Kava and kratom are some of the plants used by naturists to cure certain illnesses and manage specific health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression e.t.c. Research has given naturists the ability for identifying plants that have strong healing powers. The chemical compounds found in the roots and leaves of these herbs are useful and safer than the lab made pharmaceuticals.
People in Southeast Asia and Western Pacific have been consuming kratom and kava for centuries as paste and tea. Traditionally, these plants were used to relieve stress, increase energy levels of hardworking farmers. They were also used during celebrations to induce an alcohol-like euphoria. The active chemicals found in these plants are unique, but both of them share the following similarities;
- Induce relaxation
- Reduce anxiety and stress
- Have potent analgesic effects- painkilling properties
- They induce drowsiness, thereby helping with sleep
- They enhance sociability
This write-up is going to share the different chemicals found in these two plants and how they work. You will also learn how to consume, find, and prepare them. You can determine which is the best of the two reading this article.
Mitragynine and Kavalactones
Mitragynine and Kavalactones are the active chemical compounds found in kratom and kava respectively. Some of the active compounds found in kava such as lactones have potent psychotropic effects. The reactive molecules found in lactones are known for affecting the brain chemistry resulting in a change of behavior, mood or cognition. Even if some psychotropic chemicals product intense reactions when consumed, generally most kavalactones have a mild effect.
On the other hand, mitragynine is the active alkaloid compound that produces psychotropic effects in kratom. Unlike lactones, alkaloids are nitrogen-rich compounds that produce potent results when consumed or introduced to the body’s biological processes. Alkaloids are found in different pharmaceutical products used to eradicate viruses, treat diseases, and pain.
How Do Kratom and Kava Work?
Kavalactones are known for activating different biological processes when introduced to the user’s body. This, in turn, results in distinct neuroprotective effects. For instance, they can activate P38 which is one of the protein kinases that transfer energy from part of the body to the other when activated. The transfer of energy induced by kavalactones makes this herb useful in regulating inflammatory responses and controlling stress-regulation. You can, therefore, use it to relieve pain and inflammation.
The other neuroprotective effect of kavalactones is stimulating the body to produce active antioxidants that protect the cells from naturally-occurring processes that lead to cell death and oxidative stress. The two neuroprotective pathways that reduce oxidative stress and regulate inflammation make kavalactones useful in creating positive feedback at the injury sites.
Little is known about the biological processes induced by kratom since research is of poor-quality or typically underfunded. However, little research has been done and found that mitragynine affects the norepinephrine and mu-opioid receptors in the brain as well as the central nervous system of the user’s body. The stimulation of opioid receptors by this compound causes a feeling of sedation, euphoria, analgesia, and reduced blood pressure. Most of this evidence has been gathered from experiments conducted with animal models. In addition to this, kratom has been proven to implicate norepinephrine and serotonin receptors as well.
How are Kratom and Kava Prepared and Consumed?
Kava is one of the tropical evergreen herbs found naturally in Fiji, Polynesia and Western Pacific Islands. It belongs to the pepper family. The leaves and roots of this shrub contain active compounds known as kavalactones. To consume this plant, you should grind its roots and then mix them with water to produce a paste.
Traditionally, this herb was consumed as a tea, but currently, it is available in capsule, powder or tincture form. Most people use kava tea because it is easy to find. You can mix this tea with other herbs to promote relaxation. Capsules and tinctures have become very popular, and they are available online. You should look for a product whose kavalactone levels are clearly stated. The typical dosage of different types of kavas ranges from 70 to 250 mg.
On the other hand, kratom is an evergreen tree that belongs to the coffee family. It is indigenous to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and parts of Southeast Asia. Traditionally, this herb was consumed by chewing its leaves, but nowadays its powder is readily available in retail outlets. This powder is obtained from the dried leaves of this herb. In terms of availability, kratom is quite tricky to find as compared to kava.
How People Feel After Consuming Kratom or Kava
The effects of consuming kratom or kava are felt within 15-20 minutes. These effects last for about three or five hours. When ingested, both of these products are known for producing a euphoric and calming effect.
Advantages of Consuming Kava
Evidence-based scientific study has proven that usage of kavalactones can:
- Reduce the risk associated with various types of cancer
- Reduce pain sensations promote social interaction
- Protect the body’s neurons from damage
- Relieve anxiety by inducing feelings of euphoria
Side Effects of Consuming Kava
Ingesting kava does not have severe effects on the user’s body. It is easily broken down by the liver enzymes just like the other drugs. However, you should avoid mixing this herb with other substances irresponsibly since it can lead to the build-up of toxins in the body.
Benefits of Consuming Kratom
Research has proven that kratom helps manage pain, reducing inflammation and relaxing muscles. The alkaloids found in kratom can also:
- Improve sexual desire
- Heal minor wounds
- Relive musculoskeletal pain
- Treat diarrhea, coughs and intestinal issues
- Increase appetite and energy levels
Side-Effects of Ingesting Kratom
Some of the minor side effects associated with kratom include constipation, nausea, and vomiting. These ill effects subside 30 minutes after consumption. To be safe, you should avoid combining this herb with other drugs or medications like codeine or caffeine.
Source : It is obtained from the roots of the kava plant It is mainly derived from the leaves of the kratom plant
Origin: Its found in the Western Pacific, Its native to the Asian countries like Malaysia and Thailand
Family : This herb belongs to the same family with pepper plants Belongs to the same family with coffee
Active compounds: Kavalactones such as lactones Mitragynine and alkaloids.