Kratom, what it is, what it does and why it should stay available

Posted on February 28, 2012 by

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kratom forest in Malaysia

Dustin, a Kratom Association member gives his personal view and shares his experiences with kratom. Dustin is worried that this great herb might be banned in the future, below he explains why it is a bad idea.  

Kratom, derived from a Thai word for a species of tree known as Mitragyna speciosa, is a large tree in the Rubiaceae family that grows natively in Southeast Asia. In the wild, the trees can grow higher than 60 feet and wider than 15 feet. The leaves can have either light or dark red veins, and the leaves can be either a light green or a dark green in color. The leaves are elongated and oval, with a straight vein from bottom to tip and symmetrical veins shooting off from the main vein.

The tree has a very topical appearance, and grows in wet or marshy areas in Southeast Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo and New Guinea. The Kratom tree produces round yellowish flower pods which contain around 50 seeds.

One of the earliest mentions of Kratom was by Pieter Korthals in the early 19th century, a Dutch Botanist who described its flowers as reminding him somewhat of a Bishop’s mitre. Thus, he named this tree Mitragyna. In the time of Korthals, Kratom was a historically used remedy in Thailand. It was used as a cure all for various physical and mental ailments. The ancient history of Kratom is unknown, and sources describing its use prior to European Colonization are scarce. Regardless, there is little doubt that this tree had been used by the indigenous populations of Southeast Asia for millennia.

Typically, Kratom is used by laborers or farmers who would use the leaves on the tree for energy while working, as Coffee drinkers use coffee in the morning or as a ‘pick me up’. In 1943, the Thai government passed the “Kratom Act 2486”  essentially banning the Kratom tree. However, being as the trees as indigenous to Thailand, banning them would be comparable to banning Pine trees or Oak trees in the United States. The ban was totally unsuccessful, and use continued since. [ for background info about real reasons for the Thai ban of 1943 check this]

Although the effects of Kratom ingestion are comparable to that of Coffee in mildness, Kratom is classified in the same category as Cocaine and Heroin in some countries including Thailand. Possessing even an ounce of the leaf from this tree could be punished by death in Thailand.  Although death sentences are rare, individuals who sell Kratom usually face up to several years in prison.

Today, Kratom is grown in several countries in Southeast Asia as well as other tropical countries by individuals hoping to propogate this great tree. Today, most people can openly grow and possess Kratom without fear of punishment. However, as countries prohibit or outlaw Kratom, the qualities and the quality control are severely damaged.

Right now, it is easy to buy powdered Kratom leaf for medicinal purposes without fear of it being tainted with other substances. However, if Kratom were to be outlawed in more countries then the black-market would put this to an end. As is always the case with black-market goods, individuals purchasing kratom could be in fear of buying something that is not Kratom at all and perhaps even something that is poisonous or deadly.  Regulation is necessary, but prohibiting Kratom usage could do nothing but harm innocent users around the world.

The Kratom leaf is usually traditionally chewed, dried and powdered and then mixed with foods, or boiled into a tea. The leaf itself is what has the medicinal properties on the Kratom tree. The Kratom leaf contiains numerous active alkaloids. One of the main alkaloids is known as Mitragynine,  which comes from the name of the tree. Mitragynine is a mu- opioid receptor agonist. This means that it produces a physiological response when binding to the mu-opioid receptor. Another major alkaloid in the Kratom leaf is 7- Hydroxymitragynine, which is also a mu-opioid agonist.

Kratom is used around the world today and it is usually sold in herbal shops, alternative medicine stores and also on the internet. Kratom users around the world live in constnat fear of their medicine being outlawed by politicians seeking to demonize another herbal medicine. Politicians do this because it makes them appear to be doing their job, protecting the people from another “dangerous plant”. In reality, Kratom is  totally safe when used in moderation and politicians rely on propaganda and false information to get their laws passed.

One major problem associated with Kratom is that there are countless people out there who seek to do nothing more than earn a quick buck with this tree, and mix it with dangerous  substances and then sell it as a “legal high”. This is the most damaging thing that can happen to any herbal medicine, and Kratom is no exception. Kratom users around the world keep an eye out for greedy people who seek to claim Kratom is some “legal high”. In reality, you don’t get “high” from kratom anymore than you get high from Coffee. If anyone  claims that Kratom makes you “high” then they must also claim that Coffee makes you “high” by the same logic.

Kratom is compared to coffee in many ways. Kratom comes from the coffee family, however instead of the beans being powdered and used the leaf is powdered with Kratom. Kratom is also similar to coffee in the mildness of its effects. Kratom produces calming effects, but also  stimulating at the same time. The strength of these effects is exactly the same as Coffee is and at exactly the same amounts. Though, one could argue that Coffee is much stronger since coffee must be diluted and mixed with water before  used.

Is Kratom addictive? Well, people who claim that Kratom is  addictive have never used it and know no one who has ever used it. Kratom is as addictive as coffee is. Now, having used Kratom for years and having used coffee for years, I can testify to this fact. Also, having spoken to countless Kratom users who are also coffee drinkers, this is always the situation. If anyone who has drank coffee for years and then tries to quit, it would be essentially the same for someone

who has used Kratom for years and tries to quit. So, if you ever hear someone claim that “Kratom is addictive” then just say “Yeah, about as addictive as coffee!”Is Kratom unhealthy? No. Not at all. While it is true that many people may have side effects from using Kratom, this is  usually because they mixed it with other things or ate too much of it.

Eating too much Kratom can produce nausea at mild levels. There have not been many valid long-term studies studying the long-term effects of Kratom, but personal experience with people who have used for several years suggests that there are no long-term side effects. Kratom should not be consumed by people under the age of 18, on the same grounds that coffee should not be consumed by children.

Kratom is NOT comparable to aclohol. Driving while using Kratom is never a problem. Someone who has eaten some Kratom
and then drives, Kratom will have about as much as an effect on driving as 1 cup of coffee might have. Perhaps if a huge
amount of Kratom is used before driving, this might have a negative effect but this would also be true of Coffee as well.Kratom is CERTAINLY NOT comparable to any illegal drugs. While having never used any illegal drugs, I can not attest to the differences, but I can almost guarantee that it isn’t the same. Kratom, being compared to Coffee in terms of strength, would never compare to any hard illegal drugs. Unless, unknown to me, Coffee is somehow comparable to illegal drugs, there is no way that Kratom could be compared to any illegal drugs or even prescription drugs.

Why do people use Kratom? People use Kratom for many reasons ranging from treating depression, anxiety, fatigue, chronic pain, migraines, etc. Kratom has many uses for many different  ailments. Many people who use Kratom used to use more severe pharmaceutical drugs to treat their illnesses, but having  experienced far too many side effects now use Kratom. I personally have used every anti-depressant under the sun and none worked and the side effects were all too severe for me to deal with. Kratom, however, essentially cures my  depression when used on a regular basis in small amounts. Kratom has also been used by many people as a cure for addiction to various drugs, even including hardcore illegal drugs. The benefits of kratom are vast indeed!

Today the future of this wonderful tree looks bleak indeed. Looking at the history of other herbal substances that have been outlawed for no valid reason at all, Kratom is just next inline to be victim to propaganda, ignorance and false information. What can be done about this? Keep an eye on  Kraton in the news. Go to Google News and type in “Kratom” and keep an eye on the news revolving around Kratom. Any time you see false information in the news then simply E-mail those responsible for the incorrect articles and tell them the facts.

If you’ve never used Kratom before, and are dubious about it in some way, then go try it! It won’t hurt you and once you try it then you’ll see first hand how beneficial it can be and you will also realize that it is not what politicians make it out to be. Don’t let this wonderful medicinal leaf be outlawed because of propaganda, demonetization and false information! Stand up for your right to use medicines that are alternatives to dangerous pharmaceuticals!

If you don’t stand up now, in the future when you get sick you will be forced to use dangerous drugs with countless side effects sold by corrupt pharmaceutical companies! Either that or you’ll be forced to suffer without any medicine. [ petition can be found here]

So research Kratom! Try Kratom! Learn about Kratom!

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