Also known as mitragyna speciosa, kratom is a name given to a tree from a coffee family found in Southeast Asia. The tree is planted in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.
The kratom leaves are dried and encapsulated to be sold as a supplement or used to make tea. The leaves can also be smoked as tobacco.
While some research is needed to confirm health benefits associated with kratom use, the plant is not illegal. It has been applied as a natural home remedy in Asia and across the world for a hundred years. This post outlines more about these health benefits.
But first, how do you use the substance?
Generally, this substance can be used as an extract, capsule, or pill. Some people brew the dried leaves and use them as tea, while others chew them, smoke them, or eaten in food.
How does kratom affect the brain?
Kratom has similar effects as stimulants and opioids. The two major compounds found in this plant, 7-a-hydroxymitragynine, and mitragynine, interact with opioid receptors located in the brain to cause pleasure, sedation and minimize pains, especially when consumed in large amounts.
Also, mitragynine reacts with other brain receptors to give a stimulant effect. When consumed in small quantities, people report increased energy, alertness, and sociability instead of sedation. Despite these benefits, kratom can also lead to uncomfortable if not dangerous side effects when used in excess.
Health benefits of kratom.
Several research has discovered potential health benefits of this substance that cannot be assumed.
There are three different strains of kratom which are both effective for relieving chronic pains. Green, red, and white vein varieties offer pain relief elements that attach to opioid receptors in the brain.
One of the common compounds found in kratom-7-a-hydroxymitragynine is 13 times stronger than morphine. Although it targets opioid receptors such as codeine and morphine, it is naturally a common opioid.
Improves sex drive.
The substance has been studied as a potential libido enhancement supplement. There are several positive reports from clinical studies about the aphrodisiac abilities of kratom. These reports concluded that the plant is a strong plant-based sexual drive enhancer.
Kratom has a lot of mood-boosting effects that also reduce stress. Research confirms that it is a better remedy for opioid addiction. It is proven to reduce withdrawal symptoms related to ethanol and morphine.
Different studies show that the plant has similar effects as a hunger suppressant and antidepressant. In one study using animals, it was found that kratom reduces corticosterone levels in mice.
From the same research, kratom suppressed hunger by slowing down the hypothalamus, a section of the brain responsible for cravings and appetite. Despite all these benefits, more research is still needed to confirm if it has similar effects on humans.
Recommended dosage and amount.
Different factors like age, general health, etc., dictate the amount of kratom someone should take. Based on different studies, the result for the usage of this herb depends on the dosage amount, with moderate levels between 5-15 grams and low levels starting from 1-5 grams.
But more studies are required to clearly determine the effects of dosage variations on the human system, both short and long term.
Kratom is an ancient Southeastern Asian plant that has been used as a natural home remedy for over a thousand years despite lacking enough modern-age clinical research.
The common components of this plant have similar effects as opioids and stimulants. And they help in pain-relieving, mood-boosting, and libido enhancement supplements. Kratom leaves can be dried and used in preparing tea, encapsulated and consumed as pills, chewed, or eaten in food.
Due to the lack of conclusive effects on humans, it is advisable to consult a medical professional on how much you should consume the supplements.