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

The extensive history of plant-based alternatives and healthy botanicals in ancient culture goes back centuries. In this article we talk about 5 different botanicals that are rumored to offer tremendous benefits - Kratom, Kava, Kanna, Akuamma, and Maca Root.

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.
December 31, 2021
9 min read

How can Botanical Herbs Promote a Happier Lifestyle?

Plants are truly amazing! 

The extensive history of plant-based alternatives and healthful botanicals in ancient culture goes back centuries. Our ancestors were dedicated to using 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. When you start viewing 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. As well, we will be sharing some valuable information based on personal experiences. 

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.


The Benefits of Botanical Herbs

In general, every plant has its own unique properties, but some plants have remarkable restorative benefits that can be useful for humans. Those properties range on a large spectrum from providing the user with increased energy levels, all the way to easing minor physical discomforts. 

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

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

Please take caution - all 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. 

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. The leaves of the Kratom tree are carefully harvested by farmers. After harvesting, the leaves get thoroughly dried and ground into a very fine powder. This fluffy, brilliantly green substance is known as Kratom Powder

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

Cool enough, 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

  • There are even more types of Kratom strains, too! You can find some selections of Horn Kratom strains, Vietnam Kratom strains, and even some Kali Kratom strains. 

    As you can see, when it comes to Kratom, there’s an abundance of options. 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. When deciding, sometimes it can help to know what the most popular strains in the community are. 

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

    Benefits of Kratom

    As we’ve discussed, Kratom is a natural botanical that has been used for centuries because of its amazing benefits. Kratom strains produce definitive effects that can be beneficial in our day-to-day lives. 

    What exactly are the benefits of Kratom? There are quite a few, but we’re going to focus on the most desired benefits. As well, we’ll throw them into a digestible list for you. 

    • 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

    Another fantastic botanical we’re going to discuss is called Kava (Piper Methysticum). It 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). 

    Compared to other natural botanicals, 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 two different types, Fijian Kava Root Powder and Vanuatu Kava Root Powder.

  • Fijian Kava Root 

  • Happy Hippo’s Fijian Kava Root is derived from the Kadavu Island in Fiji. “Super Waka Kava” 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 “The Fire Islands of the South Pacific”. 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. 


    Benefits of Kava Root 

    The Kava plant contains various Kavalactones that are believed to be responsible for its effects. 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. 

    Here is a brief list of the main Kava benefits that people have experienced:

    • 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. 

    Learn more about the best ways to use kanna!

    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.

    Here is a brief list of the main Kanna benefits that people have experienced:

    • 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. 

    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. Happy Hippo carries 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, as we’ve explain, all herbal botanicals are subjective to the user. 

    Here is a brief list of the main Akuamma benefits that people have experienced:

    • 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 “Lepidium Meyenii.” The Maca plant grows in the Andes of Central Peru. It can withstand extreme weather conditions and very high altitudes. 

    Maca is considered a ‘vegetable’ 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.

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

    Learn more about the Benefits of Mac Root!


    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 “nutty” 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. 

    The most recognized benefit of Maca Root is that it may help increase libido in men and women. Maca Root happens to be one of the ingredients in Happy Hippo’s Natural Libido Booster - Horny Hippo!

    Aside from that, Maca Root is also claimed to have other amazing benefits! 

    Other Maca Root benefits people have experienced include: 

    • 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 Herbals is the best place to buy quality botanicals. We’re an eCommerce company who specializes in superior Kratom products, but we also offer a vast variety of herbals. We are super passionate about beneficial botanicals and we do our absolute 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@happyhippoherbals.com

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    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