What is Kratom Exactly?
Have you heard about kratom yet? If not, this post is just for you. Even if you do know about kratom, it will inform you about some of the incredible benefits of this herb.
Let’s start with what is Kratom exactly? Well, we already established it’s an herb. It hails from the lands of Southeast Asia. It grows naturally in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines; just to name a few.
It grows naturally in marshy regions and can grow up to be quite tall.
The reason why this herb is so popular is that it supposedly helps manage pain. That’s not it; it’s earliest usage (which goes before the 19th century), suggests that the natives would use it for remedying several medical conditions. They would use it for more energy which allowed them to toil under the harsh sun. They also used to ease anxiety, stress, insomnia, and most importantly – they used it to cure opioid addiction.
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General History and Pharmacology
The first-ever use of kratom is unclear. But, some evidence suggests it goes back to way before the 19th century.
While, over the years, kratom has been banned in several countries; it managed to find a special place and love in the West. Historically speaking, kratom didn’t become known in the west until the onset of the 21st century; thanks to the internet message boards which easily spread the word out.
In terms of Pharmacology, kratom’s power comes from a bunch of naturally occurring alkaloids (a type of chemical compound) that its leaves are rich in. Two of the most prominent ones are hydroxymitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Both of these alkaloids supposedly work their way by interacting with the opioid receptors in the brain.
But, unlike opiates, kratom is not habit-forming. On the contrary, it’s supposed to cure addiction. While there is no medical evidence to support these claims; historically that’s what the natives used it for.
Let it be known that the working mechanism of kratom is still largely a mystery. But, so far, it has shown great promise and can be an excellent natural remedy for a bunch of medical conditions; provided you use it safely and prudently.
Benefits of Kratom that Make it Medically Safe:
◦ It gives pain relief
This is easily the number one reason behind kratom’s growing popularity which has skyrocketed since the early 2000s. If you don’t believe, check out this WebMD thread where users from around the world have left their experience with kratom in terms of easing years of chronic pains.
Some research suggests it can provide relief from pains like arthritis, nerve pain, swelling, inflammation, etc.
A lot of people seek natural ways to manage their pain naturally. Kratom, just like CBD, sure gives that great alternative where you don’t have to resort to over the counter drugs.
◦ It can give you relief from anxiety
There’s research that does stipulate kratom’s role in managing mental health conditions including anxiety nicely.
Much like opioids that can mildly numb you down, kratom tends to have antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects. If you’re someone who’s introverted and who has a hard time socializing at gatherings; you might want to take a kratom before attending such events. Its anxiolytic effects should definitely ease your anxiety and make you more sociable.
◦ It could also help in depression
Another mental health condition, where kratom seems to be playing a huge role lately is depression. Depression, as we know, has reached proportions of a global epidemic. There’s still no cure for depression. At best, you can just manage the condition. Once again, resorting to pharma aid is not without its long-term side effects.
There’s some evidence that kratom could lend a helping hand in naturally managing depression and make you more optimistic and happy about life.
Once again, these antidepressant effects of kratom are linked with its ability to interact with certain neurotransmitters and brain receptors which produce the ‘happiness hormones’.
◦ It could potentially work wonders in addiction recovery
Let it be known that the FDA has not approved kratom for treating any medical condition; especially using it for addiction recovery. However, historical evidence suggests that kratom’s alkaloids could help wean you off of opioids.
It can ease your way into recovery in a way that you don’t go through the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. To that end, kratom could really be a promising herb. But, due to the lack of medical research, it has not gained a mainstream status for treating any condition, yet.
◦ Some sources say it helps to improve immune health
If you’re one to catch a cold/flu easily as soon as the season changes, you might want to try kratom and see if it helps bolster your immune system. Once again, most of these claims are based on user experiences. But, it appears that some alkaloids in kratom could have therapeutic effects that extend well into bolstering the immune system.
Isomitraphylline is one of those alkaloids which supposedly act like an antileukemic agent. Isopteropoedine and Isorhynchopylline are two other immunostimulant alkaloids. Then there’s the Migraphylline, which is a diuretic, a muscle relaxant, and a non-narcotic. All of these alkaloids seem to be working in synergy to boost the immune system.
Using Kratom with CBD can also enhance all of these effects.
There’s no way to establish the correct kratom dose for an individual. There is no medical standard either to dictate it for you. So, to play it safe, start with 2-3 grams of dose, and monitor the effects on your mind and body. Slowly up it by a gram. Ideally, you should stop at 4-5 grams because that’s where the majority usually hit the ‘sweet spot’. Anything beyond 8 grams is seen as a high dosage and could have unpredictable results.
The FDA has not approved kratom so you need to be careful with the type of product you buy and how you consume. Also, make sure that the product is legal in where you live before buying it.