The health and wellness industry is brimming with opportunity. At Kratom Spot, we believe in the efficacy of kratom products. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t dedicate our lives to providing our customers with the highest quality kratom powder found anywhere on the market.
However, kratom isn’t the only game in town. Kratom famously derives from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa trees native to Southeast Asia, but we must travel to another part of the world entirely to examine another wellness supplement attracting attention around the globe. Where are we going? Tropical Africa. Why are we going? The fascinating supplement known as akuamma.
But before we dive deeper into this folk medicine, why are we talking about akuamma to begin with? We are passionate members of the kratom community, and as such, we are charged with researching all angles of the health and wellness field. You can now purchase akuamma on kratom sites throughout the internet, as well as on Amazon (believe it or not!) and other ecommerce giants.
It is our duty as wellness activists to study these compounds and educate our community on their effects. We do not want anyone, anywhere, taking a supplement that does not actually improve their well-being.
But What is Akuamma?
Similar to kratom, akuamma is a natural plant product sold in powder form. This powder comes from the crushed akuamma seeds of the Picralima nitida tree, creating the akuamma seed powder you’ll find in the finished product. Akuamma powder has been used as a traditional medicine in tropical Africa for some time, most notably in Ghana, Nigeria, and the Ivory Coast.
Akuamma vs. Kratom: What are the Similarities?
When discussing akuamma vs. kratom, what other similarities can we draw?
- Both akuamma and kratom produce unique alkaloids known to interact with the opioid receptors in our brains.
- Like kratom powder, akuamma users often cite both mental and physical benefits. Akuamma is notably used throughout Africa for malaria and diarrhea. Both akuamma and kratom are said to have anti-inflammatory effects as well.
- Kratom powder and akuamma powder both derive from natural sources and require no additional manufacturing chemicals to produce the final product.
- There are reports of people chewing certain parts of both kratom leaves and akuamma seeds to receive the kratom and akuamma effects, respectively. However, we couldn’t find a reliable source to verify the efficacy of chewing akuamma seeds.
- People report chewing specific natural parts of both the kratom and akuamma trees. People chew kratom leaves and akuamma seeds, respectively, without converting the organic material into its respective powdered form.
- Neither kratom nor akuamma is regulated in the United States. However, government bodies and botanical users alike are much more aware of kratom products and their effects.
Akuamma vs. Kratom: What are the Differences?
Now that we’ve discussed the similarities between akuamma vs. kratom, what differences do we see between these two supplements?
- While it’s been observed that both kratom alkaloids and akuamma alkaloids interact with opioid receptors in our brains, it’s generally understood that the bond between akuamma and these receptors is weak in nature.
- Kratom users defend the supplement’s use as an analgesic. Analgesic akuamma effects, on the other hand, have only been shown in lab rat studies.
- Both kratom powder and akuamma powder derive from organic material. However, kratom products come from leaves while akuamma products come from seeds. This is why akuamma powder is sometimes referred to as “akuamma seed powder.”
What Else Do You Need to Know About Akuamma?
Looking at the differences between kratom and akuamma powder, you might be thinking: could akuamma be a good substitute for kratom? However, we have yet to mention one crucial detail. There is not a lot of research to substantiate claims about these akuamma effects. While this product might sound new and exciting to some, the reality is that few of the claims surrounding akuamma natural supplement have been validated through scientific study.
Does this make akuamma a folk medicine? It depends on how you look at it. To better understand how akuamma has gained traction worldwide, let’s take a brief step back and look at the recent history of this compound.
Akuamma as Folk Medicine
Let’s take a look at the definition of folk medicine from Oxford Languages: “treatment of disease based on tradition…rather than on modern scientific practice, and often utilizing indigenous plants as remedies.” By this definition, akuamma was once a folk medicine. In fact, as legend goes, a Ghanian hospital sold 250mg capsules of crushed akuamma seeds. These were widely used as a palliative, or a substance that relieves pain without actually curing the root cause of that pain.
However, we could not corroborate this hospital story. Despite this, there are plenty of trustworthy sources validating akuamma seed powder as a general pain remedy, historically.
So When Did Akuamma Stop Being Folk Medicine?
Again, studying the akuamma compound is a limited affair. To answer this question, we must again look at the unverifiable story of the Ghanian hospital selling capsules of akuamma seed powder. According to this anecdotal report, researchers studied akuamma effects only after Ghanaians began taking the compound. This led to the discovery of akuamma alkaloids.
But there’s an apparent disconnect between the established science behind akuamma and its availability. A quick Google search yields plentiful results. Americans can easily purchase akuamma online and have it shipped to their door. However, there are no safety protocols in place to ensure the reliability of this compound.
What do we mean by this? Kratom Spot, for example, submits all kratom batches to third-party lab testing to prove the authenticity, purity, and safety of our products. Through third-party lab results, customers are able to see for themselves that our products are what we say they are. However, when buying akuamma products from other kratom sites, customers are unable to verify that these products are authentic.
We are not accusing kratom sites of openly selling snake oil (snake powder?) under the akuamma name. However, we do encourage potential akuamma users to exercise caution. Scientists must perform some key safety studies on akuamma powder before we can promote this compound within the health and wellness industry. The fact that this compound is available on Amazon and other easily-accessible sites only make it that much more concerning.
Akuamma vs. Kratom, in Conclusion
As members of the wellness community, do we recommend taking akuamma seed powder? As far as we can tell, no, you should not take akuamma powder, at least not in the current market. We are 100 percent in favor of new alternative treatment options. However, we do not want anyone to risk their well-being on a compound that has yet to be supported with substantial scientific evidence or consistent third-party testing protocols.
When weighing akuamma vs. kratom, we have to remember that kratom products have proven benefits and a vast network of support systems. The American Kratom Association (AKA) is not only implementing pro-kratom legislation nationwide but is actively challenging states and counties that oppose kratom. Not only that, but scientists continue to find new and exciting uses for kratom despite the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) actively ignoring kratom science. Remember: this is the same government agency that argued that kratom capsules are illegal because capsules are a food, making kratom a “food additive.”
If it were up to us, we’d argue for the increased scientific study of akuamma before ingesting it ourselves. However, we’ll have to wait and see how the world reacts to this new compound. Time will tell if akuamma products will survive the tests of scientific analysis.