Although indigenous to Southeastern Asia, kratom is slowly becoming a popular plant, but not for reasons you may at first think. Unlike many other popular plant species, kratom is not primarily used for decorative purposes, or even for culinary use. However, despite not having these characteristics, many who use it say it is has changed their life.
What is Kratom?
Kratom is a relative of the coffee (Rubiaceae) family, and similar to its brother, it has unique and interesting effects on people. The primary of these effects is its powerful ability to reduce pain, in fact, its most potent alkaloid — 7-OH-Mitragynine- has been shown to be up to 17 times as potent as morphine. While kratom does have mood-boosting effects, writing this plant off as a drug may imprudent, as there are no recorded cases of overdose in the several thousands of years it has been used. Additionally, from current studies, it seems that severe physical and mental dependence upon kratom is fairly rare, and primarily a result of the cultures that exist where it is traditionally grown.
In addition to powerful pain reducing effects, this plant seems to have other very useful properties, such as treating addiction to narcotics and other substances. One can find reports all over the internet and in chat rooms of those who would likely still be drug addicts were it not for kratom.
In total, kratom has a vast range of medicinal effects, some of these include:
- Analgesia (Pain Reduction)
- Anxiolysis (Anxiety Reduction)
- Mild Euphoria
- Eases Withdrawal from Many Drugs
- Stimulates the Immune System
The potent medicinal effects are dramatically contributing to the popularity of kratom, especially in more modernized countries.
However, despite the growing popularity of this plant, there are still many who would like to see it made illegal. In fact, as of 2014, there are 9 states which have tried to pass laws banning kratom; in all cases, however, this ban on kratom was lumped into the ban on bath salts, although the two are dissimilar at the least. Luckily, thanks to letters sent to congressmen and congresswomen, five of these states have removed kratom and its alkaloids from these bans.
While the medicinal properties of kratom seem to be powerful, there is still much technical knowledge to learn about this drug and the ways in which it effects the body — a subject which the dramatic press enjoys taking advantage of — however, after thousands of years of use, it seems both highly effective and fairly safe.
The potential medicinal applications for this plant are vast. Perhaps, alkaloids found in this plant will be the inspiration for a powerful group of safe and effective standardized medications.