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South Africa to research mood-lifting plant

JOHANNESBURG — For hundreds of years, indigenous South Africans have chewed a plant they say reduces stress, relieves hunger, sedates and elevates moods. Now they have a license to study and market it, and plan to sell it over-the-counter worldwide. Researchers say the plant, called sceletium tortuosum, has great potential. Still, the American pharmaceutical company working on the project says it doesn’t know whether the plant has been approved by U.S. regulators.

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