Some researchers estimate that there are as many as 15 million Americans using kratom.
A relatively new alternative herbal medicine in the western world, the history of kratom is actually thousands of years old. What started as a way to keep farmworkers active has turned into an alternative therapy for everything from chronic pain to opioid addiction.
If you’re unsure whether kratom benefits you, just have a look at this long and successful history. We’re going to tell you what it is, where it comes from, and what it’s used for today, and how to take kratom. Follow along for everything you need to know about this amazing plant.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom is derived from the large, dark green, oval-shaped leaves of the mitragyna speciosa tree. Those leaves can be chewed, crushed, or powdered and made into tea. They’re now more widely found in the form of a paste, in capsules, or as tablets.
Kratom has been used for its medicinal properties both historically and today.
What Is the History of Kratom?
The mitragyna speciosa tree grows in the wet and humid climates of South East Asia, the Philippines, and New Guinea. The tree grows between 4 and 16 meters high and produces large leaves. It’s these leaves that contain the medicinal components of kratom.
There is a historical record of kratom leaf use in Southeast Asia as well as Indochina as far back as the Dutch colonial period. However, it’s believed that its use dates back thousands of years prior to this record.
Local manual laborers used kratom leaves to fight fatigue so that they were able to work more productively. They ingested the kratom by chopping fresh or dried leaves into a tea or by chewing them.
In Thailand, kratom has been used to treat medical conditions such as morphine dependence. In Malaya, it’s been used as an optimum substitute. Kratom also carries socioreligious significance in some ceremonies in these regions.
What Is Kratom Used for Today?
In western countries, kratom has recently gained popularity as alternative herbal medicine and psychoactive substance. It has stimulating and sedating properties, depending on the dose. Higher doses result in stimulation and lower doses result in sedation, relaxation, and calm.
Some kratom users report using kratom for chronic pain and digestive ailments. It’s also gained popularity as an aid for withdrawal from opium dependence.
How to Take Kratom
Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynin are the alkaloid compounds responsible for the effects of kratom. These compounds are in the leaves.
Traditionally, you chew the leaves, brew them into tea, eat them, or smoke them. But it’s less likely to find kratom leaves outside of their country of origin.
Instead, you may come across kratom in green powder, liquid extract, gum, or tablet. Figure out the best ways to take kratom before you get started.
Keep in Touch With Health
The history of kratom is much longer than the few years it’s been popular in the western world. Indeed, these medicinal tree leaves have been used for possibly thousands of years. Then and now, users like it for its sedative or stimulant effect, depending on the dose.
And for more articles that keep you informed about your health, be sure to check our health blog regularly.