Sceletium was originally fermented, dried and chewed. And we can certainly presume that before that even, it was eaten both fresh and naturally dried on the plant.
Since then there has been much development, and raw Sceletium is available (in both fermented and unfermented forms) as a dry milled powder, in tea and smoking cuts, as well as the whole dried herb. It can also be found as capsules and tablets as well as in tea bags. The raw herb is also extracted in alcohol to make tinctures and is also available as a concentrated paste produced from fermented fresh herb that has not been dried.
Sceletium has been extracted and concentrated to produce a variety of extracts, both standardized and unstandardized, and these extracts are available in various capsule and/or tablet based nutraceutical formulations, beverages, liquid herbal tonics,and even as snuff and e-liquid for smoking in electronic cigarettes.
Traditionally when Kougoed was chewed by the Khoisan, an amount anywhere from 100mg to a couple of grams could be consumed over the course of a day, and this variability would also be affected by the potency of the herbal preparation. The dosage range for our top-shelf artisan Kougoud sold on this site would be from 50mg to 1g, with the effect from 1g being classed as strong.
In modern herbal capsule and tablet-based preparations, doses as low as 50mg taken twice per day are available, and found to be efficacious, though 100mg to 200mg per capsule is more common.
In real terms, in the open Sceletium market, we have found up to a four-fold general variability in alkaloid levels of the raw herb, ranging from about 0.4% to about 1.6% of dry material,with the average being around 0.8%, and this will of course affect the applicable and efficacious dose of any consumer product.
This natural variability has necessarily led to the development of standardized extracts, the two most well known being Trimesemine™ and Zembrin®.
Trimesemine™ is standardized for mesembrine (≥65%), mesembrenone (≤20%) and ∆7-mesembrenone (≤10%) and supplied at a concentration of 3% total alkaloids. This extract is available in commercial products at dosages varying from 5mg to 25mg per capsule. By comparison, Zembrin® is standardized for mesembrenone, mesembrenol (combined ≥60%) and mesembrine (<20%) and supplied at a concentration of 0.35–0.45% total alkaloids. This extract is commonly available at a dose of 25mg per capsule in commercial products.
Pastes, snuffs, herbal smoking mixtures and e-liquids can be produced and distributed in varying potencies and concentrations and as such it would be difficult to provide general dosing guidelines for these here. For these kinds of products it would be best to follow the manufacturer’s directions in each case – which we will ensure are provided on this site.
As with all herbs and herbal products, it is useful to explore and test for quality, potency and efficacy among various manufacturers in order to determine what works best for you.