Kratom is a quite popular herb, but sometimes it is mistaken for other herbs that seem similar but are actually different. This article explores some of the other herbs related to kratom and how they differ. Hopefully, this would help you make the right choices when shopping for herbs.
Akuamma is botanically known as Picralima nitida. It is a tree native to tropical African nations such as Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, Benin, Uganda, etc. It’s the seeds of Akuamma that are crushed or powdered in preparation. Thus, the main Akuamma product sold is its seed powder.
Just like Kratom, Akuamma is rich in alkaloids and its main alkaloid is Akuammine, which actually has a similar chemical structure to Kratom’s mitragynine. However, Akuamma is not quite as popular because it has not been thoroughly scientifically researched analyzed. Therefore, it is not as trustworthy as kratom is.
Another Africa-originated plant is Kanna, botanically known as Sceletium tortuosum and popular in southern Africa, to be specific. Written evidence for the history of Kanna dates as far back as the 17th century. Kanna is rather in a different league from Kratom, structure-wise. It is a succulent plant that belongs in the ice plant family. However, like kratom, the leaves are the main ingredient of preparation, especially when they are dried and made into tea.
In terms of chemical composition, Kanna is rich in alkaloids too and its main alkaloid is mesembrine. Like Akuamma, there is little reliable information regarding the efficacy of Kanna.
This is one plant so similar to Kratom that they are often sold side-by-side; people even mistake one for the other. However, they are quite different plants. While kratom belongs to the coffee family (this comes as a surprise to many), kava is from the pepper family; the latter’s botanical name is Piper methysticum. Also, while kratom leaves are used to prepare its products, it’s the roots of kava that are used, in this case, to make drinks.
Kava is native to certain countries of the Pacific such as Indonesia and Fiji. as well as Vanuatu, Hawaii, etc. Kava contains alkaloids, though not in large proportions like kratom. It is mainly composed of kavalactones. In fact, the main kava alkaloid, Pipermethystine, is described as a toxic alkaloid.
This is a herb more closely associated with Kava even though they are quite different, up to having different origins. Kawakawa is common in New Zealand, among the Maori tribe. Sometimes, it’s even referred to as Maori kava. Like Kava, it belongs in the pepper family too, though; its botanical name is Piper excelsum. Kawakawa preparations are made with the leaves too, which are often used to make ointments and tonic.
Now to kratom, the herb of the moment. Regular readers of this blog need no introduction to organic kratom, the Southeast Asian herb that found its way to the United States some years ago and is now much-discussed.
Compared with all the other herbs on this list, kratom has featured in more scientific studies, and research is still ongoing to gain a full understanding of the plant. Meanwhile, kratom’s popularity keeps spreading in the United States.
Kratom is a versatile plant, being sold as a powder, capsules, shots, extracts, etc. That’s part of why it is more preferred than all the other plants on this list.
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This product has not been approved by the FDA for human or animal use. The FDA has issued warnings about Kratom ingestion in humans. This product is sold with no directions or intended use. Content on this page does not claim or intend to claim any verifiable or beneficial use in humans.