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A simplified representation of the mesembrine molecule. By isolating this and other bio-chemically active compounds, researchers are now confirming what many people have known for many hundreds of years: that Sceletium has a remarkable ability to effectively treat symptoms of anxiety.


What is it?

Mesembrine is an alkaloid which is derived from the Sceletium Tortuosum plant and is now being acknowledged as a key active component in the ability of the plant to produce beneficial effects (closely related to it are the alkaloids mesembrenone, mesembrenol and tortuosamine, which are also present and produce very similar effects to mesembrine).

It is a confirmed serotonin (re)-uptake inhibitor - as understood by the US Patent office - which means that it regulates the effects of one of the brain's most important neurotransmitters.

What are its benefits?
Individuals suffering from depression and anxiety can benefit greatly from this substance.

Mesembrine works in the following manner: the brain is made up of countless neurons, which transmit signals to each other only by jumping the "gap" (synapse) to neighboring neurons. However, the signal cannot jump the synapse without assistance.

The message can only travel when the neuron releases a neurotransmitter to fill this gap and allow the signal to transient via it.

The receiving neuron has many points on its surface that which act as potential locks, each of which is known as a receptor and is effected by a particular type of neurotransmitter. When sufficient amounts of the neurotransmitter are received by the relevant receptor, a nerve impulse is started and the message continues to its ultimate destination. To permit recovery of the neuron to receive new messages, the brain takes away the neurotransmitter from the neuron receptors and permitting it to be sent back to the originating nerves, a process known as re-uptake.

In individuals suffering from depression, the neurotransmitter serotonin (also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine) is lacking. Mesembrine slows down the re-uptake process, making it more probable there will be more serotonin in the relevant receptors, greatly increasing the possibility that there will be sufficient levels to set up the signal transfer in all neighboring neurons.

Mesembrine allows the brain to function with reduced levels of serotonin, allowing time for natural levels to build up, whereupon the mesembrine dosage can be reduced or eliminated.

Are there any side effects?
Mesembrine will not produce any major side effects, but some individuals will experience drowsiness, thus it must not be taken before operating any type of machinery or. Also, it should not be taken in conjunction with any other psychoactive substance or by pregnant or nursing women, except under the supervision of your health professional.

Of Interest
Mesembrine was patented in the USPTO as a serotonin uptake inhibitor by Gerick and van Wyk. The patent number is 6,288,104. Click here to view full details. Furthermore, there is a reference to this patent on the here.


The synthesis of mesembrine is a challenging process that was met successfully by Taber and Neubert at the University of Delaware's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. You can view a PDF file of their methods here.



The vital role of serotonin in regulating mood is acknowledged in this BBC report. Click here for more information.


The dangers of the drug ecstasy are now more critical than ever to realize, given the drug's explosive acceptance in the 15-35 age group over the past few years. This CNN report shows how even moderate use of it can severely disrupt serotonin production, causing depression, anxiety and many harmful physical side effects. Brain damage has also been shown. Details here.


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