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What Is Kratom? Uses and Side Effects

If you reached this page, you’ve probably heard of a plant called Kratom and are curious to know more. If so, you’re in the right place. The aim of this blog is to provide as much information about this wonderful plant called Kratom.

The Kratom, scientifically known by its Latin name Mitragyna speciosa, is a moderately tall tree, from 4 to 15 meters, the same family of the coffee plant. Kratom trees grow in tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia, mainly in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. While it is best known for a small number of biologists and botanists in the Western world since the 1800s, kratom exposure to the rest of the world has come quite a short time ago. In the last decade, however, a growing number of researchers and hobbyists have had access to this amazing plant, and as a result, our understanding of it has increased greatly. It is now that the world is beginning to learn what has been known in Asia for centuries: kratom is a truly unique in the world plant.

Kratom is a tree, but when people talk about kratom, usually refers to the leaves thereof. These dark green leaves, whose dimensions are about 17 cm long and 10 cm wide, are continually shed from the tree throughout the year. These leaves have been part of the culture of Thailand and Malaysia for hundreds of years, or even more. The omnipresence of kratom in Thai culture is such that in some regions has been estimated that 70% of the population uses this plant daily.

Many workers and farmers Thais chew fresh leaves of kratom to improve productivity, work longer and harder, while being able to maintain a positive mindset. Traditional Thai medicine prescribed kratom for decades as a remedy for gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea and congestion. Already in 1897, kratom was proposed as a possible substitute for opium H. Ridley. More recently, Dr. Mustafa Ali Mohd University Malaya kratom suggested as a safer, less addictive and less toxic alternative than methadone.

ImageMore recently, Dr. Mustafa Ali Mohd University Malaya kratom suggested as a safer, less addictive and less toxic alternative than methadone. Credit: Gaya Tempo.co

Image Credit: Gaya Tempo.co

Thai kratom users generally prefer to chew fresh leaves of kratom, but also consume kratom powder. In Malaysia, where kratom is also known by the name of Ketum, kratom is boiled with water and subsequently cooled tea then sold in street stalls is done.

The effects of kratom are very peculiar and some contradictory sense depending on the amount that is consumed kratom. In small amounts kratom is a stimulant or euphoric effect, and in larger quantities the effect is similar to an opioid sedative. It has been found that the Kratom contains over 25 different chemical substances (called alkaloids) that are responsible for these effects. Of these alkaloids is believed to mitragynine contributes to the stimulatory effects of kratom while the 7-hydroxmitragina is the main alkaloid responsible for the sedating effects. As with most plants, however, it is believed that all plant alkaloids contribute in some way.

Kratom Powder

Kratom Powder

katom.com

Despite the many beneficial effects of kratom reported by consumers of Thai kratom, they have also described some negative side effects. It is believed that regular use kratom prolonged and may lead to a slight dependence whose symptoms can be mild joint pain or insomnia. These symptoms are very weak, especially compared with opioid dependence. These symptoms have been described as “annoying” but not painful or debilitating.

Despite everything that has been learned in recent years about kratom and its traditional use in the culture of Southeast Asia, much remains to be discovered. The interest and knowledge about this plant continues to grow by leaps and bounds in the Western world, so we hope that the study of their potential benefit to our society continues.