In this article will bring you a hundred facts on Kratom covering everything from traditional use to its chemistry health benefits side-effects legal status and the future of this plant medicine that could be used to help treat the opiate epidemic around the world in the US and even in Ireland and the sources for these facts will be linked in the description box below. Many of them are backed by scientific evidence and others by historical social and cultural evidence I’m Tom O Brien the mental health herbalist and if this is your first time here I love if you subscribed to keep up to date with the latest information on herbs and foods as a medicine okay let’s get started so Kratom is the common name for Mitragina speciosa it was given its botanical name Mitragina speciosa by Pieter Korthals a botanist to work for the East India Company in 1839 it’s around for a long time Kratom comes from the same plant family as coffee very common rubiacecia and coffee they’re like Kratom is also a stimulant it leaves acted like a mini pharmacy as there are full of plant chemicals pharmaceuticals that are beneficial to your health Kratom is indigenous in Asia and places like Thailand Malaysia Indonesia Papua New Guinea so it’s an evergreen tree that can grow as high as 25 meters or 80 feet tall the leaves are dark green and glossy and over in shape with 12 to 17 pairs of veins and these veins important to distinguish the different types there are three strains of kratom white, red and green vein Kratom and they differ in the pharmacological effects red vein for example is solely a part of Thailand and according to internet forums red vein is known to be more sedative where as green and white kratom are more stimulating it was traditionally used in Asia by male manual workers who worked really hard and have him to cope with the endurance of physical endurance and to overcome the stress of their hard work historically it was also used as a treatment for malaria, cough, hypertension, diarrhea depression pain and fever there’s also an early record of kratom been used in Thailand and Malaysia as an affordable opiate substitution as opiate addiction has been a historical problem in Asia and as a herbal medicine Kratom has the following actions it’s an analgesic which is for pain antipyretic which is for fever it’s antitussive which is for preventing cough and clearing the lungs it’s anti diarrhea which you know what that is euphoric it gives you that boost, its an antidepressant that lifts you and it’s an anxiolytic which reduces anxiety.
Now Kratom can be consumed in my ways for example it can be smoked or you can chew the leaves it’s quite common in Asia it can also be made into an infusion with the leaves and the leaves can be powdered and taken in a tablet or capsule form it can also be made into an extract which is liquid dose and additives such as honey and sugar can be offered added to Kratom to reduce its bitter taste it’s quite bitter Kratom remember now Kratom is not a drug it’s often referred to as a drug, its not an opiate, it acts like an opiate and it’s not a synthetic substance like these legal highs it’s a naturally occurring plant medicine it’s nature’s medicine showing us how nature can heal and provide a health benefits and the key psychoactive components in Kratom are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine hard to pronounce but there are more than 40 other chemical compounds found in the leaves of Kratom, mitragynine contents in Kratom vary with location and season when Kratom is growing in Southeast Asia the amounts of mitragynine can be higher but elsewhere it can be lower even non-existent in depending what part of the world it’s grown in the pharmacology of Kratom is still being developed and so we know today is subject to research and debate, in fact in Ireland we know very little about Kratom, that’s what I’ve found in this research for this article Kratom has been described as exerting both Stimulant effect at low doses and sedative effects at high doses now whole leaves of kratom are stimulated while the mitragynine is a depressant and this suggests that the pharmacological importance of the other alkaloids in Kratom not just the mitragynine there are many other balancing effects.
The effects for the main alkaloids of mitragynine and the 7-hydroxymitragynine have been mainly explained by their interactions with the opioid serotonin and dopamine receptors really important receptors brain to stress and well-being and feeling well. Now the 7-hydroxymitragynine found in Kratom has been shown to be thirteen times stronger than morphine in in animal studies but remember that alkaloid is a very small percentage of the actual whole leaf the Kratom. Now Kratom recognized as a remedy for opiate withdrawal the predominant alkaloid of kratom, mitragynine, binds with the mu- and kappa-opioid receptors, but has additional receptor affinities that might explain why it takes the edge of opiate withdraws now at least two studies have demonstrated the antidepressant effect of mitragynine so this indicates that this could be a potential natural treatment for depression which is a huge issue around work this plant is really really important and needs to be studied more now kratom has has traditionally been used also to improve libido and sexual performance because it’s a stimulant effect increases energy and well-being the research suggests that that Kratom reduces also reduces food and water intake suppresses body weight gain and resulting in weight loss so it’s one of the benefits for people as obesity is a big problem according to a German study Kratom has also been used to help self manage alcohol withdrawal symptoms it’s a really important benefit in Ireland especially we have a huge alcohol problem and Kratom could help there Users of a website called erowid.org report experiences of euphoria a sense of well-being relaxation enhance sociability increased energy and sensory enhancement, there really exciting benefits and the ones I’d be interested in myself Kratom is used in Thailand and Malaysia as a traditional medicine for aches and pains coughs, diabetes and hypertension so lots of potential that really need to be further researched kratom as a stimulant increases energy concentration and motivation I mean who doesn’t want more energy and motivation and I say yes to that now according to a study, another study, Kratom has anti-inflammatory effects and we know a lot of diseases are a result of inflammation remember you should never drive or operate heavy machinery power tools climb ladders while under the influence of grain these are common-sense things but just remember you know it’s a sedative so be careful Kratom products are sold in a wide variety of forms and as a result Kratom can vary in the concentrations of mitragynine so that’s really important to understand that the source product the percentage of mitragynine in Kratom.
According to a research paper kratom should be used cautiously with patients who have disorders of the thyroid and liver so that’s really important to be to be careful Kratom gained recent popularity young popularity young people for the euphoric effects as a legal high as an alternative to other sedatives and stimulant drugs that can be a beneficial thing if kratom is a plant medicine combinations of Kratom with other substances are sold on the internet promising a more powerful high and you should always exercise caution when you’re purchasing your crate so kratom should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation for children because pregnancy is really you know that it’s something you need to be careful that the kratom is not to be used the kratom is attracting attention among sports professionals who want to enhance their performance I mean that’s what everybody wants however drugs in sports is a big issue and in 2015 for the first time my chart line was detected in doping samples originating from sports and strength sports so it’s coming into the whole sports area so it may be careful so kratom also interacts with the following so impacting drugs with alcohol painkillers benzodizapine, caffeine cocaine diuretics, gastrointestinal agents anti depressants, neurological agents opiates, sedatives stimulants and thyroid ages so interacts with a lot of drugs and you need to be careful and remember always talk to your prescribing doctor about your medications about your health and about your well-being before making any changes and let them know if you’re using Kratom.
Doctors need to be educated on this as well although kratom use is increasing the scientific research on the adverse effects and the toxicity is still limited so you need to be careful be able to read and hear in the news 2015 literature review in the International Journal of Medicine found that kratom is considered minimally toxic so it’s really as safe plant the pharmacological effects kratom leaves and their constituents are dose-dependent so the more you use the stronger the effects you need to be careful and use it in moderation in the last five years there were nine fatal cases of intoxication associated with the use of kratom based product known as Krypton now Krypton is a mixture of mitragynine and O-desmethyltramadol a painkiller so it’s important to be careful and however these mortalities have been ascribed to the use of O-desmethyltramadol not the Kratom itself so that’s where a lot of the fatalities come when Kratom is used in combination other drugs only one study in Thailand documented cases of kratom poisoning an adverse withdrawal symptoms associated with with Kratom users most of the respondents reported Kratom poisoning were found to be the only influence of other drugs at the same time so it’s really a big issue where Kratom is getting a bad name because are using it in combination with other drugs there have been also reports of people and making up your own concoctions of Kratom with codeine and capsules and thats not something you really want between waiting to be used on its own and complete without other substances as well.
Now deaths attributed to Kratom have not always been supported by evidence as I said it’s a really big issue with Kratom being used in conjunction you know it’s poly drug use it’s what we refer to. now the side effects of kratom in the Western context have been deduced from case reports one to one kind of case studies there’s been no large face-to-face surveys of users have been conducted so it’s limited it limits what we know about the side effects some individuals may experience anxiety if the high doses Kratom are consumed so you need to understand kratom how much to use when to use it and how not to use it with other conditions and other drugs. one of the side effects is hyperpigmentation of the cheeks tremors anorexia weight loss as I mentioned earlier have been found in individuals who use Kratom in the longer term some of the negative effects reported on that website www.erowid.org include nausea stomach aches alternates between chills and sweats dizziness vomiting itchiness numbing in the mouth and throat and sedation however users are also prone to develop tolerance and will increase the use of that it’s kind of common you know we will like something we take more of it so you need to be careful and maintain a reasonable dose there has been two cases of kratom use linked to to seizures but these have not been confirmed in later toxicology reports there’s been one case of hypothyroidism found that somebody who’s using kratom in the long time and what researchers think is a personal likely to be an interaction between mitragynine and the thyroid gland which is a lot to to do with stress the flight or fight response damage to the liver has also been reported suggested in relation to ingestion of Kratom and was another case of a man aged 58 suffering from cholestatic hepatitis linked to prolonged use of Kratom and researchers speculate that pharmacological effects of pure mitragynine consumed in the West in powder form and the unprocessed leave used in East and Asia may explain the different social cultural experiences of kratom since the unprocessed leaf the pure leaf maker does contain all these order alkaloids that probably modify effects so if you if you’re taking pure mitragynine you’re getting really a hyper a strong dose, so you need to be careful and prefer to use the plant as a whole the limit information on the risks of benefits of kratom in humans contrast to what’s the sensationalist and often inaccurate reporting in the popular media regarding the dangers of Kratom and it’s a pity because Kratom has been demonised now at the moment three is no standard criteria to assess addiction kratom so it’s difficult to say when somebody is addicted so how can you say that Kratom is addictive if you don’t a criteria yet still in many believe that kratom has addictive potential addiction needs to be understood there’s a lot of harms associated with being in the addictive spectrum kratom can have similar actions to opiate pain medications it does not appear to be nearly as addictive, so it’s a great plant in that sense it eases pain but not as addictive as some of those medications.
Researchers have shown that kratom sought by heroin users when they’re unable to obtain heroin Kratom is still viewed as a addictive psychotropic plant since it reflects and resembles other psychotropic substances but addiction is not just liking a substance, its the damage done by the substance and while kratom is not habit-forming when you use responsibly or recreationally Kratom has appeal among a wide range of drug users because it produces that stimulant and or like effects and we like those effects and can be used as a legal means to treat opiate withdrawal which is a big problem and one of the reasons why Kratom has become so popular. Kratom like many substances like coffee and alcohol and tobacco some the biggest addictive substance on the planet when used daily or for long period time and about to become habits a hard to break we know that so just adding Kratom to that list it’s just saying the obvious and of course people who use kratom to help them to a pre-existing opiate and addictions may need to use Kratom on a daily basis to avoid the withdrawal symptoms people suffering from chronic pain may need to take kratom on a daily basis instead of pharmaceutical painkillers which have serious side effects and are way way more addictive and harmful now while kratom use may lead to dependency and kratom withdrawal symptoms appear to be moderate and not as a severe intense as the withdrawal from opiates or painkillers a number individuals have reported successfully using kratom to substitute for for opiates benzodiazepines and antidepressant so this is a good thing if a natural plant can help people come off medications that’s a good thing now withdrawal symptoms reported to include aching muscles and bones and anorexia, weight loss and psychosis so you bound to feel something when you let go a nice substance like chocolate is my one psychological and symptoms of withdrawal include sadness nervousness delusions hallucinations anxiety and depression so again you know when we use something to ease our emotional pain we take it away we’re going to feel that stuff again now recent evidence has suggested that kratom can be used regularly with only small impairments to social functioning in contrast to opiates so you know it isn’t it doesn’t have that deep grip on us as opiates can some of the long-term users do report difficulties giving up their regular kratom use so it’s a plant medicine and ideally shouldn’t be used long term other reports that kratom withdrawal symptoms can be annoying and distracting yet they’re not as painful as the opioid withdrawals as I’ve said area a survey of users in Malaysia found that those who consumed up three glasses of kratom juice per day at higher odds are developing kratom dependence, it was also noted that withdrawal symptoms usually disappear after 2 to 3 days so that’s not really too bad now so despite some case of kratom dependence many users remain in good health and function normally this is unlike you know drugs like methadone and heroin that are you know we really strong addictive opiates and a Malaysian study found no significant impairments in social functioning of kratom users and were less likely to engage in risky drug using or criminal behavior so kratom should not be really associated with you know that level schedule one drugs.
Now insomnia and restlessness are the most common symptoms after ceasing to use kratom so you know that’s something that can be addressed using other herbs such as passion flower and lemon balm there is also a case of a man with alcohol dependence in the UK who complained of anxiety restlessness tremor and sweating and cravings and however these symptoms were seen to be short and benign so you know again our withdrawal symptoms but they tend to be short kratom is currently controlled and banned under the poisons act 1953 in Malaysia those are guilty of distribution kratom leaves preparing it illegally can be fined and sentenced to jail for up to four years is called serious now in Malaysia however cultivation of kratom in Malaysia is not an offense and despite the legal sanctions possession of kratom juice can be acquired quite easily from illegal kratom traders in the community so there’s kind of a blind eye being turned to to this traditional medicine which is probably a reasonable thing to do in Thailand kratom was first regulated under the kratom act 1943 but has been reclassified in 1979 under the narcotics act associating as a narcotic the plant importation exportation of kratom leaves is now considered illegal and this is quite serious thought kratom is legal in the u.s.
Some states have and our currently taking regulatory and legislative action to ban this wonderful plant however the American Kratom Association are campaigning vigorously to prevent graden from being banned across a number of states and are having success I recommend you really support the American kratom Association though the Food and Drug Administration the FDA in the States has released an important alter cautioning to side effects of kratom in use in humans the US Drug Enforcement Administration DEA has placed kratom on a list of drugs drugs and chemicals of concern kratom is currently controlled in several EU state countries such as Denmark Finland Lithuania Poland Romania and Sweden Kratom is also banned in Australia and Ireland kratom is not very well known yet recently it was listed as a schedule 1 drug giving it the same status as heroin this is unbelievable kratom most important alkaloids 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine are now listed as schedule one drugs under the misuse of the drugs regulation act 2017 and therefore are subject strictest controls substances covered under this provision of schedule one drugs and this act can not be imported, exported, possessed supplied without the proper license so I can’t touch the stuff can import buy it, use it, or prescribe it.
Now unfortunately most of the Irish politicians who voted for this new law probably have never heard of kratom and that’s from my recent research on its alkaloids the mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine is hard to pronounce but it’s based on scare mongering from scientists and the biomedical model and and thus lobbying and politicians don’t read the evidence they will after this article there is a risk of so that this anti-drug rhetoric fueled by ignorance will damage the reputation of kratom leading to more countries making it legal so hence I want to really try and show you and present you some of the facts users in northern Malaysia see kratom as a way to avoid approaching government drug addiction facilities that might expose their identities so it’s been used socially for a number of reasons now kratom enables self treatment that avoids the Sigmatation of associated with other drugs and this is good thing because stigma is a bad thing presses problems under so the and they just get worse result there are also reports of recent drug trend among young people in Thailand who boil kratom leaves and as a base for cocktail name 4 X 100 and its made up of kratom tea cough syrup coca-cola and ice cubes so our risks when you know these subcultures start developing however fears of censure from the community and law enforcement agencies have pushed the use of these concoctions into hidden settings which only increases the risks associated with creation this is known when we pushed drugs out and use these extreme prohibitive procedures things can only get worse kratom is a cheap and easy to access make it effective way to take the edge off opiates symptoms so its natural way for people to treat themselves and prevent themselves getting addicted to opiates both in east and south Asia and West gradually we moved away from the traditional uses and it’s becoming more of a recreational drug even medicine benefits for stress anxiety depression and addiction in Southeast Asia while users face rebuke from family members in Beijing what they call a wasteful kratom habit they’re neither discriminated against most stigmatized or stereotyped as drug users so you know there’s kind of an understanding and an acceptance of its use the majority of regular kratom users are older individuals and with regular employment and married and living with families no recent findings also suggest that kratom can be purchased internet sources by some of the many million, there is something like forty million Americans with chronic pain who use tablets and they’re now trying to source kratom on the internet kratom holds potential development for opiate addiction this is something that we need to embrace rather than suppress this is what drives me nuts about the suppression equation the DEA argue that kratom is dangerous because were 600 calls related to kratom exposure kratom problems from 2010 to 15 that’s a hundred per year it’s nothing in comparison to exposures from pain medications that now account for something like 300,000 calls in 2014 and cosmetics calls from cosmetics personal products cleaning solutions antidepressant antihistamine account for more than a hundred thousand calls per year so it’s crazy the demonization the stigmatization and the suppression of kratom is crazy this is a plant medicine and we have to embrace plant medicines that’s what this channel is all about that’s why I made this article is to show you that many of the medications that have been produced by pharmaceuticals today are not solving problems and they’re causing iatrogenic problems which is when a drug causes more problems than its supposed to solve here’s a plant medicine that could help solve many of opiate problems and the pain addiction causes which is at epidemic levels and people are dying in their tens hundreds thousands yet very few people have had severe effects from kratom kratom there are risks associated because it’s a plant medicine that’s a sedative and a stimulant but its a natures medicine so I hope you go to the end of this article 100 facts on Kratom and I hope you found this article useful and share with your friends and family are others who may benefit from this information most important thing is that people are informed that they get the facts now you can dispute some of these facts as I said many of them are evidence-based.