Today, people who have chronic ailments are turning to folk medicine to help cure diseases. The Akuamma plant, also known as Picralima nitida, for example, is being used to relieve chronic pain while kratom is believed to treat coughs, boost energy, sexual desire, and opiate withdrawal. The two medicines are believed to act as natural alternatives to modern medicine. Here’s an overview of both medicines and how they differ from each other.
Akuamma vs. Kratom: History
It is a shrub-like tree native to the tropical regions of West Africa. The tree grows to a height of 100 feet, just like Kratom. Its seeds have been used to make folk medicine for centuries in Congo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, and Zaire. Akuamma has also been used as an anti-inflammatory in Ivory Coast.
Kratom also is known as Mitragyna speciosa, is also a shrub-like tree native to Southeast Asia regions like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The main difference between Akuamma and Kratom lies in their biological composition. The power of kratom is in its leaves while that of Akuamma is in its seeds. Kratom leaves are rich in alkaloids that treat a range of ailments. As such, the product is merely kratom leaves which have been dried, crushed and powdered.
Akuamma, on the other hand, produces seed-filled fruit and flowers year-round. These are the main parts of the plant used for medicinal purposes by natives, in addition to roots and barks. Additional medicinal uses of the Akuamma plant include:
- The bark: It was used to relieve fever, eliminate intestinal parasites and treat jaundice
- The root: Natives prepared it as a decoction to treat fever, jaundice, pneumonia, and vermifuge
- The fruit: A decoction was prepared to treat coughs and fever. Small amounts of the bark and the fruit were chewed to reduce hunger during long-distance walks
- The leaves: A decoction was prepared to treat measles. Natives also used the leaf sap to treat ear infections like otitis
Akuamma vs. Kratom: Pharmacological Composition
Both plants have alkaloids that attach to opioid receptors in the brain to provide natural pain-relieving properties. Akuammine is the abundant alkaloid in the Akuamma plant (56%). The alkaloid is an anti-inflammatory and antipyretic agent. Other alkaloids include:
- Akuammidine: It has analgesic and hypotensive properties
- Akuammicine: Binds to the Kappa-opioid receptors
- Akuammigine: protects against adrenaline effects
- Pericine: it binds to mu-opioid receptors
- Pseudo-akuammigine: has anti-inflammatory and hypotensive and supports the parasympathetic nervous system
- Alstonine: has antipsychotic properties
Kratom also contains a range of alkaloids, the most active being mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. They provide pain-relieving, euphoric, sedative, and stimulating effects. Other alkaloids include:
The alkaloids have different quantities depending on the region, harvest time, and type Kratom strain. Akuamma vs. Kratom has various alkaloids though their structures and behavior may be similar.
Kratom vs. Akuamma: Uses and Effects
Both medicines have analgesic and relaxing effects but may have different functions in the body. For example, Akuamma protects against microbial infections, while Kratom is known for its energizing properties.
- The effects of kratom are a result of the 20 alkaloids, including the two active ones: 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine. The alkaloids are opioid receptor agonists causing Kratom to provide effects as those of opiates.
- and euphoric effects.
It explains why it is used
- to relieve fatigue,
- and fight the symptoms of opiate withdrawal.
Akuamma primarily provides opiate-like effects thanks to its two active alkaloids: akuammine and akuammidine. Most people use akuamma as a natural pain reliever, but it is also useful in relieving anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Also, it’s anesthetic, and sedative properties help promote relaxation and deeper sleep in people with insomnia. Akuamma is also an effective remedy for gastric ulcer, malaria, headache, and nausea. Research shows it is an effective inhibitor of Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite known to cause malaria.
The main difference in the effects of the two medicines is that Akuamma does not uplift one’s mood as Kratom.
Akuamma vs. Kratom: Dosage
- The recommended dosage for akuamma is 2-4 grams though some people take as much as 6 grams to enjoy the full benefits of the medicine. Patients who just started taking the drug should take 250-500 mg. This is an equivalent of one or two seeds, and if measured using a spoon, it’s 2/3 of a teaspoon.
- If taking the extract, an ounce of powder should last three weeks to a month. Once the body gets accustomed to the drug, you can increase the dosage to 500mg-1 gram. This dosage is best administered in capsule form as akuamma has a bitter taste.
- For Kratom, the dosage depends on a range of factors, including the age of the user, weight, health, and other drugs he may be taking. Patients who just started taking medicine should take 2-3 grams a day. Users weighing less than 149 pounds should start with a dose of 1.5 grams.
Akuamma vs. Kratom: Legality
The legality of Kratom has faced many controversies over the years. No clinical studies have been performed; hence, it has not been recommended for medical use. Clinical studies are critical to the development of new drugs. The studies help identify any harmful effects and interactions with other drugs. Also, there is the issue of the production process of Kratom. Since it is not FDA-regulated, there are no established standards to guide the safe production of the drug.
The 2018 salmonella outbreak showed it was a result of a lack of quality controls in Kratom. Since it is illegal, it can’t be labeled as a natural supplement, which makes it challenging to determine where it comes from and if it has gone through quality tests.
Akuamma, on the other hand, does not have legality issues. It is legal to buy and consume it hence readily available. Akuamma seeds are available on various online stores and head shops.
Akuamma vs. Kratom: Side Effects
Both products have side effects such as
- and stomach upset.
However, Kratom can also cause lead to
- blurred visions,
- and vomiting.
High dosages have more severe effects including
- brain swelling,
- difficulty in breathing and liver damage.
Also, frequent use of Kratom causes some people to develop a dependency on the drug. If the user decides to stop using the drug, he is likely to experience withdrawal symptoms like muscle spasms, reduced appetite, hot flashes, anxiety, twitches, fever, and difficulty in sleeping.
Akuamma, on the other hand, causes numbness, and high doses of the drug (more than six grams) lead to respiratory depression. Also, the seed is known to cause ion regulatory disruptions, including increased levels of sodium and plasma, which can lead to hypernatremia and hyperkalemia.
Akuamma vs. Kratom: Which one is better?
This factors solely depends on the effects you are looking for. Some people prefer using Akuamma for its pain-relieving effects while others find kratom better due to its vast range of effects. Other users use akuamma when they want to take a break from kratom to avoid dependency. Here are some points to guide you:
- Akuamma has milder effects than Kratom
- Kratom faces legality problems whereas Akuamma seeds are 100% legal
- Kratom is available in different strains while Akuamma does not have strains
- Akuamma exhibits effects when taken from 2-4 grams while Kratom needs 3grams and above for results
Akuamma vs. Kratom: Are there similarities?
Both medicines have a range of similarities. However, while the effects of Akuamma are similar to those of Kratom, they are not as profound. For example, Akuamma’s analgesic effects are a result of its interaction with opioid receptors. Also, Kratom does not contain principal alkaloids like akuammine, akkuammidine, akuammicine, and akuammigine, which have a different binding mechanism from those of Kratom.
Both Kratom and Akuamma products provide stress-relieving, anti-depressant, energy-boosting, and immunity enhancing properties. However, their ingredient count makes one stronger than the other. Kratom, for example, has more alkaloids than Akuamma, which makes it stronger. When evaluated in terms of the effects the medicines have on the body, Akuamma has long-lasting effects compared to Kratom. It is this feature that makes Akuamma more popular and preferable.