Medicinal Herbs-Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa)

Mitragyna speciosa

kratom
kratom

What is Kratom?

Sounds like cray-tum; Kratom comes from a tree native to Southeast Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar [Burma], as well as a few other locations), it is considered psychoactive, but Kratom is not a psychedelic or hallucinogen. Botanically named Mitragyna speciosa, the leaves of kratom have been used as an herbal medicine for many years by natives of Southeast Asia. People in the West have been using this herb since the 1800's. At low doses kratom behaves like a stimulant in the body. At higher doses it behaves like a sedative. It is a popular recreational drug throughout various parts of the world. It also successfully treats opiate addiction, kills pain in the body, stabilizes mood and sadness and relieves diarrhea. Mitragynine is a stimulant and 7-hydroxymitragyine a sedative, acting primarily as an agonist at the μ-opioid receptor. The Mitragyna Speciosa tree leaves are loaded with naturally-forming alkaloids. The alkaloids found in kratom, including mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, interact with the cells of the human body in a very special way. Do not mistake or confuse kratom as an opiate. It isn't. Mitragyna Speciosa is not an opiate. The alkaloids in kratom do interact with some of the same cell receptors in the body which are targeted by opiates. But in the body, kratom behaves like an opioid receptor agonist. It does not interact with these receptors in a negative way. Opiate users have found relief through the use of this medicinal herb, because it “fills in the gaps” left by opiate abuse, without causing new problems.

Kratom is not legal in all countries because when used it can cause a "high", this article is not meant to condone or promote kratom use. Please read responsibly. This article assumes NO legal responsibility for what you choose to do with the info provided.

Kratom seed pod

Kratom's seed pods are quite pretty and mesmerizing.
Kratom's seed pods are quite pretty and mesmerizing.

Kratom use

There are many ways to use Kratom. Most people use the leaves to make tea and then drink it until desired effects are achieved. The tea has a very distinct taste, and rather awful at that, making it very unpleasant to drink. Mixing your steeped concoction with either a black tea or putting it through a french press with lemon will help get it down. From a french press with lemon, it favors the taste of an old dirty boot with lemon spice. Yuck. Powdered kratom in vegetable or gel capsules is pain free to taste buds. Strength varies by strain- Premium Bali kratom I find to be wonderful but hard to acquire depending on where you are located (also white-vein strains are great). Because we are all unique, effects will vary by individual. Kratom can be taken in leaf, powder or extract form. Taken in leaf form as a tea, dosages begin at 2-6 grams = mild effects, 7-15 grams = medium strength effects, 16-25 grams = strong effects. The powder form is stronger. Begin with small doses around ½ teaspoon mixed in a little water or juice. Too much can make you feel nauseous or dizzy. The first time I tried it, I was not feeling so well within 2 hours, I had to much. You have to experiment and find a dose that works with your body. Red vein variety kratom is more calming, white vein is euphoric and energetic, green vein kratom is more energizing. With continued use a tolerance can develop and you may need more to get the same effects. To avoid this, alternate between different varieties or take a break for a few days.

Kratom can be swallowed by placing leaf powder in a gel or vegetable capsule

Kratom can also be smoked- but this is not desirable

The active alkaloids within this herb have both stimulant and sedative effects depending on how much you consume.

Have you ever heard of this wonderful medicinal herb?

Have you ever heard of Kratom?

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Effects on the body

Health benefits:

  • Lowers blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol
  • Has antiviral properties
  • Naturally contains antioxidants

As a stimulant:

  • Increases energy
  • Increases libido
  • Increases concentration
  • Makes one more sociable, friendly, chatty

As a sedative-euphoric-analgesic:

  • Calm relaxed demeanor
  • Less sensitive to emotional and physical pain
  • Will tend to feel euphoric and dreamy
  • May notice heightened sense of hearing

Possible side effects:

  • Constricted pupils (small)
  • May cause itching, sweating, and flushing
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • May cause nausea and headache (typically in larger doses)
  • Positive glow of skin following use


Grow your own

Kratom plants are sometimes offered for sale by specialty nurseries or vendors that specialize in unique medicinal plants. Some people prefer to grow their own to ensure quality and purity.

  • They can be grown as house plants
  • They prefer a humid environment
  • They dislike cold weather
  • They do not tolerate frost

Warning

Although rare, kratom can be hepatoxic, meaning it can injure the liver when consumed at high doses for extended time frames. Most substances are damaging to the liver; Tylenol, alcohol, prescription drugs, even things you put on your skin. The liver is the biggest filter in our body, it performs over 500 tasks and is therefore EXTREMELY important. Treat your liver and other organs with love for all the work they do for you. Don't get greedy and abuse this beautiful herb provided by mother nature.

Kratom should not be used for extended time frames (over 2 weeks straight, nor should someone ingest a high dose on a regular basis). Use but don't abuse, and take breaks to give your body a break. Do not drink alcohol or combine with other drugs (OTC, or street drugs) while using kratom.

The effects of kratom typically last 4-6 hours. Some claim kratom can become addictive, I believe this is mainly from its effects psychologically. It is a "feel" good herb. However, large doses or repetitive use can cause symptoms of withdrawal in some.

Dose information;

2-6 grams = mild (stimulating)
7-15 grams = medium (can be stimulant-like or sedative-euphoric-analgesic)
16-25 grams = very strong (sedative-euphoric-analgesic; usually to strong for most people)
26-50 grams = much to strong (sedative-euphoric-analgesic; TOO STRONG not advised and not necessary!)

What to expect and when to use?

Because this herb is a natural painkiller, it can be marvelous in small to moderate doses for any ailment that causes chronic pain. It is a great alternative to prescription pain killers and has changed the lives of many people suffering from chronic conditions. It also is a great herb to assist with meditation, mood stabilization and relaxation. If you have acquired an opiate addiction, this herb can assist in ending your addiction.

In lower doses, you can use it to give yourself a "pick-up", more energy and a happier disposition; kratom comes from a tree also related to the same tree we get coffee from. Energizing effects feel similar to having a few cups of coffee.

Kratom bottom-line

The bottom-line is that kratom is a valuable therapeutic, medicinal herb, when used responsibly and correctly it will positively impact your health.

© 2014 Rebecca

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Comments 6 comments

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

I have never even heard of this but was fascinated by your description. I can see why people may like it, in spite of its nasty taste.


Bishop55 profile image

Bishop55 2 years ago from USA Author

Thanks for your comment. I only recently discovered this beauty, a few months back. It's amazing is all I can say.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

I have never heard of this. It was an interesting Hub Rebecca.

Kevin


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

i too never heard of this but hey its worth a try huh? lol great hub


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Interesting and most informative. I have to heard of this unique plant.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

This is the first I have heard of this herb. I see it does have some benefits in helping people to relax. I find the side of effect of glowing skin fascinating. Thanks for the education.

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