Kratom is an amazing herb with a wide range of benefits for many people, but you may also wonder how it compares with other natural supplements. A lot of people ask if there is a good alternative to kratom because of legality where they are located or traveling, wanting to reduce tolerance, or just looking for something new and different.
Whether there is a good alternative depends on the effects you are trying to get from a certain supplement, but comparing and contrasting kratom with Hirsuta, Maca, and Ashwagandha can help you determine if there is a solid choice for your needs.
Kratom vs. Hirsuta
Kratom is the common name for Mitragyna Speciosa and Mitragyna Hirsuta, commonly known only by Hirsuta or as kra thum khok, is a different species from the same genus. They are said to possess similar properties despite some major differences in composition.
As far as appearance goes, Hirsuta leaves are lighter green, smaller, and generally have white veins as well, even when mature. When Kratom was illegalized in Thailand in 1943, Hirsuta grew in popularity. While a little harder to find, you can still buy Hirsuta online with some vendors.
The effects of Mitrgyna Hirsuta are similar in some ways but are significantly weaker and you will need a much larger dose for similar results. It does not contain the two primary alkaloids found in kratom, mitragynine or 7-hydroxymitrgynine, but does offer some alkaloids of its own. Some people combine it with kratom to achieve improved outcomes from both plants. For example, you may like the boost it can give to yellow or green kratom strains, like Yellow Borneo.
It contains high levels of mitrphylline, which may have some of the same qualities as kratom’s lovely alkaloids. Studies also show that it has anti-inflammatory features, which is great for those who use the substance for discomfort and muscle relaxation. The alkaloid is found in lesser amounts in kratom and Cat’s Claw. Hirsuta also offers isomitraphyllinol. The makeup may suppress calcium channels, regulate neurotransmitters, and have other functions within the body.
- Most people experience energy with lower doses and more relief of discomfort with higher amounts, just like they do with kratom. It can help you focus and increase productivity, but it may also help somewhat with nervousness and agitation.
- There may be less side effects because of the reduced potency, which may be good for people who are susceptible to adverse reactions to kratom or sensitive to nausea
- Effective alternative that is also great for reducing tolerance without severe withdrawal symptoms from kratom
- Legal where kratom may not be
- It is much weaker than kratom and it will take a 15 to 20 gram dose to achieve desired results
- It will not have as long of a duration as kratom and you may notice is wearing off in 2 or 3 hours as opposed to 4 to 6 with kratom
- Quality may vary even more than kratom quality and some people suspect that untrustworthy vendors sell their low-quality kratom as Hirsuta. It is not held to the same standard as kratom because it is not well-known.
Kratom vs. Maca
Another supplement that many kratom users like is maca, a cruciferous vegetable native to Peru. It is grown high in the Andes and has been used for thousands of years by the native populations. While significantly different from kratom, some people like it as an addition to their kratom regimen or to take the edge off during tolerance breaks.
Maca is an adaptogen that supports the production of hormones and the balance of brain chemicals. It can help with mood and emotional resilience because it offers antioxidant qualities. While these mental health benefits are much more subtle than with kratom, they can still be superb.
Perhaps the most interesting property of maca is its impact on natural energy. It can give a nice boost to your vitality and is used by athletes around the world to increase performance and aid in their recovery. There is some research to support these benefits, but more is necessary to come to resounding conclusions.
- Contains many nutrients and antioxidants that can help to reduce the impact of free radicals and oxidative stress. It contains carbohydrates for energy, fiber for gut health, protein, potassium, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorous, iron, and more.
- May support natural energy and muscle recovery, which is great for adding to or replacing some of the benefits from kratom, albeit only subtly. Many people like this option with energetic strains of kratom, like White Kali.
- Readily available and affordable
- Will not be similar to kratom as far as profound, acute effects go. It does not have similar activity on receptors in the brain and will not reduce the side effects of stopping kratom suddenly
- The effects are much less significant and many people seem to notice very little benefit, if any, from the use of maca
Kratom vs Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is a root known as Indian ginseng that has adaptogenic properties. It has a great number of well-studied benefits but does not act in the same way that kratom does. Whereas kratom has acute, rapid results, ashwagandha has better outcomes if you take it daily for a prolonged period.
It can help you adapt to stress and build resilience to stressful situations. It can also regulate hormones and balance energy and may have nootropic or cognitive enhancing qualities as well. Some people notice a relaxing a tranquil feeling after taking the herb, which is great for a nighttime replacement of kratom. It can be used to manage panic and anxiousness and may help to balance out symptoms associated with poor mental health.
- Known for helping with stressful occurrences and may help to regulate hormones that, in turn, will help to manage mental health. Could also be useful for better sleep, especially when combined with Red Dragon kratom.
- May have a positive impact on cognitive functions, especially when used with other nootropics
- Very few side effects and generally considered very safe for most people
- Will not have any effect on energy for most people, so may not replace or substitute those specific energetic or stimulating results of kratom
- Not nearly as potent as kratom and will not help with discomfort as much either.
- High-quality options can get a little pricey when compared to kratom and the other options on this list
Now that we have looked at Kratom vs Hirsuta vs Maca vs Ashwagandha, you can get an idea about some of the qualities and purposes of these herbs and where they are similar. For a true replacement for kratom, Hirsuta is probably the best despite the downsides. However, maca can be a healthy addition to a daily dosing schedule and Ashwagandha has its own impact on restlessness and mental health.