- What Is Kratom?
- Understanding What Kratom Does to the Body
- How Do People Use Kratom?
- What Are the Benefits of Kratom?
- Any Possible Side Effects of Using Kratom?
- Kratom Has a Bright Medicinal Future
- What does kratom do that it’s so popular among wellness circles?
Amidst the advancements in modern medicine, people look for alternative treatments, especially when their bodies don’t respond well to certain drugs. Kratom is one of the most sought-after natural supplements, thanks to its historical potential for recreational and clinical use.
Popular strains of this herb include Maeng Da, Sumatra, and red Bali kratom. You can see the complete list over here. Enthusiasts consume each variant for their reported unique effects, like calmness, relaxation, energy, productivity, and pain relief.
Read on to understand what kratom is and if the supplement has any benefits or side effects.
What Is Kratom?
Kratom, also known as Mitragyna speciosa, is a botanical from the coffee family. It originates from Southeast Asia, where its traditional uses include:
- Chewing the leaves for their stimulating properties
- Natural remedy for cramps and diarrhea
- Managing opioid withdrawal symptoms
- Used in religious ceremonies
The leaves of the kratom plant contain mitragynine, a chemical that interacts with the brain similarly to opioids like morphine and codeine. This compound renders the botanical a potential medicinal herb commonly used as a stimulant and sedative.
The supplement is available in paste, extract, powder, and capsules.
Suppliers differentiate the major kratom variants according to the color of their leaf veins:
- Red vein: The most common kratom type used mainly for its potential stress relieving, calming, and relaxing effects.
- White vein: Users claim this strain is energizing, motivating, and mood-enhancing.
- Green vein: This variant’s benefits are a mix of the red and white types. Consumers believe it causes milder effects, such as an energy boost, alertness, and focus.
Understanding What Kratom Does to the Body
What does kratom do to you?
Like all stimulants, the effects of kratom vary widely depending on the following:
- Amount taken
- Potency (concentration and strength)
- Product formulation
- Ingestion method
- Intake of other medications
- Underlying conditions
- Previous experience with the herb
The main psychoactive compounds in kratom leaves are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. They interact with the brain’s opioid receptors, resulting in two possible scenarios.
At low doses, the supplement may make you more alert, motivated, and sexually aroused. A higher intake could cause euphoria, decreased pain, sedation, and reduced opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Researchers consider the plant a potential harm-reduction agent for those with substance use disorders.
Why is kratom extract used? Consumers claim the liquid eases muscle pains, stops cramps, and suppresses appetite. It reportedly also helps calm panic attacks.
How Do People Use Kratom?
Kratom has different modes of consumption. Traditionally, its fresh or dried leaves are brewed into tea or chewed. Preparing this beverage often involves adding lemon juice to potentiate the plant’s alkaloids.
Some people add honey or sugar before drinking to mask the brew’s bitter taste. It’s also possible to smoke the dried leaves.
Those that chew kratom leaves for euphoria and vigor consume around 1–3 fresh blades. They remove the veins before eating and often add salt to prevent constipation. Warm water and tea are the common accompaniments to this consumption mode.
If taking kratom powder, the recommended regular dose ranges from 1–2 grams. Beginners are better off starting with one gram and then increasing it over time. Amounts exceeding three grams are considered large intakes and may cause side effects.
The correct dosage for kratom extract varies among users. It’s best to begin from the powder and advance to this version. Start small and gradually increase your intake until you achieve your desired effects.
What Are the Benefits of Kratom?
Like foods that enhance the immune system, kratom use has several reported benefits for recreational and medicinal consumption.
Some people turn to the herb as a natural alternative to prescription painkillers thanks to its potential discomfort-relieving effects. Consumers also reportedly use it to overcome opioid addiction or alleviate aches.
In places like Southeast Asia, kratom is an age-old treatment for diarrhea and diabetes. It’s also believed to help improve blood circulation within the body.
Others use kratom as a stimulant and report increased energy, productivity, motivation, and relaxation.
Researchers point out that some patients resort to this supplement to address mental health symptoms, especially anxiety and depression.
Any Possible Side Effects of Using Kratom?
What does kratom do when improperly consumed? Like drinking protein shakes every day energizes your morning routine, so could Mitragyna speciosa, but should you throw caution to the wind?
Overdosing kratom might pose side effects ranging from mild to severe. Some individuals report experiencing constipation, nausea, vomiting, headache, drowsiness, and dizziness.
While these conditions are rare, it’s best to stick to the recommended amounts to avoid adverse reactions.
Kratom Has a Bright Medicinal Future
Research is underway to determine the potential long-term health effects of consuming leaves from the kratom tree. Anecdotal evidence shows the herb has promising therapeutic benefits and medical applications.
Many use it to self-treat anxiety, pain, fatigue, depression, cravings, and opioid withdrawal. Consume the botanical in moderation, as overdosing may pose side effects.