Kava and Kratom are increasingly being sold alongside each other at kava bars and in stores online. While they may be similar in name and drink appearance, truth is, they are worlds apart. In this post, we look at some the similarities and differences and explain why it is important for buyers and consumers not to confuse the two.

Kava leaf vs. Kratom leaf comparison

East vs West Culture

Kratom is a tropical, evergreen tree in the coffee family, botanical name Mitragyna speciosa. It is native to Southeast Asia, (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo, etc.) where it has been a part of traditional culture for thousands of years. There, it is traditionally chewed, in raw leaf form, by workers to stave off exhaustion, relieve pain and as a mood enhancer.

Kava is a plant of the pepper family, botanical name Piper Methysticum, indigenous to the Western Pacific (Vanuatu, Fiji, Papau New Guinea, Micronesia, and Hawaii). In these Pacific island communities, Kava is consumed before the beginning of an important religious ritual or ceremony. Most commonly though it is used as a beverage to relax and unwind from the day. Often served at Nakamals (Kava Bars), it is drunk socially instead of alcohol.

Kava vs Kratom: Distinct Differences

There are two key differences between Kratom and Kava that everyone needs to know.

22 Responses

  1. Chris
    | Reply

    Great write up! I’ve been drinking kratom tea for over 2 years now due to chronic pain. It has been a godsend for me and would highly recommend it to anyone suffering from any kind of debilitating pain. I drink kava as well, and it helps me with anxiety and to calm down. To each their own though and hopefully both of these plants will remain available for those who want to use them.

  2. Frank Parman
    | Reply

    This is actually very useful. Thanks 😀

  3. Chantell T
    | Reply

    Thank you for this write up. It has been helpful in my quest for natural relaxation.

  4. Norman B
    | Reply

    I would like to give a thumbs up for the great kava you offer. After getting into kratom without doing much research it started to become too habit forming for me. Kava on the other hand provides me the relaxation I was looking for and if I don’t take it for a few days or weeks, doesn’t cause any issues. Thank you again, ordering the Borogu now!

  5. Darrel G
    | Reply

    Thanks for the great post. I’ll stick with Kava.

  6. Sunshine Gal
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    I’ve been enjoying Borongoru Kava for about a month now, as a sleep aid. I had been using kratom for this purpose, but quickly built a tolerance to it. I’m no longer taking kratom, as it was addictive for me. A friend suggested I try this Kava, and I’ve been drinking it nightly for about a month now. After a few sips, I notice a nice relaxing effect, followed in an hour or two by pleasant sleepiness. I awake refreshed and ready to face the next day. I highly recommend this product. I’ve received excellent customer service and guidance, fair prices, and speedy delivery.

  7. Jermaine W
    | Reply

    Hi there, I definitely agree with your points about the differences having consumed both over the past year. Ultimately I recommend kava to my friends because kratom was helpful at first but you quickly build up tolerance and it’s no fun when you quit taking it. Kava on the other hand helps all the time without tolerance and no worries of feeling like crap when you stop taking it.

  8. DOUGLAS E DAVIS
    | Reply

    I ordered my Kava and it will be arriving today. I hope to be able to update this post with my results. As I suffer from anxiety back pain and headaches, and my wife has lupus. This will be a good test. Actually accidentally ordered this when trying to get kratom. I believe I made the good choice accidentally… More to come…

  9. Sergio
    | Reply

    I will be trying Kava for the first time today! Will report back 🙂

    • Sara
      | Reply

      So what’s the verdict? I’m dying to know for myself please. Would you suggest switching from Kratom to Kava? I’ve been a regular Kratom user for about 4 years now and this recent salmonella outbreak apparently is linked to 2 different companies I make weekly online purchases through 😨😞Id live to hear your thoughts before I spend my limited money.

  10. Octavia
    | Reply

    Insightful article. Many thanks for providing the detailed information as I’ve never really heard of either herbs until about a week ago when I stumbled across a kava bar.

  11. Stella Evans
    | Reply

    Very nice article! Thanks for this important information.

  12. Manny
    | Reply

    Very god information, but I like to know if I have Kava plants growing in my backyard in Florida, would it be safe for consumption, and does kava normally grow in Florida?

    • Mike
      | Reply

      Hi Manny,
      It is unlikely you have actual kava (piper methysticum) plants growing even in Florida as they are not very hearty outside of the South Pacific. Often times temperatures below 60 degrees will kill them off. It is more likely that the plant would be Piper Auritum https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_auritum also known as “False Kava” since they look very similar. I definitely wouldn’t recommend consuming the plant without a qualified person positively identifying it first.

  13. Marcus
    | Reply

    Kratom grows wild here in the Philippines…
    Many years ago I chewed on wild Kratom leaves and wow it tasted so awful so bitter… Yes it gave me energy and relaxation but never again!
    Two cups of strong kava gives me the same relaxation and is not addictive or illegal. Thank you

  14. Ella
    | Reply

    Hi all, I have been experimenting with various forms of kava and kratom for a while now and have recently come across your products which are really making a difference in my anxiety and stress levels. The typical relaxed & happy kava state happens within about a 5 minutes of drinking your micronized kava. Thank you!

    • Amber Lett
      | Reply

      I just started doing my research and have VERY high levels of stress, anxiety and neuropathy…what advice could you give me???

  15. j
    | Reply

    Kratom is alright for occasional use. Wouldn’t recommend daily use unless you’re using it to lessen withdrawal symptoms

  16. Luis
    | Reply

    kratom tastes really bad…and if is not a strong strain, you must have stupid great ammounts of it…aaargh…

  17. Tommy
    | Reply

    Great info.

  18. curtis
    | Reply

    Thank you I have been trying to figure this out myself. I was given some kratom and wasn’t sure I wanted to try it. I am a big Kava fan and I found very little actual research on kratom.

  19. Phantom's Girl
    | Reply

    Thank you. Been trying to figure this out for an hour now.

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