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The History and Tradition of Kratom
Origins of the Kratom plant
Kratom is an herbal plant with a rich history and tradition. Thailand is known as the origin of the Kratom plant, where it was discovered by a Dutch settler in the early 1800′s. Kratom stayed confined to Southeast Asia – mainly Thailand and Malaysia – for many years before moving west. The plant actually grows wild in the marshy regions of Thailand, Malaysia, New Guinea and Borneo.
Kratom Uses & Benefits
Source: Wikipedia
Kratom use in Southeast Asia goes back centuries where it was used by peasant workers as a comfort and to give increased energy. Although Kratom is a close relative to the coffee tree, it’s abundance of enjoyable uses is less widely known.
Traditionally, kratom was used on long treks through the thick, dense jungles of Southeast Asia. The leaves of the tree were said to provided relief from sore muscles and body aches. Users of the plant were known to be harder workers and were actually preferred by employers of that time.
About Kratom
Source: Wikipedia
“Kratom's primary pharmacology is mediated by the alkaloids 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine, which share molecular similarities to the alkaloids yohimbine but which act on various receptors in the brain, primarily opioid receptors.
Kratom has been known to prevent withdrawal symptoms in an opiate dependent person. Kratom's psychoactive effects typically fade after a few hours. Kratom has been traditionally used internationally, in regions such as Malaysia and Indonesia and brought to Western civilization during the 19th century. Besides kratom (or krathom), it also goes by the names ithang, biak biak, ketum, kakuam, and in southern regions, thom. It is often used to moderate or cease opium dependence. In folk medicine, it is often used to treat diarrhea due to its high fiber content. A small minority of users use kratom to prolong sexual intercourse.
While the main alkaloids in kratom are structurally related to psychedelics, there is no psychedelic activity or similarities in effects to such substances. The dominant effects seem to be enhanced energy, cough suppression, boost in antioxidants, and mild sense of well-being. These effects are roughly comparable in strength to caffeine…”
“…Effects come on within five to ten minutes after use, and last for several hours. The feeling has been described as happy, strong, and active, with a strong desire to do work. The mind is described as calm.
“…Kratom lowers body temperature by approximately a degree, increases melanin production in the skin—providing more sun protection, and it is energizing both mentally and physically. It is also used to treat diarrhea, normalize blood sugar in diabetes, normalize blood pressure and battle intestinal parasites.
Kratom has recently become more known and used in Europe and Americas where it has been prized for its beneficial applications to many conditions and ailments (such as depression, anxiety, opiate withdrawal, alcohol withdrawal, chronic fatigue, immune system disorders, and other related health conditions). Several million Americans are said to be using kratom for various conditions…
Inspired by traditional use, H. Ridley reported In 1897 that the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa were a cure for opium dependence. In more recent times, mitragynine has been used in New Zealand for methadone dependence detox. Kratom was smoked whenever the patient experienced withdrawal symptoms, over a 6 week treatment period…mitragynine is used to gradually wean the user off opiates…” “…Within a few days, a person dependent on opiates would stop use of opiates, and the cravings and withdrawal will be moderated by the binding of mitragynine to the delta receptors. Mitragynine could also perhaps be used as a substitution or maintenance drug to manage dependence. In Southern Thailand, many heroin users have been using kratom to break their dependence and to manage painful withdrawal symptoms.
In 1999, Pennapa Sapcharoen, director of the National Institute of Thai Traditional Medicine in Bangkok said that kratom could be prescribed both for opiate dependence and to patients suffering from depression, but stressed that further research is needed. Chulalongkorn University chemists have isolated mitragynine which researchers can obtain for study.
In 1897 Ridley reported the leaves and bark of Mitragyna speciosa as a cure for the opium habit and this was quoted by Hooper (1907) In 1907 Holmes had referred to the leaves and possibly, the leaves of M. parvifolia as well, as an opium substitute. Certainly the leaves of M. speciosa have been chewed for many years under the local name 'kratom' by the native population of Thailand as a stimulant though the practice is now forbidden. As a consequence the leaves of M. javanica are frequently used as a substitute but are not considered to be as effective. The natives will also distinguish between different kratoms, for example, those with red and those with green midribs (Tantivatana, 1965).
Mitragynine was the only constituent isolated from Mitragyna speciosa it was assumed to be the physiologically active constituent having morphine-like properties, Grewel (1932) reported to be a protozoal poison but in 1933 Raymond-Hamet and Millat undertook a more critical examination and reported it to have markedly depressant properties. This was substantiated in 1934 by Masson. More recently Macko, Weisbach and Douglas (1972) reported that mitragynine possesses pain threshold elevating and antitussive properties but no addictive properties…”