WHAT IS KRATOM?
Mitragyna speciosa or commonly referred to as kratom (Krah-tum) is a natural botanical member of the coffee family native to Southeast Asia where it has been used in traditional medicine since at least the 19th century. The herb possesses both opioid and stimulant-like properties. The people of Southeast Asia have used kratom leaves as an herbal supplement and traditional remedy for hundreds of years. When taken in appropriate doses, kratom can provide increased energy, pain relief and respite from a variety of other mental and physical ailments.
In cultures where the plant grows, the leaves are chewed by the locals to relieve musculoskeletal pain, increase energy, and boost mood. The leaves or extracts from them are used to heal wounds, as a local anesthetic, to treat coughs, diarrhea, and intestinal infections. Kratom is often used by workers in laborious or monotonous professions to stave off exhaustion as well as a mood enhancer and/or painkiller.
Kratom is a unique herb in that a low to moderate dose will usually (but not always) be stimulating, while a high dose is almost always quite sedating. This is apparently because the active alkaloids have both stimulant and sedative effects. Which predominates probably depends both on dosage and individual differences between users. Many people report that the effects are very similar to opiate drugs. From a pharmacological perspective, this is not surprising because kratom contains alkaloids that act as opiate receptor agonists. Interestingly, although kratom has a similar mechanism of action as many opiate pain medications it does not appear to be nearly as addictive. In fact, many people use kratom to overcome opiate addiction.
Kratom has been shown to:
improve the immune system
ease anxiety and depression
induce healthy sleep
lower blood pressure
increase mental focus
ease addiction withdrawals
At the stimulant level, the mind is more alert, physical energy (and sometimes sexual energy) is increased, one feels more motivated to get things done, ability to do hard, monotonous physical work may be improved, there is an elevation of mood (it has an antidepressant effect), one is more talkative, friendly, and sociable. The stimulant effects of kratom are different from typical central nervous system stimulants, such as caffeine or amphetamine drugs. Kratom is more of a cognitive stimulant than a physical stimulant.
At a sedative dose you will be less sensitive to physical or emotional pain, feel a sense of calm and enjoy a general feeling of comfortable pleasure.
Kratom is not a drug. Kratom is not an opiate. Kratom is not a synthetic substance. It is a safe herbal supplement that’s more akin to tea or coffee than any other substance. Kratom contains no opiates, but it does bind to the same receptor sites in the brain. Chocolate, coffee, exercise and even human breast milk hit these receptor sites in a similar fashion.
In short, kratom is a safe, inexpensive and legal plant you can take to eliminate anxiety, manage pain, improve productivity/motivation, and more.
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The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Information regarding the use of kratom in folk medicine is provided for education purposes only, it is not intended as medical advice.