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What is Kratom?

Kratom (scientifically as Mitragyna speciosa), is a tropical evergreen tree native to the jungles of Southeast Asia. It was given its name and was formally described for the first time by the Dutch colonial botanist, Pieter Korthals, in 1839. The tree, which is indigenous to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea has been used traditionally in medicine as well as an energizer by farmers since the 19th century. The use of Kratom in the ancient ritual worship of ancestors and gods, and as a special snack to receive guests has been interesting enough to attract people to it. Kratom has, however, only recently gained popularity in the field of modern medicine, due to which its effects and pharmacology are still the topics of debate. The tree leaves, which are famous for their therapeutic and medicinal properties, are now growing in demand worldwide despite all the controversies trying to defame the highly beneficial plant.

Benefits of Kratom

Kratom, used for centuries as a treatment for malaria, intestinal worms and infections, diarrhoea, coughs, body aches, and mood disorders has come again into the limelight. The herb has a unique blend of alkaloids that can benefit the body.

The leaves are known for their pain-relieving and sedative effects. The primary alkaloids found in the leaves are believed to interfere with receptors in the brain, thus helping reduce muscle aches, chronic pains, abdominal pains as well as pains induced because of an injury or damage to the tissues.

New research into the possible treatments for the disease has claimed that Kratom can act as a very beneficial anti-anxiety medicine. This property of the plant can help patients suffering from mood disorders such as chronic stress, depression, and mood swings.

Kratom helps relieve addicts that are recovering from opioid withdrawal symptoms and dependency on classified schedule 1 drugs. The plant alkaloids interfere with the normal functioning of the body in a way that resembles that of the opioids, thus helping addicts to achieve a quicker recovery.

How Does Kratom Affect Your Body?

As the popularity of Kratom grown in the last few years, there are increasing efforts to identify the most active pharmacologic agents that can alter the Kratom effects within our body.

Kratom has over 20+ plus alkaloids that help deliver the different effects of the plant. There are, however, only two main active alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine. Both of these have undergone extensive studies, and which are responsible for the primary effects of the plant.

The two main constituents of Mitragya Speciosa interfere with the normal functioning of the body by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, in a way similar to endogenous endorphins. These are naturally occurring neurotransmitters found within the body that works on the opioid receptor system to help relieve pain and fight stress. The alkaloids in Kratom affects these receptors causing sedating, euphoric, pain-relieving and anxiolytic effects.

The compound, mitragynine also binds to norepinephrine and serotonin receptor systems, thus acting as a stimulant. The other major component of the plant, 7-hydroxymitragynine, is known to have a higher potency than morphine and mitragynine, respectively, and believed to induce clinically significant anti-nociceptive responses in a dose-dependent manner.

The Legal Aspects of Kratom

With the growing international concern about the possible threats from Kratom use, the legality status of Kratom remains pending in many states. Although the FDA hasn’t yet termed the plant as illegal, it did ban imports and the manufacturing of Kratom as a dietary supplement in 2014, for fears that the plant may lead to drug abuse, addiction, and dependence.

Moreover, many countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, Finland and Denmark have declared the plant illegal and have set strict penalties for individuals who are caught possessing or selling the plant in any form.

Kratom support organizations are working together to ensure the availability of Kratom to all individuals across the world. They believe that the therapeutic and medicinal properties of Kratom are very extraordinary. These forums also state that Kratom, being a natural herb, is inexpensive and easily affordable for all individuals. They believe that Kratom can act as a substitute for prescribed medications, thus breaking the strong-hold and monopoly of certain drug companies. The most prominent forum working for this great cause is the American Kratom Association. This organization aims to spread the miraculous stories of Kratom users to the world, thus attracting a larger audience to join in the Kratom community. The organization also seeks to remove the misunderstanding and misconceptions that have forever haunted the greatness of Kratom.

Is Kratom For You?

Kratom is not for everybody. Depending on your needs and desires though, there is likely a strain and dosage style that could be good for you. Are you looking for an energizing herbal pick-me-up? You’re looking for something relaxing to deal with the hectic day to day rat race, are you? Maybe you’re in the mood for a mood lifting plant supplement . Is it something with nutritional benefits you crave? Whichever it is, there’s a type of kratom for you! Truth is, there is as diverse a group of kratom users as there are types of kratom and ways to take it.
Remember though, kratom is not FDA approved. Mitragyna products aren’t intended to prevent, treat, cure or diagnose any illnesses. Take care if you are currently under a doctor’s care. Also if you’re taking any prescription or over-the-counter drugs. If you are in treatment for any existing illness check with your doctor to make sure kratom is a good choice for you.