What is Mitragyna Speciosa Kratom?
What Is Mitragyna Speciosa (Kratom)?
When answering the question “what is mitragyna speciosa kratom?”, it is good to start at the origins of the plant. Mitragyna Speciosa, more commonly known as Kratom, is a fairly new natural product to enter into Western culture, but it has been used for centuries throughout Southeast Asia. Since kratom is a relatively new natural remedy for many individuals, there is a general lack of information and understanding surrounding what is kratom in general. For these reasons, this article on the history of kratom will discuss the origins of kratom, traditional uses, and continued uses in modern times.
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What is Kratom – Traditional Uses
Kratom is a tropical evergreen tree in the coffee family (Rubiaceae) native to Southeast Asia. As a large evergreen tree, kratom can grow upwards of 80 feet tall while producing lustrous leaves and budding flowers. The veins of the leaves are distinct and vary in color from a light yellow to deep green and brownish red. People across Southeast Asia have been using these leaves for centuries.
What is Kratom – Southeast Asia
For centuries, kratom has been used throughout Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It has been used to help with pain and energy by those doing strenuous labor. Kratom was used as a local anesthetic to help with coughs, and with intestinal issues like diarrhea. People would chew on kratom leaves and spit out the leaf after a few moments. Another popular way to enjoy kratom would be to brew some leaves in hot water to make a kratom tea. This would be particularly popular in the morning before work and in the evening during a meal with friends and family.
What is Kratom – Modern Uses
In October of 2016, The University of Florida partnered with the American Kratom Association (AKA) to conduct an anonymous cross-sectional online survey on kratom use. 8,049 kratom users responded to the survey. According to the survey, middle-aged (31-50 years), with middle-income ($35,000 and above), are the primary users of kratom. 68% of respondents used kratom to self-treat pain while 66% used it for emotional or mental conditions. The third most common purpose was for self-treating opioid-related withdrawal symptoms. Less than 1% (.65%) reported kratom-related negative side-effects that required treatment which primarily were temporary, gastrointestinal issues. 40% of respondents said they discussed their kratom use with their healthcare provider.¹
In February of 2020, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers conducted a survey of 2,798 kratom users. In that survey, they discovered that 91% of people used kratom for pain relief, 67% to treat anxiety, 64% to treat depression, and 41% to treat opioid dependence. 87% of those using kratom for opioid dependence said they got relief from withdrawal symptoms.²
How Kratom Works
Kratom naturally produces nitrogen-based chemicals called Alkaloids that can have pronounced physiological actions on humans. While kratom produces over 40 known alkaloids, the most prevalent and researched are mitragynine, 7-hydroxymitragynine, speciogynine, and paynantheine. Mitragynine makes up about 66% of the total alkaloid content in kratom. Researchers study it for its potential analgesic (pain relief) effects and for its potential antitussive, antidiarrheal, adrenergic, and antimalarial effects. 7-hydroxymitragynine makes up less than 2% of the total alkaloid content, which is studied for its potentially powerful analgesic properties. Speciogynine and paynantheine make up about 15% of the total alkaloid content in kratom. They are studied as muscle relaxers.
Other alkaloids in kratom include: mitraphylline, ajmalicine, and isorhynchophylline. We research them for their potential as immunostimulants and cerebrocirculants.
40+ Bio-Active Alkaloids in Kratom
Kratom is available as a powder, capsules, and in pressed tablet form. ETHA Natural Botanicals manufactures whole-leaf pressed kratom tablets, thereby providing the most compact, convenient, and effective form of kratom. We use no fillers, binders, or additives in the making of our kratom tablets. Only 100% all-natural whole-leaf kratom pressed into convenient tablets.
¹ Title: Patterns of Kratom use and health impact in the US—Results from an online survey. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 176 (2017) 63-70. Oliver Grundmann: College of Pharmacy, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Florida, FL 32610, USA
² Title: Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa): User demographics, use patterns, and implications for the opioid epidemic. . Drug and Alcohol Dependence 208 (2020). Albert Garcia-Romeu, David J. Cox, Kirsten E. Smith, Kelly E. Dunn, Roland R. Griffiths: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, National Institute of Drug Abuse Intramural Research Program, USA.