Predated historical texts indicate that kratom usage is commonly linked to Thailand, which is why the plant is commonly associated with that country. However, it is also used within countries such as Malaysia, where people refer to it as ‘ketum’. This substance, ‘ketum’, is usually sold by local vendors at booths located on roadsides, in the form of ‘air ketum’, which translated into kratom water.
This kratom water is a diluted tea, made from brewing 4 or 5 kratom leaves in a pot full of water for half an hour. Aside from consuming it as a diluted tea, others in Malaysia prefer to mix it with dried cow dung and tobacco, and then mix this into a cigarette and smoke it. Those who prefer this questionable method argue that it enhances the pain-relieving benefits of kratom.
Other preferred ways within users in Malaysia include mixing it with toasted sesame seeds, dried coconut flakes, chocolate pieces crushed into a powder etc. Moreover, people also use it with lime, lemon juice, ginger or orange juice. As is evident, Malaysians like to enhance the flavor as well as the benefits of air ketum in order to maximize its utility.
Various ways of preparing Kratom in Malaysia
The Malaysian version of preparing kratom tea is to boil a couple of leaves in water for approximately two to two and a half hours. Then, the boiling pot is placed inside a bucket or container of ice cubes or cold water, in order to cool the tea. This gives the tea a chill haze that is deemed to be visually appealing for many. However, it is highly likely that this method of cooling serves the purpose of stopping the hot tea from melting the plastic bags and cups within which the tea is served.
According to Dr. Mahmud, who is the Director at the Pharmaceuticals Division of the Health Ministry of Malaysia, kids aged 13 and above have been seen purchasing air ketum from roadside vendors and village stalls. Vendors have been reported as saying that children like to buy kratom before their classes, in the early morning. This allows them to be awakened and fresh as well as energized for their classes and extracurricular activities.
Moreover, those teenagers addicted to codeine have also been known to consume kratom in order to help them in getting high quickly. This research was reported in articles published in various newspapers in Singapore and Malaysia.
It is commonly sold for approximately 1 ringgit per one mug of tea when it was legal. Since the ban imposed upon kratom, the price has risen to 2 ringgits per cup. Moreover, a kilogram of kratom leaves were sold for approximately 10 ringgits, back when it used to be legal. Now, the price has escalated from sixteen to twenty-five ringgits per kilogram, depending upon location and vendor’s popularity.
Vendors in Malaysia are known to be selling approximately 250 to 300 kratom leaves on a daily basis. This speaks volumes about the substance’s popularity and the fact that many consider it to be a staple item within their daily lives. This is despite the fact that articles in Malaysian newspapers have increasingly been published, which highlight the negative effects and impacts on kratom on users.