Traditionally, the usage of Kratom can be traced back to Thailand and is so predated that its exact date cannot be found. The philosopher and biologist Low, who wrote about the natives in Malaysia using this substance in order to substitute for opium, first mentioned it within Western literature in 1836. This was because, since time immemorial, kratom has been comparatively cheaper and more abundant, thereby making it a viable alternative than opium.
It was identified as Mitragyna speciosa, which is its botanical name, in 1895 by E. M. Holmes who also referred to kratom as a cheaper alternative to opium. Furthermore, in 1907 L. Wray wrote extensively on various methods that could be used in order to consume kratom. These methods ranged from chewing, smoking, mixing powdered kratom in various drinks or consuming it in tea form.
Historically, kratom was used to curb opium addiction or ease the withdrawal symptoms associated with opium. Moreover, people in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand were known to use kratom in order to ease diarrhea as well as enhance their sexual activities by prolonging the intercourse. In 1930, the famous writer I. H. Burkill penned articles on using kratom in order to cure fevers and symptoms associated with flu, as well as a poultice to heal wounds and scars.
What one can deduce from the aforementioned historical narrative of kratom’s usage is that it has evolved and grown in importance as a herb that has little to no side effects, yet a multitude of benefits. Rather than turning towards conventional medicine that has a plethora of harmful effects, kratom does not lead to addiction nor is it as harmful for the human body.
Different strains of Kratom
The historical usage of kratom is dependent upon the kind of strain that is being used, as various strains have their own unique and different benefits and qualities. In Thailand and Malaysia, users have historically differentiated kratom on two grounds; red vein and green vein (which is often referred to as white vein too).
The Research was conducted upon both strains in November 1962, and it showed that though both strains have their own inherent qualities, the green strain is of stronger quality. The green variety possesses the same alkaloids as the red strain, but the chemical arrangement is different. This allows the green variety to have stronger stimulating potency, thus providing pain-relief benefits whilst providing mild stimulation.
Traditional usage in Thailand
Having distinguished between both green and red vein strands, it is insightful to shed light upon how Thai citizens consume kratom. The most common way is to simply chew fresh leaves of kratom, as this provides constant pain relief as well as stimulation for the nerves. When preparing the fresh leaves of kratom, for direct chewing or using it in cooking, the veins are removed and extracted, with a little salt added in order to eliminate the chances of constipation.
For those who cannot withstand the bitter or acrid taste of kratom, it is common practice for housewives in Thailand to mix it in stews or dishes. This allows the taste to go undetected and for the benefits of kratom to be duly utilized. Another effective and popular method is to brew the fresh leaves into a tea, that is drunk with sugar or honey to help improve the taste.