The number of people looking for natural alternatives to relieve pain is growing very quickly. There are many herbs that are very effective in alleviating pain. Akuamma is an African tree has analgesic properties that can be very helpful if you are looking for a natural painkiller. In this article, we will explore the benefits of akuamma for pain relief.
Why Do We Feel Pain?
When an injury or inflammation damages your body, your pain receptors notice this damage and send a signal up to the spinal cord to the brain. It is in the brain that the frontal cortex processes the information and you feel pain. Pain is a warning sing our body sends us to tell us that something is harming us. Therefore, pain is a symptom of something wrong going on.
The usual classification of pain is acute and chronic. Acute pain refers to short-term pain, usually due to a specific cause, such as an injury, surgery, childbirth… Most of the time, acute pain occurs suddenly and goes in less than six months. Acute pain is usually the result of damage to body tissue, such as muscle or bone.
Chronic pain refers to ongoing pain that tends to last longer than six months. In many cases, chronic pain is associated with a long-term or chronic condition, such as arthritis or fibromyalgia. While chronic pain can also be caused by tissue damage, in most cases it is due to nerve damage.
What Is Akuamma?
Akuamma (Picralima nitida) is a large tree in the Apocynaceae family indigenous to West Africa. For many generations, the seeds, roots, and bark of akuamma have been part of the folk medicine in Ghana, Nigeria or the Ivory Coast. The native population of these regions used akuamma as a remedy to treat pneumonia, hernia or gonorrhea. The seeds of akuamma are also used as a general tonic. But most of all, people use akuamma for pain relief. In Ghana, you can even find akuamma seeds in capsules under the commercial name of “Picap capsules”.
Nowadays, akuamma is gaining a lot of popularity across the world thanks to its analgesic properties. Akuamma is a great ally when it comes to pain relief.
When talking about the benefits of akuamma for pain relief, we must look at its pharmacology. The seeds of akuamma contain alkaloids that have potent analgesic and sedative properties. In fact, the bark and leaves of Picralima nitida also contain these alkaloids. However, the products sold as akuamma are, in most cases, akuamma seeds.
These are the main alkaloids of akuamma seeds:
- Akuammine: This is the most abundant alkaloid of akuamma seeds. Not only does it have analgesic properties, but it also acts on the sympathetic nervous system, causing anesthetic effects.
- Akuammigine: Another alkaloid that also has sympathomimetic properties. Furthermore, akuammigine also decreases the effects of adrenaline on the heart.
- Akuammidine: Akuammidine has analgesic properties and is also a potent muscle relaxant.
- Pseudo-akuammigine: This alkaloid can help induce sleep and is also an analgesic.
- Pericine: Pericine acts on the mu receptor in your brain, which helps regulate pain.
Benefits of Akuamma for Pain Relief
Thanks to these alkaloids, akuamma is an amazing remedy for pain relief. Many akuamma users compare its effects to those of codeine. Furthermore, akuamma can be a great alternative to kratom if you are on a kratom break or if kratom is not legal in your country or state. However, there are many differences between kratom and akuamma. The main difference lies in the range of effects. While akuamma is mostly an analgesic, kratom has many other effects. Also, kratom users report that when using kratom to relieve pain they also get a sense of euphoria and even an energy boost that akuamma lacks. Having said that, akuamma is still a great remedy if you aree looking to relieve pain.
Akuamma Dosage and Side Effects
Although it is a natural product, you must be cautious when you use akuamma for pain relief. Akuamma can also have side effects that can turn out very unpleasant. The main side effects of akuamma are:
- Stomach upset
The best way to avoid these side effects is to avoid high doses. The average dosage of akuamma seeds is 2-4 grams. Nonetheless, it is recommendable you start with lower doses (200mg to 1 gram). Usually, the effects of akuamma kick in within 15-30 minutes after the ingestion and they can last up to 4 hours. In any case, you should never use doses higher than 6 grams. You must consider that akuamma seeds also have sedative and anesthetic effects that could turn out way too potent at high doses.
How to Take Akuamma
You can find akuamma in powder or whole akuamma seeds. Most users opt for taking akuamma in capsules because its taste is too bitter for a tea. Since akuamma capsules are more expensive than akuamma powder, you can make your own capsules. You can read this post on how to make your own kratom capsules (the process is very much the same).