Kratom Maeng Da from Borneo, Indonesia 100g powder
Kratom, derived from a Thai word for a species of tree known as Mitragyna speciosa, is a large tree in the Rubiaceae family that grows native in Southeast Asia. In the wild, the trees can grow higher than 60 feet and wider than 15 feet. The leaves can have either light or dark red veins, and the leaves can be either a light green or a dark green in colour. The leaves are elongated and oval, with a straight vein from bottom to tip and symmetrical veins shooting off from the main vein. The tree has a very topical appearance, and grows in wet or marshy areas in Southeast Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo and New Guinea. The Kratom tree produces round yellowish flower pods which contain around 50 seeds.
One of the earliest mentions of Kratom was by Pieter Korthals in the early 19th century, a Dutch Botanist who described its flowers as reminding him somewhat of a Bishop’s mitre. Thus, he named this tree Mitragyna. In the time of Korthals, Kratom was a historically used remedy in Thailand. It was used as a cure all for various physical and mental ailments. The ancient history of Kratom is unknown, and sources describing its use prior to European Colonization are scarce. Regardless, there is little doubt that this tree had been used by the indigenous populations of Southeast Asia for millennia. Typically, Kratom is used by labourers or farmers who would use the leaves on the tree for energy while working, as Coffee drinkers use coffee in the morning or as a ’pick me up’.
The Kratom leaf is usually traditionally chewed, dried and powdered and then mixed with foods, or boiled into a tea. The leaf itself is what has the medicinal properties on the Kratom tree. The Kratom leaf contains numerous active alkaloids. One of the main alkaloids is known as Mitragynine, which comes from the name of the tree. Mitragynine is a mu-opioid receptor agonist. This means that it produces a physiological response when binding to the mu-opioid receptor. Another major alkaloid in the Kratom leaf is 7-Hydroxymitragynine, which is also a mu-opioid agonist.
Kratom is used around the world today and is gaining in popularity. Kratom is compared to coffee in many ways. Kratom comes from the coffee family; however instead of the beans being powdered and used the leaf is powdered with Kratom. Kratom is also similar to coffee in the mildness of its effects. Kratom produces calming effects, but also stimulating effects at the same time. The strength of these effects is exactly the same as Coffee is and at exactly the same amount. Though, one could argue that Coffee is much stronger since coffee must be diluted and mixed with water before used.
Why do people use Kratom? People use it for many reasons ranging from treating depression, anxiety, fatigue, chronic pain, migraines, etc. this plant has many uses for many different ailments. Many people who use it, used to use more severe pharmaceutical drugs to treat their illnesses, but having experienced far too many side effects now use Kratom. It has also been used by many people as a cure for addiction to various drugs, even including hardcore illegal drugs. The benefits are vast indeed!
Who uses Kratom? The answer to this question is simple: All types of people use Kratom. It is used by both upper and lower class, educated and uneducated, conservatives and liberals, all races and ethnicities and all ages. It is not some teen-craze but is most commonly used by adults, a lot like Coffee. The same types of people who drink coffee also eat Kratom, by individuals who are resorting to this natural plant to treat and/or cure many of their ailments.
M. Speciösa’s history can be traced back for thousands of years with connections to ancient Buddhism and the hymms of the Rig Veda. In ancient times, this sacred tree was known as “Kademba.” Among many of the incredible uses this tree has as a botanical ingredient, it has also been used in soap making. Currently the leaves are being researched for their anti-septic, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial qualities when used for washing surfaces. The leaves have also been made into candles so they can burn longer.
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