Kratom is derived from a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family. It’s indigenous to Southeast Asia and some parts of Africa, where it’s widely spread as herbal medicine. In Asia, locals have consumed Kratom as a home remedy for centuries. They also use it to improve energy levels, increase sex drive and appetite.
For this and other purposes, more and more people are looking to get a piece of this Kratom high in the USA, too, despite its possible adverse effects. Kratom contains alkaloid compounds called mitragynine and 7-hydroxy-mitragynine. It has an opioid effect and acts as a stimulant. You can chew its leaves, drink it as tea, take it in the form of capsules and even smoke it.
You can use the extracts and the leaves of the tree to treat coughs, diarrhea, and intestinal infections. At a low dose, Kratom can increase alertness, energy, and talkativeness. At a high amount, it can sedate you.
People use it to prevent exhaustion, enhance mood, relieve pain, mitigate opioid withdrawal symptoms, deal with depressive or anxiety disorder, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions.
According to plenty of scientific evidence, Kratom can carry significant risks for health. Research from Southeast Asia showed that kratom consumption could cause addiction. For some people, withdrawal can be very uncomfortable, and they have difficulties maintaining their abstinence. The withdrawal symptoms are the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings
- Muscle cramps
- Short nerves
- High fever
- Runny nose
Some individuals addicted to Kratom experienced psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusion, and confusion. So while Kratom is currently legal in the USA, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) lists it as a “drug of concern.”
Scientists think that some compounds in Kratom react to opioid receptors in the human brain. Depending on the quantity you take, this interaction may lead to feelings of calmness, pleasure, and lower pain perception.
A 2017 research on Kratom showed that people who self-treated their depression and anxiety found that the herbal supplement reduced their symptoms and enhanced their mood. It also highlighted that the plant could have sedative properties. However, there’s currently very little research on Kratom’s effect on mood and mental health.
Kratom may have the potential as an opioid substitute for people with opioid use disorder. Kratom isn’t an opioid, but its effects resemble those of morphine or codeine. The active ingredient in kratom leaves is mitragynine. It sticks to opioid receptors in the brain and soothes pain.
Some addicts take Kratom to relieve withdrawal because it gives rise to feelings of euphoria, and it is much easier to obtain than prescribed medicines. According to some, this natural herbal medicine can help when other rehab methods fail.
After they stop using Kratom, people can develop withdrawal symptoms. However, they appear to be mild compared to those of opioids. Many opioid addicts that switched to Kratom swear that the substance rescued their health, job, relationships, etc.
Doctors always say that opioids are effective painkillers, but they are highly addictive. Therefore, every day more and more people are searching for alternatives to expensive and addictive prescribed medications. Surveys and case reports show that the use of Kratom might help with acute or chronic pain.
According to some patients, Kratom is better than synthetic painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin as a natural solution derived from plants. Many people who have arthritis and fibromyalgia use it to relieve their pain. Kratom can also help with backaches, joint inflammation, and pain from physical exertion.
A group of researchers conducted a study, “Study on Glucose Transport in Muscle Cells by Extract from Mitragyna Speciosa and Mitragynine.” There they discovered that Kratom might help restore insulin function and, this way, significantly relieve symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
There is no proof that the natural botanical can cure type 2 diabetes. However, the study shows that it can regenerate pancreas function. The research on Kratom’s effectiveness for diabetes is still ongoing. However, due to the herb’s analgesic and anti-anxiety properties, people with diabetes are hopeful for the future of this study.
Although Kratom is an exciting natural remedy, it is crucial to follow the science of its alternative medicine. There isn’t enough research yet to confirm the benefits of this dietary supplement. Certain strains will be more effective at relieving your symptoms than others. This is why you must read about the different types of Kratom and their effects before choosing the one that is best suited for your needs.
Last but not least, always consult with your doctor before use, especially if you have never tried it before.