Kratom vs. Akuamma: What Are The Similarities & Differences?

It is undeniable that today is the day of the botanical product. The world over, consumers have found love for a wide range of botanicals from various countries of origin. Cannabis, akuamma, kratom, and many more products have had varied uses throughout history.

People love to take botanical products because they often provide an affordable and safe alternative to modern remedies. After all, things like kratom, CBD, and akuamma have long histories, with plenty of years of experience backing their efficacy. This article should give readers a broad understanding of akuamma, an herbal plant that has received much praise in recent years.

The akuamma plant has a history that is simple to understand. From its humble origins as a cultural product in several African countries to its growing popularity in modern life, akuamma is very interesting. Today, most people know akuamma for its seeds, though its first users used the entirety of the plant along with its reproductive parts. The plant also has myriad practical uses beyond the consumption it is known for in many countries today.

This article will cover the akuamma plant’s general characteristics, history, and how it serves as a botanical today. It shares many properties with well-known plants like kratom, but it also has key differences.


What is Akuamma?

image of akuamma powder


Akuamma is known to biologists as Picralima nitida. The tree grows throughout West Africa, places like Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, and Ghana. Its use remained in its native regions for most of its history, and people in the area primarily used akuamma as traditional medicine. Today, people have taken an interest in akuamma as a daily herbal supplement. Its growing popularity is likely due, in part, to its continued use for the past several hundred years.

The reason people think akuamma has curative properties is because of alkaloids like akuammine, akuammidine, akuammicine, pesudoakuammigine, akuammigine, and pericine. Interestingly, akuammine shares structural characteristics with mitragynine, the alkaloid that gives kratom some of its properties. Whether it interacts with the same part of the body is unknown but possible. Alkaloids are the general word for nitrogen-containing chemicals that affect the body: familiar alkaloids include caffeine and nicotine. Almost every natural chemical with the suffix-“ine” is an alkaloid.

Akuamma, a traditional medicine, was used for a variety of ailments, which may be why people enjoy its use today. It is uncertain what, if any, restorative properties belong to akuamma. Unlike other botanicals, like cannabis, akuamma has no known uses outside of consumption.


What is Kratom?

Kratom is a tropical plant called Mitragyna speciosa. Like akuamma, people that live in kratom’s original range have consumed the plant for hundreds or thousands of years. Kratom also has alkaloids, like the mentioned mitragynine, that make for the plant’s more helpful properties.

Traditionally, people have emphasized different aspects of kratom in various contexts, be they religious, social, or practical. For the most part, kratom exists as a social, tea-like plant. It is part of the same biological family as coffee, the Rubiaceae family, and it shares other commonalities with coffee. Coffee, like kratom, relies on alkaloids to impart its effects on people. Both plants are relatively mild in effect, grow in tropical zones, and have a history of cultivation nearly as old as human history.

Kratom also comes in various strains and forms. The most common kratom product is a powdered kratom leaf, and you can also buy loose leaf kratom. Kratom extract is another kratom product, a concentrated form of kratom. Extracts come as powders, beverages, and many other products.

Kratom strains typically vary, too, depending on the time of harvest. The ripest kratom leaves make red vein kratom, medium ripeness creates green vein, and the least ripe are white vein kratoms. These kratom leaves also go from most relaxing to uplifting when harvested earlier. Green versions of strains tend to fall somewhere in the middle.

image of kratom powder and capsules

The Origins and History of Akuamma

As mentioned, the use of akuamma originated in Western Africa, where people used it as a folk remedy for various ailments. It was first written about in 1896, though scholars believe its use could date back hundreds or thousands of years. As recently as 2002, researchers have studied akuamma and its properties in a laboratory setting.

More miraculous to many are the plant’s antimicrobial properties. In 2009, researchers showed that akuamma might work as an antibacterial product. This research lines up with the historical use of akuamma to treat malaria. Still, much more work is needed to show that this is anything more than coincidental. Whether its antibacterial or antiviral use extends beyond the ability to treat diarrhea and malaria is yet to be seen, but akuamma is going to be a subject of research for many years to come.

Unlike the related kratom plant, akuamma has no legal ruling barring its purchase. That makes it more widely available throughout the world. That likely indicates that akuamma is nothing to fear. Akuamma is also easier to grow, process, and export than many other botanical products. These factors make akuamma affordable and reliable as a source of income for farmers. West Africans from hundreds of years ago might rejoice to see the booming akuamma market.


The Origins and History of Kratom

Kratom traces its use back many generations throughout tropical southeast Asian island countries. Countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand are well-known origins of the kratom plant. There is also a long history of kratom use in Vietnam. At its origin, kratom has existed as a social beverage, spiritual resource, and an all-around important plant. People would often welcome people over for kratom tea socials in indigenous cultures, and the plant was also used in shamanic and other religious rituals.

In recent times, kratom use has extended throughout the world. Many people use kratom to get a moment of respite from their day, as it is thought to clear the mind. Whether taken daily or infrequently, in the morning or at night, kratom use is becoming more common. It can be found in various brick-and-mortar stores and online.

Though it is not legal everywhere, there are also many advocacy groups and lawmakers that advocate for kratom’s legalization. The people that want legalization benefit from knowing that vendors are more trustworthy since they will have to adhere to standard business practices for FDA-approved products. If you find kratom use enjoyable, there is a large modern movement pushing for its widespread legalization that might be a fit for you.

Since kratom is still largely limited to its native range, beyond a few hobbyists growing it indoors, it remains culturally relevant in its countries of origin. Now, it is primarily an agricultural and export product. Of course, kratom farmers and people in kratom-growing communities also enjoy the use of the plant. Typically, they chew the fresh leaves rather than eat the dried powder. If you want to experience this, there are ways to get your hands on kratom plants or you can buy whole leaf kratom.

image of kratom powder

Akuamma Today

Like kratom, akuamma has widespread use today as a consumer product and subject of scientific research. As mentioned, researchers are still studying the effects of the seemingly miraculous akuamma plant. Its wondrous properties have yielded scientific results in line with its uses in traditional medicine. Still, many people use akuamma regularly for its more subtle effects. It is thought to improve one’s state of mind and focus. It might also help people to relax, along with a host of other benefits.

Unlike kratom, which is mainly cultivated for its leaves, or CBD, mainly used for its flowers, people tend to process the entirety of the akuamma plant. Its roots, stems, and seeds all harbor medicinal properties. If you had to compare akuamma to a certain kind of kratom, its effects are more like the relaxing red kratom. Customers who like the stimulating side of kratom are best sticking to white vein kratom.

Akuamma also produces a milder and shorter-lasting effect than kratom, meaning you may want to take it more often or in higher doses. Still, the best advice to follow when deciding how much akuamma to take is to pay attention to your reactions. Every botanical product affects everyone differently, so you just want to take things slow. As you would order a sample of a new kratom variety, try ordering a small amount of akuamma to start. If you like it, you can always up the amount you want.

You can find various kinds of akuamma products. The most common akuamma product is a powder made from seeds. You can also find dry flower and seed material, which can be ground into powder yourself. Many akuamma users prefer picking out their varieties and making their blends.

The likely spread of akuamma started when a Ghanian hospital advocated its use for treating malaria. The tree sprouts a pulpy fruit which farmers harvest for the seeds. The seeds are wet, so they must be dried in sunlight, where they are left for several days to weeks to dry. Often, different measures are taken here to impact the flavors and properties of the akuamma. Leaving more fruit on before drying can make it flavorful, though many producers find it easier to take all the fruit off before the drying process.

Once the seeds have been dried, they are ground into a fine powder or sold as seeds. The roots and flowers are also dried and sold as is, or ground into powder themselves. In this way, akuamma end products resemble kratom. Both come as dried plant material pulverized into powder.


Kratom Today

As mentioned earlier, kratom is known throughout the world today. People in many countries enjoy kratom product imports, primarily in the form of dried leaf powder. Its recreational use has grown alongside other botanical plants.

Like many other plants, there has been controversy surrounding kratom, though it is usually well-received. The FDA almost banned the plant, but the agency walked this back after lobbying from constituents. Advocates argue that legalization, rather than prohibition, will make avenues for safer kratom use. There are also several states, localities, and countries outside the USA that do not allow for the sale or use of kratom.

On the other side of things, there is a robust kratom community where its use is allowed. Kava bars have become kava and kratom bars, where like-minded kratom users can gather to enjoy kratom tea and socialize. Some of these bars also experiment with new ways to serve kratom. Many kratom stores also provide customers with a large range of kratom products to try. Since you can buy products like extract-containing beverages and kratom strains at many stores, it has never been easier to enjoy kratom.

There is also a large online movement of kratom users. Websites like Reddit, Facebook, and Double M herbals have vendor recommendations and reviews, one-on-one interaction with vendors, and conversations between kratom users. It can be nice to have people to talk to and learn about how others approach kratom. You might learn something or make a new friend by exploring the online world of kratom. At worst, you might find a great deal on a kilogram of kratom powder.

image of kratom

Akuamma Uses

Akuamma has many uses today, thanks to its alkaloid composition. It is allegedly anti-inflammatory due to its alkaloid structures. It might also have some anti-viral properties, though its efficacy in this regard is not  well-researched, and you should not rely on it ‘for any medical purposes unless directed by a medical professional.’ It can also cause relaxation and help to ease one’s mind, which relates to its historical use in folk medicine.

Perhaps akuamma’s effect is close to other herbal teas and botanicals. It is like kratom in that modern people use it recreationally for the most part. It is also like kratom in that its popularity is getting larger and larger. There are still countries where akuamma is used as medicine, though this topic has not been researched well.

As with kratom, all these uses of akuamma will vary depending on the person, the akuamma plant, and a variety of factors. For example, different batches of akuamma might have different alkaloid compositions. Likewise, different parts of the same batch could vary slightly. The best thing to do with akuamma is to treat it as a nice treat but not rely on its effects. It can affect everyone in a completely different way.


Kratom Uses

Kratom has a much further reach than akuamma. Primarily, kratom has been on people’s radar longer and is generally more attainable than akuamma. Though akuamma has fewer regulations, it is a less common import. Kratom is only growing in popularity, and hopefully, the use of other botanicals increases its popularity.

Kratom is used as a tea and it can help people relax or accentuate energetic bursts. You can also make kratom powder into many other products. People like to mix it with other herbals or put it into smoothies. Kratom can be enjoyed at any time of day. Some people like to use white vein kratom in the morning and red vein kratom in the evening.

Different kratoms have different effects, so experienced users keep a few options on hand. Whichever way you decide to use kratom, be sure to take it slow. Every time you try a new variety of kratom, you should act like it is your first time using kratom.

Kratom use is expected to continue growing. That means users should expect to see lower prices and more options, which is great for the future of kratom. There is a good chance kratom popularity will bring akuamma along with it, as people become more interested in botanical products.


How to Ensure Your Akuamma is of High Quality

As with any botanical product, you want to source your akuamma carefully. Many stores sell akuamma, so make sure you buy it from someplace you trust. You will find several common brands at brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers. You can also find many akuamma brands that sell their products online exclusively.

With many akuamma products to try, you can try different kinds until you understand your preferences better. Once you have an akuamma brand you trust, you can start taking more of it to your taste.

There are also many users of akuamma who claim its effects work synergistically with those of other botanical products. You should do your research and determine for yourself whether this is true, but, just like using a new product, be careful l when mixing botanicals.

People often recommend using akuamma with the likes of CBD, kratom, and lotus. If you use your search engine to look up akuamma recipes, you should find suggestions for masking its flavor and attenuating its effects.

image of high quality akuamma

How to Source High-Quality Kratom from Vendors

Kratom is like akuamma in that its popularity precedes it. Kratom is more popular than akuamma, which itself is found in places that also sell kratom. In regions of the United States where kratom is legal, many vendors sell kratom products. You can find it in convenience stores, gas stations, head shops, and more.

You want to know your vendor is trustworthy and knowing how they decide what kratom to sell and what price is also good practice. For every brick-and-mortar store, there are probably ten options for kratom vendors online. You should check out kratom forums and reviews to determine which vendor can meet your needs and your budget.

Different vendors will tick different boxes. Experienced users are looking for fair pricing, high-quality kratom, fast and cheap shipping, and easy returns. Ease of payment is also something you should look for, as some major vendors have specific payment methods. Usually, worthwhile vendors have some mention on social media or forum sites. Even if a vendor has good reviews, you should still follow the “start small” rule of thumb, since every kratom product has different effects on every customer.


Akuamma Dose

Akuamma is milder than many other botanicals. The amount you should take varies from person to person and depends on your desired results. Therefore, it is best to try out various doses, starting small and gradually moving up as you see fit. That way you can be sure to take the amount of akuamma right for you.

You should use this method for any new source of akuamma, as each batch can affect people in different ways. This approach to akuamma is similar to how you might approach kratom. Kratom comes in many varieties, and you want to start with small amounts when trying new kinds to learn if you like them.


Kratom Dose

As mentioned, kratom dose varies from person to person. It can also depend on the type of kratom you buy. Typically, experienced kratom users will buy a small amount when trying out a new vendor, which is why the good vendors sell in small amounts or sample packs.

The amount of kratom you take can also depend on what experience you want from using it. Overall, kratom is less mild than akuamma, so it typically requires you to take a smaller amount for comparable effects.


Kratom vs. Akuamma Conclusion

image of kratom vs akuamma powder

Now you should have some understanding of the botanical plant called akuamma and how it relates to kratom. This West African tree is beloved throughout the world much like the tropical kratom tree. Also, like kratom, its use in its countries of origin extends far back in time.

Whether you plan to use it or just like to know what it is, hopefully, this article answered all your general questions or gave you an idea of what to look for next. This wonderful plant looks good in the spotlight, and people should revel in the easiness of obtaining akuamma. As more people come to learn about akuamma, its popularity is likely to grow. Hopefully, akuamma’s growing popularity creates a wider acceptance of kratom use and vice versa.

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