What is Kratom?
Kratom is another name for the Mitragyna speciosa tree, which is native to Southeast Asia. It’s from the Rubiaceae plant family, which is the same family coffee comes from. Mitragyna speciosa trees have been known to reach heights of nearly 100 feet tall in areas where they can truly thrive.
Most people are interested in kratom for its reported effects. In parts of the world where kratom grows naturally, people have been using its leaves in herbal solutions for hundreds of years already. Typically, those people would chew kratom leaves, make kratom tea, or consume dried kratom powder (often mixed into food or drink).
Now that people are finding out about kratom in the rest of the world, it’s becoming a hot topic in health and wellness communities. The attention to kratom has made it a hot topic in politics and the media from time to time which has contributed to the spread of misinformation about Kratom. This page will attempt to set the record straight with answers to the most common questions we hear about kratom. Keep reading to learn more about this fascinating plant.
What Does Kratom Do?
We’re still waiting to get more firm scientific evidence about the true benefits of kratom. That said, there are many anecdotes from around the world, especially where Kratom as used as herbal support. In small amounts (of some strains) people report that it acts as a stimulant, increasing their mental clarity and giving them more energy. For many years the Indigenous people throughout Southeast Asia have chewed leaves from the Mitragyna speciosa tree while they worked in the fields during the day.
There are reports that those same farmers also consumed kratom at night because they perceived soothing sedative effects at higher doses. Reports that it can act as both a relaxing or as a stimulant are not the only interesting thing about kratom. People have reported using it for many other things. Some people have also consumed kratom recreationally.
What’s the Science Behind Kratom?
Among other natural organic compounds called phytochemicals, kratom is known to contain alkaloids called mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. It’s believed by some, that those two alkaloids are primarily responsible for the effects associated with kratom. Mitragynine has a chemical structure that reminds some people of Psilocybin and Ergine (also known as LSA). Kratom has more than 40 alkaloids total.
For that reason, many people used to believe mitragynine was doing the heavy lifting in kratom, but more recent schools of thought indicate that 7-hydroxymitragynine may be much more potent. Both bind with some of the same neurotransmitter receptors as opioids, so it’s unclear if either of these two most popular alkaloids could cause the stimulant effect some people report, or if its results are from the interaction of all of the alkaloids. Mitragynine is a partial agonist to the delta-opioid, kappa-opioid, mu-opioid, 5-HT2A serotonergic, and alpha2-adrenergic receptors. 7-hydroxymitragynine also binds with the kappa-opioid and mu-opioid receptors.
Where Does Kratom Come From?
Kratom is native to Southeast Asia, growing in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Borneo, and Papua New Guinea. People from those parts of the world have been harvesting kratom and using it in traditional medicines for hundreds of years already, but now it’s in higher demand throughout the rest of the world as well. Since the global demand for kratom is becoming so high, some people have started growing it in plantation settings. The Mitragyna speciosa trees grow best in a tropical environment, and the world’s best kratom still comes from Southeast Asia.
Here at Gold Leaf Botanicals, we only sell natural Organic* Kratom that grows naturally in the wild and then is hand-harvested from deep in the jungle of Indonesia.
*There are no certifying agencies in Indonesia. To the Best of our knowledge, and with many hours of studying, our Kratom is believed to be grown without the use of pesticides or chemicals.
Image: Wikipedia Commons