (T. barbartum syn. stellatum) as suggested to contain mesembrine but a detailed analysis is lacking (limited to positive alkaloid tests).




    Figure 4. The prototypical mesembrine containing plant, Sceletium and D. bosseranum and T. barbatum


    The purpose of this citizen science was to explore a diverse range of Aizoaceae for mesembrine-type alkaloids, including uncharacterised ones such as Delosperma bosseranum and Trichodiadema barbatum and screen diverse Mesembryanthemums for possible mesembrine-type alkaloids.


    [1] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2022.115988

    [2] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phytochem.2019.112061
    [3] https://doi.org/10.1076%2Fphbi.
    [4] https://def-sa.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Gaffney_Candice_D_2006_0.pdf
    [5] https://doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2020.1788019
    [6] https://doi.org/10.3389%2Ffnut.2022.819753
    [7] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sajb.2018.10.011
    [8] https://patents.google.com/patent/US20160038551A1/en
    [9] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328942189_Kabbo's_Kwain_The_Past_Present_and_Possible_Future_of_Kanna

    A range of Aizoaceae (Silica, I2 visualisation) gave diverse phytochemical profiles


    Trichodiadema stellatum (root) TS


    Trichodiadema bulbosum (leaf/stem) TB

    Sceletium tortuosum (root) ST

    Sceletium emarcidum (leaf/stem) SE

    Aptenia cordifolia AC

    ? Unknown Mesemb.


    Drosanthemum floribundum Dros.

    Mesembryanthemum (Red) [?Lampranthus] MR

    Mesembryanthemum (Gold) MG

    Mesembryanthemum (Yellow, squarish stems) MY

    Mesembryanthemum (White) MW

    D. bosseranum DB
    D. floribundum DF


    1. acetone elution




    2. acetone:white spirits:1:1 elution


    To TLC soon

    Tetragonia tetragonioides


    Mesembryanthemum crystallinum


    Lampranthus spectabilis (Red)


    D. echinatum


    • Like 2
    • Thanks 2

  12. I feel the succulent dimension holds an interesting element in potentially having more therapeutically useful "in the real world" dimensions than more commonly touted plant medicines for their often more gentle but occasionally empathogenic edge. Also, the combination of often pro-cognitive (PDE4 inhibition seen with mesembrine-type alkaloids) with potent antidepressant effects meets an unmet demand.

    Part 1: Background and 'citizen analysis' using readily available materials 




    Some Aizoaceae have been analysed [1]:


    I wanted to see if it was feasible to get some rough idea of the phytochemistry of a plant using only readily available materials eg. making it suitable for citizen science. I've been curious about simple TLC and paper chromatography as tools, particularly how feasible 'citizen TLC analysis' of plants is using a suitable paper, readily available solvent systems and simple visualisation techniques, compared to more conventional TLC.

    Can simple maceration of a medicinal plant in a readily available benignish solvent, concentration, spotting on
    common craft materials, developing the plate and OTC visualisation give some rough idea of the phytochemistry of a medicinal plant?


    Sceletium has in the past been analysed via conventional TLC [2, 3] and more advanced techniques [4]






    It took about 30 trials to find a readily available solvent system and semi-suitable paper - after many failed attempts, I found an 'etch art paper' that seemed the best I could find. I'm still to follow up with confirmation on silica TLC plates but it seems to give *a very rough idea*


    Sceletium tortuosum (unfermented) was used as a reference. This gives a main compound Rf = 0.5-0.54 on the craft paper.


    I particularly wanted to research D. bosseranum and Trichodiadema stellatum



    Sample preparation: Samples were dehydrated at 70 deg. C and powdered. The samples were macerated in isopropanol. If no phenolic constituents were expected, NaOH q.s. was used to basify, otherwise basified with ammonia solution. The isopropanol solutions were concentrated to a small sample.

    Samples were spotted onto a plate, either a suitable craft paper, or silica gel plates. Acetone was used to elute the plate and I2 vapour (from OTC tincture) used as a visualisation technique.

    Crude technique - Craft Paper


    May be an image of indoor


    Note: this technique is limited in effectiveness and I suggest if you're that keen to play around with something like this, I'd suggest you just stick with silica gel plates to save A LOT of hassle.

    Delosperma bosseranum




    Sceletium tortuosum (unfermented) was compared to D. bosseranum. A compound with the same Rf as Sceletium was noted along with other constituents.


    Trichodiadema stellatum (syn. barbatum)

    May be an image of outdoors


    Sceletium tortuosum (unfermented) was compared to D. bosseranum. A compound with the same Rf as Sceletium was noted along with other constituents.

    Mesembryanthemum cordifolium (syn. Aptenia cordifolia)


    This has been studied and seems to contain 4,5-dihydro-4’-O-methylsceletenone  and 4’-O-methylsceletenone along with flavanoids, tannins, phenols, saponins, and cinnamic acid derivatives (and esters)

    The characteristic Sceletium constituent was absent in these but other different compounds were present.

    Will follow up with more conventional silica TLC which will hopefully have more easily reproducible results


    • Like 2
    • Thanks 2

  13. Have two spare baggies of fresh D bosseranum I can put in an envelope no cost for interested people (No WA/Tas)


    First two to get in contact - will send ASAP


    The phytochemistry of this plant is from my understanding unknown but some find it superior to the Sceletiums

    While some find Sceletium to be "short acting, created anxiety and far too much stimulation", one preliminary report using D. bosseranum "two days of relief from my depression was over. It was a totally transparent experience that was all me. No depressive crash after this was over. It was like being lifted out of depression on angel wings, and just as gently dropped off back in my normal state of being two days later."


    D. bosseranum is currently used in a similar way to Sceletium species (Kanna/Kougoed), the unfermented dried tuber is used, as well as the fermented whole plant (aerial and underground parts together). [herbalistics]



    • Like 3

  14. Bumping this topic up, I have two small plants available free if someone super keen missed out, let them root up a bit more before sending, they'll die back over cool frosty periods but warmer states or someone with a greenhouse might do well with them this size. Once again, sorry, no WA/Tas. 


    While there is history of traditional use [1] and herbalists suggest it may be a nervine, contemporary use of the plant remains very limited.


    Lobinaline is devoid of the characteristic actions of lobeline and in mice, lobinaline is less toxic than lobeline (but did lower animals blood pressure) [2]. Toxicology suggests a large quantity ingested is toxic with symptoms reported as being "nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, exhaustion and weakness, dilation of pupils, convulsions, and coma" but some have used it in smaller quantities as a tea [3].


    Lobinaline is an inhibitor of the dopamine transporter (DAT) in vitro and in vivo. It is more potent for inhibiting DAT (IC50 = 11.95 μM) vs lobeline (IC50 = 30-80 μM) [4]. In addition, lobinaline is a weak non-subtype selective partial agonist at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and a good free radical scavenger. it is likely that the DAT inhibitory actions are "atypical" in not having abuse liability.


    Early herbalists noted that a tincture induced the "disposition to sing" and preliminary bioassays by others have noted "...cardinalis is more like nicotine. Seems to give stimulant effects similar to mild nicotine. Seems to have mild aphrodisiac properties. Slight mood lift present it also seems to have anti-depressant properties" [5]


    The N-oxide has potentially superior dopaminergic activity [6], that said at 25mg/kg it lacked abuse potential in the conditioned place paradigm model and "at the dose we administered does not seem to have a significant effect in the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathways and may not facilitate a role in treating drug abuse" [7]

    [1] https://www.cargocultcafe.com/cardinal-flower/
    [2] https://doi.org/10.1139/cjr38b-055
    [3] https://eatwild.weebly.com/blog/cardinal-flower
    [4] https://doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.fitote.2016.04.013
    [5] https://drugs-forum.com/threads/lobelia-cardinalis.213716/
    [6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34648893/
    [7] https://uknowledge.uky.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1013&context=medsci_etds



    • Like 2