5 Herbs for Happiness - Kava, Maca Root, Kanna, Akuamma, Kratom

Within this article, we are going to discuss 5 different botanicals and their respective benefits. These botanicals are: Kratom, Kava Root, Maca Root, Kanna, and Akuamma. Learn about Kanna vs Kava as well as valuable information user-based experiences with these botanicals. 

Featured image depicting a wooden tray strewn with a variety of colorful, green botanical herbs. Two small cups and a mortar and pestle are filled with kratom powder, crushed kanna, and other herbs.
May 06, 2024
9 min read

How can Botanical Herbs Promote a Happier Lifestyle?

Plants are truly amazing! 

The use of plant-based alternatives and healthful botanicals in ancient culture goes back centuries.

Our ancestors were dedicated to incorporating these plant-based substances throughout their daily lives to support their health, happiness, and overall well-being. 

Nowadays, we see more and more individuals embracing a natural, plant-based lifestyle. Understandably so, herbal botanicals can have so many benefits. If you view plants as a vital tool to help enhance your life, a whole new world of opportunity reveals itself!

Within this article, we are going to discuss 5 different botanicals and their respective benefits. These botanicals are: Kratom, Kava Root, Maca Root, Kanna, and Akuamma.

Keep reading if you want to learn about Kanna vs Kava, as well as valuable information user-based experiences with these botanicals. 

The Benefits of Botanical Herbs

Every plant has unique properties, but some plants have remarkable restorative benefits that may be useful for humans.

Those properties range on a spectrum from increasing energy levels all the way to easing minor physical discomforts. 

Here is a brief list of some common benefits people have experienced with herbal botanicals: 

  • Energy (like caffeine from the Coffee plant)¬†
  • Relief from physical discomfort¬†
  • Overall happiness and well-being
  • Increased focus/concentration
  • Encouraging restful sleep

Most herbal botanicals are made into teas or tinctures when consumed. After consumption, the respective effects will become noticeable within 10 to 20 minutes. 

Always take caution - botanicals are subjective to the user. Each body is special and unique. What works great for you may not work the same for someone else.

We highly recommend doing your own personal research and consulting a physician before deciding to try anything new. 

Now, let's begin!

1.) Kratom - Mitragyna Speciosa

Kratom is one of our favorite plants! It’s a magnificent evergreen tree that grows natively in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia.

Fun Fact: The Kratom tree (Mitragyna Speciosa) is directly related to the coffee plant! 

Kratom is known for the wide array of positive benefits that come from the active alkaloids within the plant’s leaves called Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine.

Kratom Powder is hands down the most popular form of Kratom you’ll see on the market. However, there are a couple of other products gaining popularity too; Kratom Capsules and Kratom Extracts. 

Kratom Capsules are just regular Kratom Powder that’s been encapsulated in a pill form to make it easier for consumption and measuring your serving sizes. They’re super convenient! 

Kratom Extracts have a much higher concentration of alkaloids. Manufacturers take Kratom Powder and initiate a detailed extraction process that isolates the alkaloids, creating a much more potent end result. With Kratom Extracts, you can take a much smaller serving size to feel the desired effects.  

A photographic image depicting an array of botanical herbs, at the center of which are several kratom leaves, a cup of kratom tea, kratom powder, and a small dish containing a handful of kratom capsules

Types of Kratom

There are SO many extraordinary types of Kratom leaf. They come in various different strains and each strain has its own unique effects. 

Kratom strains are typically categorized by vein color or origin. The vein colors indicate the age (potency) of the leaf and the origin is where the strain originated from. These factors can help you determine what effects a specific strain will provide. 

Here is a list of Kratom strains by vein color:

  • Red Vein Kratom Strains
  • Green Vein Kratom Strains
  • White Vein Kratom Strains
  • Yellow Vein Kratom Strains

Here is a list of Kratom strains by origin: 

  • Maeng Da Kratom Strains
  • Indonesian Kratom Strains
  • Bali Kratom Strains
  • Borneo Kratom Strains
  • Thai Kratom Strains
  • Sumatra Kratom Strains
  • Malaysian Kratom Strains
  • Sunda Kratom Strains

The list goes on. You can find some selections of Horned Kratom strains, Vietnam Kratom strains, and even some Kali Kratom strains. 

Since there are so many options available, it can be tricky to find the perfect one for your personal needs. It takes time and patience to find the right Kratom.

Here is a list of the most popular Kratom strains at Happy Hippo Herbals:

  • Green Vein Maeng Da Kratom
  • White Vein Maeng Da Kratom
  • Red Vein Maeng Da Kratom
  • Red Vein Bali Kratom
  • Red Vein Sumatra Kratom
  • Green Vein Borneo Kratom
  • White Vein Thai Kratom

Benefits of Kratom

What exactly are the benefits of Kratom?

Let's focus on the most desired Kratom benefits:

  • Mental/physical stimulation - Similar to coffee, Kratom may stimulate the mind and body, providing increased alertness.
  • Mental Clarity - The mental stimulation may also clears the mind to increase focus and concentration.
  • Relieving physical discomfort - May help ease minor discomforts.
  • Encouraging a happy mentality - Encourages an overall sense of well-being that helps you remain happy and positive.
  • Relaxation - Kratom provides calming effects that can help boost a restful night sleep.

2.) Kava Root - Piper Methysticum

Kava (Piper Methysticum) is a perennial evergreen shrub that grows in the islands of the South Pacific - specifically - Fiji, Micronesia, Vanuatu, the Samoas, and Tonga. Kava is directly related to the Pepper plant family! 

Natives of the Pacific islands have been using Kava for centuries and it is a special ceremonial beverage.

Different cultural traditions use Kava to honor memorable events throughout life. A traditional Kava ceremony consists of sitting in a circle on beautiful woven mats and pouring a serving from the communal Kava tanoa (bowl). 

Kava is actually pretty well-known in the US too. You can even find public Kava bars that sell cups of Kava juice to paying customers! 

While several parts of the plant can be consumed, the hearty root is considered the best. The roots are harvested and dried by farmers.

From there, it gets pulverized into a fine, fluffy powder. This powder is used to make the Kava beverages. 

Types of Kava Root

There are over 100 Kava varieties and they differ slightly depending on the area it was grown. Happy Hippo offers several different types of Kava, so be sure to check out our selection! 

  • Fijian Kava Root¬†

Happy Hippo‚Äôs Fijian Kava Root is derived from the Kadavu Island in Fiji. ‚ÄúSuper Waka Kava‚ÄĚ is pure Kava Root - meaning no leaves or stems!

This Kava has the highest level of natural Kavalactones you can find out there - 15% to be exact! Super Waka Kava is very pure and potent when compared to generic Kava you may find elsewhere. Our Waka Kava is best used for relaxing after a long day.

  • Vanuatu Kava Root¬†

Vanuatu Kava Root is derived from ‚ÄúThe Fire Islands of the South Pacific‚ÄĚ. Our Vanuatu Kava is selected from Kava plants 5 to 6 years in age that have been organically grown in rich volcanic soils. It contains 6% Kavalactones. This type of Kava may help provide a happy well-being and reduce irritability.¬†

  • Samoan Kava (Rough Cut)

Samoan Kava is extremely uplifting and radiates happiness from within, without the overly relaxed body feeling you get from other Kava varieties. Samoan Kava is more of a "mentally soothing" Kava…meaning you feel it more in the head than you do throughout the body. 

  • Tongan Kava (Rough Cut)
Tongan Kava is best known as a ‚ÄúSocial Kava‚ÄĚ,¬†it is known for its overall feeling of happiness. It¬†has slight energy-boosting properties while still relaxing the body and mind.

Benefits of Kava Root 

Kava Root is highly admired due to its ability to calm and relax the mind and body. Deep relaxation and discomfort relief are its main benefits.

However, like all herbal substances, it’s important to remember that all effects are subjective to the individual. 

Main Kava Benefits:

  • Calm the mind and body
  • Total relaxation
  • Restful sleep¬†

3.) Kanna - Sceletuim Tortuosum

There’s a certain botanical indigenous to South Africa called Sceletium tortousum, more commonly referred to as Kanna. It is a succulent plant that produces thick, fleshy leaves. Like many other succulents, the leaves can heavily retain and store water. 

Kanna leaves contain several alkaloids that are said to trigger exceptional effects. These rumored effects are the reason that the natives of South Africa used Kanna as a type of medicine in their culture. The four main alkaloids that are responsible for Kanna’s effects are Mesembrine, Mesembreone, Mesembranol, and Mesembrenol. 

Local African tribes will put the Kanna plant through a comprehensive fermentation process to enhance the alkaloids, creating a more potent end result. Typically the plant is harvested, dried, and fermented before being distributed as buyable product. 

There are several ways to use Kanna. The most common and enjoyable method of consumption is to brew the raw plant material into a Kanna Tea. However, you can also get the effects it by chewing the plant material directly. Or, if you’re looking for a more concentrated route, you can seek out Kanna Extracts or Tinctures. 

Types of Kanna

You can find regular (non-fermented) Kanna as well as fermented Kanna. Sometimes it’s sold as dried raw plant material and other times in concentrated extract/tincture form. 

Happy Hippo offers very bold, raw dried Kanna. Depending on the demand, we have Rough Cut Kanna or Fine Cut Kanna (powder) available. Since Kanna is a rare, exotic botanical the demand is high and our inventory is limited.

Benefits of Kanna

Similar to Kratom, the benefits from Kanna are expansive and wide-ranging. They can range anywhere from providing the user with subtle energy and motivation, to encouraging deep relaxation and minor discomfort relief. The effects you experience will depend on your method of consumption and serving size.

Main Kanna Benefits:

  • Sleep improvement¬†
  • Discomfort relief¬†
  • Boosts a happy mentality¬†
  • Deep relaxation¬†
  • Mental clarity¬†
  • May suppress food cravings¬†

Reminder: Please note that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has not approved Kanna (or any of the aforementioned botanicals) for medicinal use, but Kanna has been used for thousands of years by African natives. All of the reported effects come from ordinary people are based off of their personal experience. 

Kanna vs Kava

Let's go into the details of Kanna vs Kava. Both botanicals are commonly associated with Kratom because they share similar benefits.

Can't decide between Kanna vs Kava? How do you know which is the right choice for you?

In our opinion, both are worth trying out. We offer them on our website and the prices are comparable.

Regarding effects, Kanna might be more suitable for daytime use while Kava is excellent for evening relaxation.

Try Kanna if you want to increase energy, productivity, or support a healthy well-being. Try Kava Root if you want a soothing and relaxing experience that is great for easing physical discomfort.

4.) Akuamma - Pircralime Nitida

Akuamma, scientifically known as Picralima Nitida, is another alternative herb that contains special alkaloids which produce outstanding effects for the user. Akuamma is a rainforest tree that grows natively in West Africa, primarily in Nigeria. 

Practically every part of the tree is consumable, but the seeds are known to be the most potent. African natives claim that all of the individual parts of the plant have their own unique benefits.

For example, in traditional African medicine, natives used the bark to remedy fevers, the tree’s root for jaundice or pneumonia, and the leaves for measles or guinea worm.  

Types of Akuamma

The most common products you’ll find on the market are Akuamma Extracts and Akuamma Seed Powder. 

We carry Akuamma Extract Capsules that are the strongest form on the market (20x)! The capsules are super convenient because they help you avoid the super bitter taste of the raw Akuamma seed. 

Benefits of Akuamma

The primary benefits from Akuamma are similar to those from Kratom and Kanna. The active alkaloids within the plant resonate very similarly for most people. However, all herbal botanicals are subjective to the user. 

Main Akuamma Benefits:

  • Calming sensations¬†
  • Temporary discomfort relief¬†
  • Supports overall wellness¬†
  • Relaxation¬†
  • May encourage restful sleep

5.) Maca Root - Lepidium Meyenii

The last alternative botanical we are going to discuss is called Maca, also known as Peruvian Ginseng. Its scientific name is ‚ÄúLepidium Meyenii.‚ÄĚ The Maca plant grows in the Andes of Central Peru. It can withstand extreme weather conditions and very high altitudes.¬†

Maca is considered a ‚Äėvegetable‚Äô and belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which is the same family as broccoli, cabbage, and kale! Cool, right?

The edible part of the plant is the root. The Maca root is harvested, dried, and then consumed in powder form, but you can also find it in liquid extract and capsule form.

Maca Root is more well-known in the United States than the other botanicals. Chances are, you can probably find bags of Maca Powder in the nutrition section of your local grocery store.

Photographic image depicting a hand-made clay bowl containing finely crushed Maca Root powder

Types of Maca Root

Maca Root comes in a variety of colors including Red, Yellow, and Black. Once the root is dried and pulverized into a fine powder, it’s ready to consume!

Most people like to take the powder and drink it as a tea, but you can also find Maca Root in Capsules or Extract form. 

The taste of Maca root is described as ‚Äúnutty‚ÄĚ and there are a lot of people who enjoy the flavor! Because of this, some people will add Maca Powder to their smoothies, oatmeal, or other concoctions.

Benefits of Maca Root

Maca Root powder is highly nutritious and contains several important vitamins, such as Vitamin C and B6.

It’s low in fat, high in carbs, and provides a fair amount of fiber. 

Other Maca Root Benefits: 

  • Energy and endurance¬†
  • Happiness boost
  • Increased focus and attentiveness¬†
  • Helps balance hormones
  • Promotes natural antioxidants in the body

Where to Buy the Best Herbs Near You

Hands down, Happy Hippo is the best place to buy quality botanicals. We’re an eCommerce company who specializes in superior Kratom products but also offer a vast variety of herbals.

We are super passionate about beneficial botanicals and we do our best to advocate and educate! 

Safety is a priority. All of our products are lab-tested and sterilized to ensure customer safety and satisfaction. We operate out of a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certified facility and are an AKA (American Kratom Association) approved vendor.

We offer incredibly fast same-day shipping, friendly customer service, and a great selection of high-quality products.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about us, please feel free to contact us at: help@happyhippo.com. 

About The Author - Alorah's Personal Profile:
    • I am 26. (I turn 27 in July 2024)¬†
    • I have used Kratom since 2019. (5 Years!)
    • I use 1 gram of Kratom twice a day on average 4-5 times per week.¬†
    • I use Kratom to help my overall well-being. It's been a lifesaver for my mentality, helping balance my mood and motivation. Also ladies - Kratom may have potential in helping ease period symptoms¬†(If you know what I mean. Lol.)
    • I prefer regular Kratom Powder over Capsules or Extracts.
    • I prefer Moderate or Slow Kratom strains.
    • My favorite Kratom strains are¬†White Horned Rhino (White Horn)¬†and¬†Ghost Hippo (White Borneo).¬†

Disclaimer: Most herbal botanicals are unregulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The authors of this text would like you to note that although this article contains many points regarding the use of Kratom and other botanicals, they should only serve as a piece of information - not medical advice. 

The botanicals mentioned are not intended to cure, diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or condition. Make sure to speak to a physician if you have questions.

Article Updated: May 6th, 2024

Please note that all comments are reviewed and must be approved before being published.

Article Comments


Sooo much great info! I already love your kratom, and I look forward to trying these other plants.

P.S….I recently got 2 orders from you, and both had some wonderful free samples. Other sellers have not done that, so I really appreciate it!

(And, your cute hippo and bright pink makes me smile!)

Jodi N

Really fascinating article!

April Dean

Im so thankful for your products its amazing !!

Richard Monroe