In the last few decades, the health and wellness industry has soared significantly and new alternatives for alcohol and opioids keep coming up. With time, people are shifting towards herbal remedies as substitutes for western medicine. One of the natural alternatives people have grown fond of is the Mitragyna Speciosa herb commonly known as kratom. A less commonly known alternative is the Akuamma which is rarely talked about but is likely to swarm the market soon. Despite their countless benefits, many people hesitate to buy and use these products due to the lack of knowledge and proven research regarding their effects and side effects. In this article, we will discuss what makes Kratom and Akuamma similar and what sets them apart.
Origin: Where Do They Come From?
Kratom: Asian Culture
Kratom or botanically known as Mitragyna Speciosa which originates from a tropical, evergreen tree in the coffee family. The native areas include Southeast Asia most prominently Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Borneo, etc. For thousands of years, it has been a part of their culture before making its way to the west. Many farmers and workers claim to use this herb to ward off exhaustion and stress.
Akuamma: African Culture
Akuamma is native to African culture, grown in tropical regions including Ghana, Nigeria, and the Ivory Coast. Botanically known as Picralima Nitida, this herb has been claimed to use traditionally for medicinal purposes in these parts of Africa. Due to this reason, it is also known as African folk medicine. The Akuamma plant is an understory rainforest tree that grows in the wild and flourishes along the riverbanks.
Cultivation: How Are They Grown?
The plant Mitragyna Speciosa requires hot and humid conditions to grow which makes Southeast Asia a strong contender for its cultivation. The most treasured part of the plant is its leaves. The good thing is that since the plant is a tropical evergreen, it is present throughout the year. Mature leaves keep falling off the tree and are replaced by new ones. Once the farmers decide that it is the right time to harvest the leaves, they are cut down and thoroughly washed to remove dirt, debris, or any hazardous compounds. After this, they are dried and ground.
The Akuamma plants grow extremely slowly from seed but can grow faster if they are transplanted to more soil. Plants grow well in Hawaii and African soil. They prefer slightly acidic soil and full sun to light shade. Farmers tend to keep the soil moderately moist with good drainage. Akuamma can be fertilized with each watering using organic plant food.
Method: How Are They Consumed?
In the market, both Katom and Akuamma can be found in powder form. The potent parts of both these plants are ground into a fine powder and then consumed with either water through the “toss-and-wash” method or by adding them to other food items and beverages. If you want to mask the bitter taste, you can even bake them into a cake or add them to your cinnamon tea. Additionally, they are also packed into small capsules.
The potent part of kratom is its leaves and that’s how you categorize them in strains. Retailers often sell kratom in leaf forms to retain its originality. The more common forms include dried and powdered leaves. Users can use this powder in plain form typically in edible gel capsules or some other edible carrier. As mentioned before you can also mix them in teas or other beverages. Most kratom cultivators and retailers prefer dried leaf powder over other forms because it is more convenient and user-friendly.
Unlike the kratom plant, the potency of Akuamma lies in its seeds. The entire Picralima plant, including the roots, stem, flowers, leaves, and seeds, are used in the processed therapeutic products as well as for other purposes. For a long time, Akuamma seeds have been the go-to when looking for parts to harvest. When the fruits of the Akuamma tree are ripe, they are harvested and sliced open to retrieve the seeds. This entire process is done manually. Once the Akuamma seeds have been extracted, they are sun dried. Drying is an integral part of the process. After drying, you can consume them in a number of ways. One of the main ways is by chewing them as a whole. Some people, however, prefer when the seeds are grounded, and thus can be taken in powder form.
Pharmacology: What Are They Made Of?
Kratom: Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine
The principal active alkaloids in kratom are mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine. Pharmacologically, it is claimed to be an opioid agonist and dopaminergic in nature. Most people believe that the mechanism of action behind kratom is that their alkaloids interact with the opioid receptors in the brain which is a system that decides how you respond to pain. Most comments online suggest that these constituents act like morphine and produce the effects of a natural pain reliever.
Akuamma: Akuammine and Pericine
The major Akuamma alkaloids are Akuammine and pericine. Akuammine is an indole alkaloid and many people claim that it has the unique property of working as both an antipyretic and an anti-inflammatory, eventually causing strong analgesia. They also claim that akuammine along with other alkaloids such as pericine can bind to the opioid receptors and stimulate the opioid system in the brain. Only two compounds akuammidine and ψ-akuammigine have the tendency for μ-opioid agonists.
Effects: What Are They Used For?
The effects of both Kratom and Akuamma are somewhat similar. Both of them can be used as a kick-start to your day as they are good at boosting energy levels, enhancing focus and concentration, and sharpening the mind. Moreover, both of them are dose-dependent. Small doses will result in effects of smaller magnitude and large doses will only potentiate the effects. However, there are some minor differences or limitations that Akuamma faces as compared to kratom.
Kratom: Euphoria, Energy, Ease
Owing to its wide range of strains, kratom can have effects that are much more vast than Akuamma. Kratom can be used as an energy booster but many people on the internet claim that this herb relieves stress causes a feeling of euphoria relaxes muscle tension and gives you an overall sense of wellbeing. All of these effects are specific to the different kinds of kratom strains.
Akuamma: Energy, Ease
When it comes to Akuamma vs. Kratom seeds, Akuamma seeds are much more limited than kratom leaves. They have smooth calming effects that hit you in about 30 minutes. The seeds can also boost your energy levels and enhance your mood on a bad day.
Legality: Are They Legal?
Kratom: Dilemma in Acceptance
The legality of kratom in the United States is still being debated. In several countries and specific regions of the U.S. and Canada, it has been banned due to its potential dependency issues. Since it acts like morphine, people have concerns about its side effects, and hence it’s not readily accepted in most countries.
Akuamma: Ease in Acceptance
Akuamma can be easily bought and used all over the globe without any issues from the government or vendors. People are less likely to question its legality due to the reduced incidences of dependency on it or lack of any medical issues after use.
While the western alternatives are still the desirable choice for many, you can’t deny the trending rage of herbs such as Kratom and Akuamma. What is better than a quick pick-me-up in the morning that doesn’t cause jitters as caffeine does? You might wanna check them out for yourself to know what everyone else has been raving about. Before you buy any of these products, make sure you are getting the best quality from a reliable vendor. Also, keep the dosage in mind and start small before you go all out.