Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tree native to Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It can grow up to 82 feet (25 meters) tall and has a trunk that can reach a diameter of 3 feet (1 meter). Kratom leaves are typically dark green and glossy, with a pointed tip and oval-shaped base. The leaves can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) long and 5 inches (13 cm) wide.
To identify a Kratom plant, look for the following characteristics:
- Leaves: Kratom leaves are dark green and glossy, with a pointed tip and oval-shaped base.
- Stem: The stem of a Kratom plant is usually straight and can grow up to 3 feet (1 meter) in diameter.
- Height: Kratom trees can grow up to 82 feet (25 meters) tall, but they are typically smaller when grown outside their native range.
- Flowers: Kratom flowers are small and grow in clusters at the end of the branches.
- Fruit: Kratom fruits are small and look like capsules. They contain many tiny seeds.
- Bark: The bark of the Kratom tree is smooth and grayish-brown in color.
Note that Kratom trees can be difficult to grow outside of their native range and may require specific growing conditions to thrive.
The leaves of the Kratom plant (Mitragyna speciosa) are traditionally used for their medicinal properties. The leaves contain alkaloids, such as mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which are responsible for the plant’s effects.
Kratom leaves are commonly used for the following medicinal purposes:
- Pain relief: Kratom leaves are used to alleviate pain, especially chronic pain.
- Mood enhancement: Kratom leaves are used to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and increase energy levels.
- Addiction management: Kratom leaves are used to manage withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid addiction.
- Relaxation: Kratom leaves are used to promote relaxation and help with sleep.
Kratom leaves can be consumed in various forms, including as a tea, powder, capsule, or extract.
Name in popular languages
- Thai: กระท่อม (krathom)
- Indonesian: Kratom or Daun Kratom
- Malay: Ketum or Biak
- Vietnamese: Cay Mitragyna, Cay Thao Ma Tien
- Japanese: クラトム (kuratomu)
- German: Kratom or Kratomblätter
- French: Kratom or Feuilles de Kratom
- Spanish: Kratom or Hojas de Kratom
Origin and History
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The plant has been used for centuries by indigenous people in Southeast Asia for its medicinal properties and cultural significance.
In traditional medicine, Kratom leaves have been used to relieve pain, improve mood, and increase energy levels. The leaves were often chewed or brewed into a tea for consumption. Kratom was also used as a traditional remedy for diarrhea, cough, and other ailments.
Kratom has also been used in Southeast Asian culture for its psychotropic effects, and it was sometimes used in religious ceremonies and social gatherings. Kratom’s psychoactive effects are due to the presence of alkaloids such as mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which interact with opioid receptors in the brain.
In recent years, Kratom has gained popularity in the United States and other countries as an herbal supplement and recreational drug. However, its use has been controversial, and its safety and efficacy have been the subject of debate. Some studies have suggested that Kratom may have potential as a treatment for opioid addiction, but more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness and safety.
There is limited research available on the nutritional constituents of Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) plant. However, some studies have reported the presence of various alkaloids, flavonoids, and other compounds in the leaves of Kratom.
- Alkaloids: Kratom leaves contain several alkaloids, including mitragynine, 7-hydroxymitragynine, and speciogynine. These alkaloids have been reported to have various pharmacological effects, including pain relief and mood enhancement.
- Flavonoids: Kratom leaves also contain several flavonoids, including quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin. These compounds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may contribute to the plant’s therapeutic effects.
- Other compounds: Kratom leaves also contain other compounds, such as terpenoids and tannins. These compounds may also contribute to the plant’s medicinal properties, although more research is needed to understand their effects.
Medicinal or Health Benefits
The medicinal or health benefits of Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) are still being studied, and its safety and efficacy are subject to debate. However, some studies have suggested that Kratom may have potential therapeutic uses, including pain relief, mood enhancement, and treatment of opioid addiction. Find below further information:
- Pain relief: Kratom has been reported to have analgesic properties and may be effective in treating chronic pain. A study published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that Kratom use was associated with significant pain reduction in patients with chronic pain.
- Mood enhancement: Kratom has been reported to have mood-enhancing properties and may be effective in treating anxiety and depression. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that Kratom use was associated with improved mood and reduced anxiety in users. (Reference:
- Opioid addiction: Kratom has been reported to have potential as a treatment for opioid addiction, although more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness and safety. A study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs found that Kratom use was associated with reduced opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings in users.
It’s important to note that there is limited scientific research available on its safety and efficacy. Additionally, Kratom has been associated with various side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and liver toxicity. Consult with a healthcare professional before using Kratom for medicinal purposes.
Kratom has been traditionally used for medicinal purposes in Southeast Asia for centuries. However, there is limited scientific research on its efficacy and safety for medicinal purposes. Here are some findings from available scientific research on the use of Kratom for health and medicinal purposes:
- Pain relief: Kratom contains alkaloids that have analgesic effects. Several studies suggest that Kratom can effectively relieve pain, including chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and pain associated with cancer.
- Opioid withdrawal: Kratom is known to bind to the same receptors in the brain as opioids, which can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to opioids. Some studies suggest that Kratom can be an effective treatment for opioid withdrawal.
- Anxiety and depression: Kratom is believed to have anxiolytic and antidepressant effects. Some studies suggest that Kratom can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Energy and focus: Kratom is believed to have stimulating effects, and it has been traditionally used by manual laborers in Southeast Asia to improve energy and focus. Some studies suggest that Kratom can enhance cognitive function and improve physical performance.
Despite these potential benefits, Kratom is not regulated or approved by the FDA for medicinal purposes. There have been concerns about its safety and potential for abuse. More research is needed to fully understand the benefits and risks of Kratom for medicinal purposes.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has raised concerns about the use of Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) for health and medicinal purposes. The FDA has not approved Kratom for any medical use and has issued warnings about its potential risks, including addiction, abuse, and dependence.
It’s important to note that Kratom is not regulated by the FDA, and the agency has not evaluated its safety and efficacy for any medical use. Additionally, Kratom has been associated with various side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and liver toxicity. Consult with a healthcare professional before using Kratom for any purpose.