“Kratom leaves have traditionally been used for medicinal purposes for centuries in many parts of Asia. Kratom is known for its ability to relieve chronic pain, reduce anxiety, and help with stopping opioids”.
Kratom (Mitragynaspeciosa) is a tropical tree native to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. The leaves of this tropical tree have been used for medicinal purposes because of their effects such as morphine. Mitragynine, the primary active alkaloid in kratom leaves, is associated with being responsible for effects such as opioids. It is sold as dried leaves, kratom powder, extracts, capsules, pellets, or gum, and can be smoked, chewed or consumed as a tea. The European Center for Drug and Drug Monitoring (EMCDDA) states that a few grams of dried leaves can cause a refreshing effect, including euphoria, within 10 minutes. This effect can last for one to one and a half-hour.
Different types of kratom are called strains. They are mainly divided into three types based on the color of the kratom stem or vein. These three types are called red veins, green veins, or white veins. These leaves have different alkaloid compositions, which are known to produce different effects such as calming effects or as an energy booster. You can also find that kratom is sold for retail purposes according to countries of origin such as Indo (Indonesia), Malay (Malaysia), Thailand (Thailand), Kalimantan, and Bali. Kratom is also known as multiply, ketum, Rigam, ithang, and thom.
What is Kratom used for? Let’s see how kratom is increasingly used medically.
Chronic Pain Reliever
More and more kratom users, especially in the US and Europe, are using their leaves and formulations to relieve chronic pain, especially from conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. When consumed in large quantities, kratom produces feelings of pleasure, relieves pain, and can also have a sedative effect. According to the NIH report, kratom has the same effect as opioids and stimulants because of the presence of two compounds – mitragynine and 7-α-hydroxymitragynine. This compound interacts with opioid receptors in the brain to help reduce overall pain in the body. This quality of morphine or kratom leaf opium is widely considered to be the most important application.
Treatment for opioid withdrawal
In recent years, some people a lot of looking for kratom and use it as an herbal alternative to deal with withdrawal symptoms and side effects caused by opioid addiction. This can be prescription painkillers or other drugs, and sometimes even alcoholism. However, there is no scientific evidence that shows that kratom is safe for opioid withdrawal.
To Relieve Anxiety & Depression
A 2017 study on “Kratom use and mental health” in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence suggests that it can help improve mood and reduce anxiety in some individuals. It was also concluded that the use of kratom has important medical mental health benefits and risks that need to be studied. In addition, there are anecdotal data that some types of kratom increase energy levels and others that help individuals sleep better. However, this has not been scientifically proven.
Traditional Uses as Home Remedies
According to the European Center for Drugs and Drugs Monitoring, kratom has traditionally been used in parts of Southeast Asia to treat diarrhea and to eliminate heroin addiction. It is also used as a cough suppressant, an antidiabetic, intestinal worm agent, and poultice wounds. However, there is limited research on the positive effects of this kratom.
For example, a 2004 animal model showed that the antinociceptive effect and mitragynine suppressant cough in kratom were comparable to codeine. Also, a study published in the journal Molecule revealed that the extract showed antimicrobial activity against Salmonella typhi and Bacillus subtilis. More research with humans is needed to understand the potential of kratom therapy.
We’ve already mentioned that Kratom leaves come with sedating effects, and you could be wondering how the leaves could help you stay focused. When you consume Kratom, it induces the release of acetylcholine.
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that plays a significant role in enhancing focus as well as alleviating pain, muscle contraction, and regulation of the endocrine system. According to research, acetylcholine enhances memory and focus by increasing the ability of the cortical circuits to respond to sensory stimuli.
Those effects are especially helpful for students who are looking to focus during their studies, while also being able to remember things learned from months back. Kratom also induces the release of serotonin and dopamine, all of which are associated with increased focus and attention span.
This is another mental benefit you can get from using Kratom leaves. As you may already know, our brains can only function optimally if they receive adequate nutrients and energy released from the body’s metabolic processes.
The liver contains both Phase I and Phase II microsomal enzymes that metabolize Kratom into various alkaloids. Once metabolized, the alkaloids act on the Mu as well as the delta, and kappa opiate receptors that are located in the CNS and peripheral nerves.
Mitragynine mostly acts on delta receptors while 7-hydroxy mitragynine interacts with Mu receptors. Collectively, these opioid receptors ensure impressive cognitive performance.
Kratom packs opioid-like effects but unlike opioid drugs, Kratom is only a partial opioid agonist. The main reason why experts prescribe Kratom leaves for treating addiction is that it provides similar sensation as opioid drugs but doesn’t feature the comedowns.
While it interacts with opiate receptors, Kratom doesn’t induce long-term dependency. Even after periods of extended use, your body’s appetite for Kratom will always be normal.
The leaves also help to treat various conditions associated with opioid withdrawal, such as nausea and vomiting, sleeplessness, anxiety, as well as mood swings, and being an all-natural herb Kratom presents fewer and milder side effects.