Kratom belongs to a coffee family which is native to Southeast Asia. You can use the leaves of its large tree to prepare a psychoactive drug by mixing them with water. You can smoke kratom or take it through capsules.
It’s been traditionally used as alternative herbal medicine in Thailand and Malaysia. Still, it has also gained popularity over the last few years because of its stimulant-like qualities. Mental effects from kratom direct can include feelings of euphoria and relaxation, increased energy, and talkativeness.
Medicinal Benefits of Kratom
Kratom is an addictive-free leafy plant used as a medicine in Thailand for centuries. Mitragyna is the scientific name of the species. It has been used recreationally as a “natural” way to get high, but long-term Kratom use has adverse side effects. It came into existence by western scientists in 1836 when they saw that kratom had analgesic (pain reliever) properties when given to morphine addicts.
Kratom contains over 50 different alkaloids, but most have not been fully characterized or understood yet. The first and primary active ingredient in kratom is mitragynine, a mu-opioid receptor agonist. It means that kratom has painkilling properties, just like opiate drugs.
Mitragynine activates opioid receptors in the brain, which causes the release of dopamine and serotonin – two neurotransmitters that regulate mood, sexual desire, and energy levels. Still, too many of them can cause adverse side effects.
1. Kratom Lowers Blood Pressure
One of the effects of Kratom use is lower blood pressure. Research shows that kratom acts as an alpha-blocker in most cases, leading to lowered blood pressure and reduced heart rate—it is for treating an array of cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension and tachycardia.
2. Kratom Can Prevent Diabetes
One interesting effect of kratom is its ability to prevent diabetes from converting from pre-diabetes into full-blown diabetes. The study done by the researchers at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the University of Maryland Baltimore found that 1086 people taking authentic kratom showed no significant increase in their blood sugar levels. Kratom also acts as a diuretic, effectively removing toxins from the body and lowering blood pressure.
3. Helps with Pain Relief
Studies have shown that kratom can relieve chronic pain caused by arthritis in both men and women. The herb is also known to help breakups. However, kratom is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as a pain reliever and can be addictive.
4. Treats Asthma
A 2009 study on kratom found that the herb has anti-asthmatic effects, and patients who have been suffering from asthma for years can improve their breathing through Kratom use. Another study done in 2011 on rats showed that regular Kratom users had significantly less chance of developing lung cancer than non-users due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
5. Treats Epilepsy
A 2013 study on kratom found that the herb has “anticonvulsant” properties, making it very useful in treating seizure-related disorders such as epilepsy. The herb helps regulate seizures by preventing convulsions and reducing their intensity. Kratom can also treat nervousness and anxiety, typical side effects of epilepsy medications.
6. Prevents Cancer Cells from Spreading
Animal studies on kratom have shown that the herb effectively kills cancer cells without harming healthy cells. Mitragynine compounds present in kratom prevent the formation of blood vessels in tumors, cutting off their blood supply and effectively killing them. Scientists nowadays are looking for the possibility of developing drugs that can combat cancer, modulating the effects of kratom.
7. Prevents HIV Infection
In animal studies, a combination of kratom extracts effectively prevented HIV infection. Scientists are now investigating the herb’s possible use as a treatment for AIDS and other diseases caused by viruses that mainly attack white blood cells, such as hepatitis C or cytomegalovirus.
8. Treats Alcoholism and Drug Addiction
A 2013 study showed that kratom could help with drug addiction and alcoholism. Still, the herb is recommended with other medications for substance abuse, such as Suboxone or Methadone, to get better results.
Kratom belongs to Southeast Asia and is an evergreen tree that grows in the tropical climate. Its name comes from the Thai word “Kraton,” which means “drug” or “a plant that helps you get high.” It possesses other names, like, Thang and Ketum. The leaves and the stems of kratom help make products. However, the main active chemical in kratom is mitragynine, which gives kratom effects similar to opiates like morphine (the core active ingredient of heroin) but without the risk of overdose and addiction.
Following an increased interest in this plant due to its purported ability to relieve symptoms of opioid withdrawal, several countries have banned or restricted its use. Kratom is a natural plant that has been used for centuries in Asia as a painkiller and for other health conditions. The herb does have some positive effects and will not harm the body if taken in small amounts.