Kratom Tea Experiment
A very popular way to use kratom is to add to hot water to create a kratom tea. In fact, kratom teas are the preferred way to enjoy kratom for hundreds of years throughout Southeast Asia. The question we have is, “does adding kratom into hot water to create a tea impact the amount of alkaloids in your kratom?”
To determine the difference between kratom vs. a kratom tea, we created an experiment to determine the total alkaloid content of kratom powder vs. hot-water extraction (tea) vs. lemon juice pre-soak with hot-water extraction (kratom + lemon + tea).
Steeping herbs and plants in hot water is a common method used to extract alkaloids, flavonoids, and others desirable compounds. When the desire is to extract as much of the alkaloids as reasonably possible, some people recommend pre-soaking dried plant material in a weak acid such as lemon juice.
Sample Preparation and Test Methodology
All samples were prepared using the same batch of dried Green Vein kratom leaves. The leaves were dried and ground to a fine powder. Three equal portions of 8.1 grams of the kratom powder were used in the experiment. One sample was kratom powder alone. The second sample was 8.1 grams of kratom powder added to 225 mL purified water and heated to a boil. The third sample was the same as the second sample but with 18.6 mL of lemon juice added in. Liquid extracts were separated from the plant material using a centrifuge to minimize waste and maximize liquid extract recovery. All samples were sent to the same botanical testing lab where High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) was used to determine the presence and percentage of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine.
The laboratory test results showed a lower percentage of alkaloids in both water extracts. This is the result of diluting the alkaloids in water. This result is expected and not indicative of the impact of creating a tea. The more important question becomes, for each sample in total, what is the total milligrams of alkaloids available?
For the kratom tea sample with NO lemon juice, there was a 31% decrease in mitragynine % and all traces of 7-hydroxymitragynine were not detected. Interestingly, the kratom tea with lemon juice also saw a decrease but only by 16%.
Lemon Juice Works!
Adding lemon juice to the kratom powder did allow the water to extract more alkaloids. However, both extracts showed lower amounts of alkaloids compared to dried powder or tablets.
What Did We Learn?
When making a tea, the hot water (even when boiling for 5 mins) is not capable of extracting all the alkaloids out of the leaves. You can end up leaving up to 30% of the alkaloids in the kratom leaves or powder. Adding lemon juice does help extract some alkaloids out of the kratom, so if you are going to make a tea, consider adding a citrus acid. Teas are wonderful, but keep this data in mind the next time you enjoy a nice cup of kratom tea.
One More Thing…
A common question we get is whether or not heating kratom in boiling water can reduce alkaloid content. The temperature in which water boils is slightly lower than the melting point of kratom’s alkaloids. The temperature in which alkaloids like mitragynine actually breakdown is even higher. So, adding kratom to boiling water should not be an issue. To be safe, wait until your water is cooled a bit from boil (like in most teas) before adding your kratom powder or leaves. And as always, use the highest quality kratom to maximize the amount and quality of your kratom alkaloids like ETHA kratom. LIVE FULLY!