A Comprehensive Guide – What Is Kratom?
What is Kratom?
What is Kratom, Kratom aka ketum, kratum and, in thai, กระท่อม (Mitragyna Speciosa), is a plant common to southeastern Asia. This plant is part of the Rubiaceae (coffee) family, and through botanical research, you can find how many similarities between both kratom and coffee plants.
Kratom is popular for its vast range of medicinal benefits, such as: pain relief, immune system boosting and anxiety reduction. Interestingly, due to powerful differences between strains, it is effectively use to provide energy as well as provide relief from insomnia. This is possible because of the varying spectrum of alkaloids found within different plants and strains.
This plant has a large range of different properties that make it unique, both physically, chemically and medicinally. Its unique nature has made it appealing to a large group of people from botanists to chemists as well as those who deal with a medical condition and want to increase their quality of life.
Unlike most plants with high alkaloid content, kratom trees can grow to a massive 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide. These trees are fairly adaptable to climate, however, only in tropical, and sometimes semi-tropical, environments will they be evergreen. The leaves of this tree, which are the most medicinally useful part of the plant, can grow up to seven inches long and 4 to 4.5 inches wide, which is fairly large for leaves found in this genus of plants.
Arguably the most interesting aspect of this plant’s leaves is that they contain over 40 unique alkaloids and compounds found within its leaves, some of these include:
- Mitragynine – Analgesic (pain killing), Adrenergic, Anti-Malarial, Anti-Tussive properties. Mu opiod receptor agonist.
- 7-hydroxymitragynine – Analgesic (pain killing), Anti-Malarial, Anti-Tussive properties. Mu opiod receptor agonist.
- Corynantheidine – mu-opiod antagonist, common to Yohimbe.
- Epicatechin – Antioxidant, Antibacterial, Anti-Viral, Anti-Inflamatory, Anti-Mutagenic, Also found in cocao (Chocolate).
- Isomitraphylline – Immune system stimulant.
- Isopteropodine – Immune system stimulant.
- Isorhynchophylline – Immune system stimulant.
- Paynantheine – Smooth muscle relaxer.
Interestingly enough, most of the alkaloids discovered are entirely unique to the plant, making it a highly valuable plant for any alkaloid researchers or pharmacologists.
The Effects: What is it benefits for?
The unique combination of alkaloids found in this plant give it a vast range of different medicinal applications, from treating the common cold to providing powerful pain relief. On top of the medicinal benefits, it has a wide range of applications that make it desirable; some of these applications include: improving mood, increasing energy. Because of these properties, kratom leaves have been widely chewed by those in Southeast Asia who do heavy manual labor, as it increases both their energy and ability to endure the heat and hard working conditions endured. For some, it may have mild euphoric effects, similar to coffee, making it great for creative thinking and focus.
One of the best parts about this plant are the alkaloid differences in each strain, which makes for a different range of effects and medicinal uses. For example, most Thai strains are great for increasing energy and focus, while strains naturally found in Indonesia are typically more sedating and provide more pain relief.
There are some areas where it has been outlawed, such as Thailand. Luckily, the legality of kratom in most other areas is currently fine. Several states in the US have proposed bans on possession and distribution of this plant out of misinformation and/or lack of information. Keeping this plant legal is something we at UKR Botanicals are very passionate about.
Anyone who wants to ensure this benign plant remains legal should visit http://www.botanicallegaldefense.org/, the leading front on the battle for legality.
Although the legality of this plant seems to be on shaky ground, there are still a variety of people who offer kratom for sale. However, sales may not be possible forever if the plant remains demonized by the media and the law.
Kratom has a wide range of powerful uses and research applications that make it extremely unique and powerful substance. Because of these properties, this plant is amazing for improving the lives of many around the world.
We offer this plant for pharmacological, chemical and botanical research for anyone dedicated to increasing knowledge and providing answers to the question, “What is Kratom?”.