What is Kratom?
Kratom is a tree grown for pain! This plant – with a pharmaceutical history since 1897 – is called kratom and has its origin in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar. Its sedative and analgesic efficacy at the right dosage should be good news for a lot of pain patients, therapists and alternative practitioners in case they have no knowledge of kratom and are already using it. The kratom is a tree native to the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. Its leaves have been used since ancient times for its intoxicating, stimulating and medicinal properties. The active principle of kratom is mitraginine, although it contains another large amount of alkaloids.
In Malaysia and Southeast Asia, raw kratom is often chewed or consumed in the form of a tea infusion. In this case only the kratom tree leaves (Mitragyna speciosa) are used.
The tree prefers to thrive in humid lowland forest areas and reaches heights of 10 to twenty-five meters. There are two types of deciduous trees, distinguished by a reddish or greenish color of the leaf veins. Kratom is also known as the Red Sentol tree and belongs to the Rubiaceae family.
The analgesic effect of the kratom has been confirmed by animal experiments. The alkaloid 7-hydroxymitragynine is the main active substance of the kratom and is 13 times more effective than morphine.
How Beneficial Kratom Is?
On the other hand, kratom has a somewhat hybrid, contradictory efficacy and application. Although it has an invigorating and stimulating effect in minimal amounts, kratom in larger doses leads to fatigue.
Also historically seen, the field of application of kratom for pain relief extremely versatile: Already in the 19th century it was used in Thailand as a remedy against diarrhea – tests on animals also support this positive effect.
Opium addiction was treated with kratom, while in Malaysia it was also used as an opiate substitute. Kratom was also used as a wound dressing and as a fever remedy. In folk medicine kratom is also said to have positive results in weight reduction if taken continuously.
In general, it does not have a bad reputation in Asia, as workers and farmers are more motivated and work harder in difficult circumstances, such as high temperatures, thanks to kratom. This is similar to the chewed coca leaves in the South American Andes, which slow down appetite, brighten the mood and increase general well-being despite physical effort at height.
If you don’t want to chew the kratom tree leaves freshly and chew them or consume them as a tea drink, because kratom has a rather bitter taste, you can try kratom extract and mix the extract with orange juice or buttermilk. This kratom extract, known as mambog, is made from the boiled leaves. There are also powders of ground kratom leaves and kratom syrup (Madat).
The effect of kratom is immensely dependent on the dosage. The mode of action also differs depending on the respective genus, the cultivation period and quality of kratom as well as on the personal tolerance of the consumer.
Within 5 to 20 minutes after ingestion, kratom develops its mode of action, which can last up to about 8 hours. Kratom can cause negative side effects if taken continuously and unrestrainedly. In this case, the symptoms of loss of appetite and discomfort should be mentioned, as well as skin discoloration if used extensively over time.
If you pause while eating – i.e. practice abstinence – this can lead to fatigue, irritability as well as muscle and joint problems. So far kratom does not fall under the German Narcotics Law. However, kratom can not only be produced and used as a drug but also as a psychoactive substance for the central nervous system.
Kratom is no longer permitted in Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar, nor in Australia. However, if kratom is only taken to a reasonable extent, its addictive potential is similar to that of caffeine. In the dried leaves, the alkaloid content is only 0.5 to 1.5 %.